It’s no surprise that most avid gardeners prefer the summer months to the winter ones. In summer, daylight is plentiful and gardeners have ample time to dig, plant, and sow. In the winter, sunshine and warmth—two things plants love—are in short supply. This past weekend, nighttime temperatures hit freezing in Southwest Virginia, and local gardeners had to confront a discomforting truth: the time for digging in soft, fertile ground is nearly over. Everywhere, the trees are shedding their leaves and the mountain greenery is dulling. Everywhere—that is—except for the great indoors.
For gardeners who want to chase away their cooped-up winter blues, tending to a houseplant garden is a surprisingly fulfilling option. Often overlooked or poorly looked-after, houseplants are just as much a labor of love as outdoor flowers and vegetables are. In cold season, they bring a bit of lush lightness to being stuck inside. And they can be quite the challenge—building a successful indoor garden is all about choosing the right plants and fabricating the proper conditions that each need. It requires planning, research, and time. But, for avid gardeners, this is time well spent.
The Best Potted Plants for Winter
An ideal house plant is versatile and sturdy. Drought-tolerant plants like Aloe Vera do well inside for winter. They do not require direct sunlight, so they need only be placed near a window. They should be watered once a week and kept a temperature above 70 degrees. If cared for properly, they easily thrive and the juice from their leaves can be used to make tea or soothe burns.
The Snake Plant, like Aloe Vera, is low maintenance and simple to please. A weekly watering and moderately sunny spot is about all it needs. Once established, Snake Plants help freshen the air surrounding them by removing toxins. This makes the Snake Plant ideal for stuffy winter parlors.
Zebra Plants, known for their bright yellow and green striped leaves, thrives well in shady, humid spots. A bathroom, a basement, or any other place inside the home that tends to get humid during the wintertime is ideal for this colorful, hardy shrub.
The sweet smelling Calla Lilly has soft, pillow-like white petals and a bright yellow core. It radiates positivity and brings warmth to the even the dullest winter days. This plant prefers bright sunlight and regular waterings, so keep directly in front of a sunny window and ensure that the soil stays on the moist side.
The Moth Orchid is one of the most popular kinds of orchids due to its bright hue and hardy composition. They can bloom for months without much care at all, and their blooms are simply stunning. They need only filtered light and average soil moisture to thrive. For me, the paper-thin, sweet smelling petals of the moth orchid are enough proof that winter really isn’t so bad after all…at least, not all of the time.