Winter Well-Being with Plants

Health & Well Being

With the shorter days and lack of sunshine in winter, it is no surprise you may feel a little glum. Brighten up those grey winter days with this selection of indoor plants that will not only purify your air, but also add some much-needed color and lovely scents to your home.

The horticulturists at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (most known for the annual Philadelphia Flower Show) called on their experts to recommend 5 houseplants available now to perk you up from your winter slump.  Here are a few natural ways to improve your winter well-being with some simple gardening at home solutions

1. Tropicals

Can’t find the time for a warm-destination vacation? Bring the tropics to you with a few colorful, tropical plants!

Sansevieria (a common variety known as Snake Plant) can survive and thrive in almost any home.  As a natural air purifier, this easy to maintain tropical removes toxins from the air and is delightful eye-catching décor with its interesting patterns.

Philodendron is another houseplant that is easy to care for, also with unique coloring. Citrus plants, like lemon trees and jasmine plants produce fragrant blooms that can scent the whole house that can ease stress through the winter months.

2. Succulents

New to gardening? A succulent or cacti is the perfect first plant for your home. Place succulents on a sunny but drafty windowsill, as they like a cool period to produce blooms. Cool temperatures might even turn the foliage different colors! Certain succulents hold natural oils such as agave or aloe vera that can help heal cuts or burns.

3. Kitchen Herb Garden

An herb garden is the perfect way to develop a winter green thumb, especially for cooking.

Start with basil, a staple in most kitchens. This sweet and fragrant herb is so versatile you can use it in tons of dishes that also aides in healthy digestion.

If you are a slow cooker lover, you know that bay leaves are a mainstay for almost every stew recipe. Give this herb plenty of space to breathe, and this perennial will keep on giving.

Homemade pizza, anyone? Oregano from your windowsill will bring your homemade pies to the next level! Begin your sprout with a snip from an existing plant and place in a south-facing window.
This natural air freshener is delicious on chicken or roasted potatoes! Rosemary can buddy up with oregano in a south-facing window, and snip as needed when the stems reach six inches.

Pro tip: Keep your herbs on the sunniest windowsill you have. Water when signs of wilt start. Once the danger of frost is past, you can move them outside to enjoy the fresh spring air.

4. Orchids

Take it from PHS, orchids are tougher and more adaptable than the reputation that precedes them, though there are some fussy varieties. The beauty of orchid blooms, far out-weighs the trials of growing.

Phalaenopsis (commonly referred to as Moth Orchid) is the easiest variety to care for and is widely available. You can watch the roots drink water – they’ll turn from silver to green. When your orchid is done flowering, don’t toss it! Trim the old stalks, keep in sunny, south-facing window, water every other week and new flowers will return.

The biggest difference between orchids and other houseplants is that orchids do not grow in soil. Instead, place your orchid in a pot filled with chips of bark, stones, or another loosely packed material – allowing water to drain quickly.

Pro tip: Water thoroughly once a week and allow to dry completely between each watering. Most orchids do best with six hours of light each day – south- and east-facing windows are best. Add some humidity and your orchid will stay very happy!

5. Ferns and Begonias

If you’re up for a little challenge, try taking home a fern or a begonia. These plants are highly efficient at purifying indoor air (your sinus’ will thank you!).

Pro tip: Keep the soil evenly moist and avoid wet feet; some light misting or a nearby humidifier will help this plant transition to indoors.