6 Tips for Using Indoor Plants to Brighten Your Winter
By Alison Draper, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Beat the winter blues by brightening your space with indoor plants that add a sense of vibrancy to any living space. Houseplants are a fantastic, versatile design element – providing color, texture, personality, clean air, and a peaceful environment. If you don’t have a green thumb, there are plenty of fun and stylish low-maintenance options to choose that will thrive indoors, even during the winter months.
Here are 6 tips for adding plants to your home during winter.
1. Create depth and interest.
Placing a larger statement plant in the corner of a room will make the space feel bigger and more interesting. If your corner has a lot of light, consider a bird of paradise plant for its large leaves, ability to grow more than six feet in height, and its most stunning feature: a bird-like flower of orange and blue!
Other great choices for an exotic vibe are the banana tree or Kentia palm. If you have limited space, choose a plant that doesn’t need too much root space and will use vertical space, such as cacti (Euphorbia ingens) or tall bamboo. Think of your plant’s container as you do your furniture, so it melds seamlessly with your décor. Lastly, make sure the plant isn’t crowded by furniture and décor so you can enjoy the peaceful and uplifting atmosphere it creates.
2. Add some color.
To add accents of color, small and medium-sized blooming potted plants work well. Consider placing these plants on a mantel, coffee table, side table, or shelf to shift the winter doldrums in any room. A good choice for a medium-sized plant is the Christmas cactus. This durable plant features hanging branches of green, flat segments and blooms gorgeous hot pink petals during the winter months!
If you want a more upswept plant, consider the cyclamen, which comes in a variety of colors, from red to pink to white. Smaller-sized potted flowering plants to consider include begonias with a scarlet or coral bloom or African violets in an alluring deep purple – perfect for a windowsill. Even a small single succulent, placed strategically, can make a difference in the mood of a room. Allow yourself to play around and enjoy adding new life and energy to your space.
3. Choose a calming element for sleep.
If you want calm and clean air, add a plant to your bedroom. Some believe that simply touching a plant’s leaves can calm you down! The beautiful low-maintenance rubber plant is an air purifier and a powerful toxin eliminator. Its striking, forest-green leaves are sure to soothe. If your bedroom is small, choose a small potted snake plant for a shelf or nightstand; its vertical leaves’ various shades of green will add tranquility while purifying the air.
4. Consider what’s trending.
Macramé hangers continue to be the rage and are a versatile way to bring plants indoors. Get creative about where you choose to hang plants, whether in the bathroom, above kitchen windows, in a corner, or even on a wall. You can choose your container to suit your style.
Popular hanging plants include the delicate string of pearls, which starts small but can grow tendrils of beads up to three feet long. Another is the bird's nest fern, which has ripple-edged fronds that grow out of a nest-like crown. Cacti and succulents are also great for hanging in groups.
If you want to skip hanging, some on-trend plant favorites include the monstera deliciosa or "swiss cheese plant." As these age, their heart-shaped leaves develop holes that resemble Swiss cheese.
Another favorite is the Pilea peperomioides or the “friendship plant” which has smaller, fairly round leaves and very photogenic!
5. Fill negative space.
For areas that need a little something extra, plants can be great for filling in design gaps. Consider vine plants in areas like the gaps above kitchen cabinets, lonely shelf spaces, or built-in alcoves.
If the area is hard to reach, the low-maintenance exotic hoya – with its thick, waxy leaves and clusters of star-shaped flowers – is a good choice. It is easy to grow in low, medium, or bright light and doesn’t require watering until the potting mix dries out. If you skip a water or two, no need to panic; the thick leaves and stems store water for these instances.
Another plant to consider is the Boston fern, which is one of the easiest ferns to care for and maintain. This puffy plant is sure to liven up any neglected space.
6. Don’t forget the bathroom!
Low light, high humidity, and temperature swings are factors to consider when choosing plants for a bathroom.
If you are looking for a hardy plant, the cast iron plant is low-maintenance, hard to kill, and grows well in low or indirect light. Pot this plant in glossy white ceramic, a natural woven basket, or a planter with legs in a simple design.
If you have moderate to bright light, an airy, lacy asparagus fern is a good pick, as it loves the humidity of a bathroom. If you are tight on space, a few bamboo stalks in a skinny vase will be easy to incorporate.
Feel free to reach out to Alison with any questions you may have regarding selecting houseplants, no matter how general or specific. Visit her agent page to learn more about her background and view her current listings.