In Philadelphia, evergreens are just about the only plants flourishing during the peak winter months. After the first frost, historically between the end of October and mid-November, local plant-lovers grow their flora indoors. Besides providing natural beauty, indoor plants serve as natural air purifiers, removing toxins from stuffy air when the windows remained closed during the coldest months of the year.
To brighten up your indoor space, try reusing an empty glass container to create a terrarium. Begin with a layer of white pebbles. Mix in horticultural charcoal, available at specialty garden centers or online, to help absorb odors. Next, add a layer of soil, cover with moss and then a few miniature indoor plants. Once the terrarium is established, it will become its own ecosystem and require little maintenance other than occasional trimming and watering.
Match Indoor Plants to the Light
In winter time, the Philadelphia area receives as little as 10 hours of sunlight each day, so when choosing indoor plants, look for ones which grow best under low lighting, or plan to place those requiring brighter light close to a window. Some of the best indoor plants for low lighting are philodendron, dracaena, and peace lilies, according to Bucks Country Gardens in Doylestown, PA.
The snake plant, with its wavy, deep green leaves, adds beauty and improves air quality in the winter, as it works to remove toxins such as formaldehyde from indoor air. Snake plants do best in bright light, but can tolerate lower levels of lighting as well.
One flowering plant popping up in Philadelphia homes is the amaryllis, which can be purchased as a potted bulb and grown through the winter months. If you like cacti, one hardy, long-lasting flowering houseplant is the Christmas cactus. A native of Brazil, the Thanksgiving variety of this cactus begins to bud in November, when the temperatures drop into the 50s and the nights become longer. The delicate white and pink blooms appear in December and drop shortly after, yet the flowers brighten up the darkest days of the year.
Orchids and African violets are beautiful flowering plants, but can be more challenging to grow indoors. Both plants generally require large amounts of light and water to thrive, but will produce exotic blooms to brighten your home in the winter. Moth orchids in particular are known for being one of the easier-cultivating varieties, preferring bright — but indirect — light.
Whether you are an expert planter or are just starting out, a variety of indoor flora brings beauty to your home in the wintertime. Stop by any home improvement store of garden center to check out this year’s inventory and select plants that work best for you in terms of lighting and ease of care.
Image Source: Flickr
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Via: Coldwell Banker Blog