The cold temperature outside doesn’t mean that you can’t have beautiful plants inside. In fact, many plants are much easier to care for in the winter than you might think. During winter, you can maintain an herb garden or have big, flowering, blossoms in your home! Read on for the rundown on the best herbs and flowers for winter, how to care for them, and how to protect your pets from poisonous winter plants.
This winter, you can grow a variety of herbs in your home without using special lights. The best herbs to grow indoors are basil, chives, bay leaves, parsley, oregano, chervil, rosemary, sage, tarragon, and thyme. All of these herbs fair well with just bright sunlight if you set them next to a window. They will tolerate the dry air of the indoors well, but since a few prefer warmer temperatures, make sure you either keep the heat on in the house or you keep them in the sunlight. Don’t over water them–you’ll actually want to reduce watering for wintertime. If you want to grow vegetables inside during the wintertime, they’ll require extra light; you’ll need to get an extra light source that provides both light and a warmer temperature.
If you love having flowers in the house year round, winter can present a dilemma. However, not to fret, there are still a few plants that thrive indoors during winter. Your best options are the poinsettia, the christmas cactus, amaryllis, the calla lily, a jewel orchid, a moth orchid, or the clivia. With the exception of the calla lily and the amaryllis, these plants require only filtered light and average watering (if the soil is dry, water) which make them very easy in the winter. The calla lily and the amaryllis require a little more sunlight; set them by a window in your home that gets a lot of light. Cacti, particularly, thrive in the winter and do well in lower temperatures (although they still require a lot of light), so placing a cacti in a cooler part of the house in a south-facing window is the best location. All of the plants named above should re-bloom each year without any problem.
One point to keep in mind if you’re an in-home gardener is that some plants can be poisonous if ingested by small children or pets. The poinsettia is most commonly mentioned, which can be mildly poisonous to cats or dogs if eaten. However, poinsettias are not the most poisonous of indoor plants, especially around the holidays. Plants like holly berries, mistletoe, and rosemary can be very toxic to cats and dogs, and lilies are said to be one of the most poisonous plants to cats. You’ll want to make sure to keep these plants away from cats or dogs, by hanging them up high or putting them on unreachable shelves. You can also paint some plants leaves with a non-toxic substance that tastes awful to pets, such as cayenne pepper. Also try to provide better alternatives to pets who love to eat plants, by giving them other safe plants that they can chew on (like herb grass) or other distractions (like toys or treats).
This article was provided by Samantha Greenbaum, green-thumbed mother of two. If you’re winters are a tad bit exclusive to the indoors, Samantha recommends commercial landscaping from BIO Landscape for outdoor beautification.