Houseplant heyday: This is not your mom’s philodendron!

Gardeners know winter is a time of R&R for plants (and soil), but that doesn’t mean we take it lying down. While we wait for our outdoor blooms to emerge, we revel in a landscape of living color indoors thanks to houseplants. And truly, it’s a golden age of houseplants, with varieties and hybrids like no one has seen before. And many of them require very little care.

So let’s dig in and learn about a few houseplants that can change even the smallest space into a living, breathing, soul-satisfying paradise!

In the pink with colorful foliage

You don’t need blooms to brighten a room. Houseplants with colorful foliage can add color and cheer at any time of year. Pink foliage was big in 2020, and we expect the trend to continue into 2021.

  • The dramatically-leaved Mosaic Plant (aka Nerve Plant): Fittonia albivenis is a plant that loves indirect light, and will reward minimal care with bright-pink or white-veined leaves that almost look like the “crackle” glaze pattern you find on pottery.
  • Another “splash of pink” plant is named the Polka-Dot Plant for that very reason. Its leaves are spattered with tiny pink spots. Like the Mosaic Plant, the Polka Dot Plant prefers indirect lighting, and it thrives in small containers and terrariums. Given enough room, Polka Dot plants can grow to three feet tall, so consider small pots unless you have a very big house and love these plants a lot!
  • With its combination of height, texture and color, the African Milk Tree (Euphorbia trigona) is a stunner of a succulent (think cactus family, but no thorns). Its dark-green stems are covered with fingernail-sized leaves, and the “Royal Red” variety can turn almost cherry-pink. With its ability to grow between three and nine feet tall, the Milk Tree is almost an architectural element, creating a living pillar that adds drama to any indirectly lit corner.

Flower power

Still craving blooms? Nature provides there, too. And while flowering plants can be a little pickier about light and temperature, there’s no reason you can’t grow them inside.

  • Gerbera Daisies: We think of Gerbera daisies as garden plants, but they can thrive in a cool eastern windowsill that offers a few hours of morning light. Varieties are available in pretty much every color you can imagine, and they reward the simplest care with 18-inch-tall cut flowers for your vases.
  • Cyclamen (part of the primrose family) offers both lovely veined foliage and splashy, upright flowers of white, purple, pink or red. Cyclamens are a bit more temperamental than other plants, but if you like puzzles and color, they could be perfect for you. Cyclamens grow about 9” tall and prefer indirect light and a cool, humid environment (no higher than 68°F, or below 40°F). Got a cold bathroom? Set up a standing cyclamen planter and see how it can help you feel a little better about that morning shower.
  • We love plants as art, and the Bird of Paradise plant (Strelitzia genus) is top-of-the-class in that department. Red-orange, yellow or blue flowers that look like the heads of exotic crested birds atop tall slender stalks. It’s a marvelous combination of grace and drama that creates joy all year long.
  • Phalaenopsis or “Moth” orchid (Orchidaceae) is much easier to care for than many people think. Indirect light, coolish temperatures, a few tablespoons of water a week, and your orchid will reward you with a floral display that only gets bigger and more amazing from year to year. Eventually you’ll need to repot in bark chips (orchids grow on trees in nature) as your orchid puts out roots seeking greener pastures. But it’s a tiny bit of effort for a weeks-long cascade of perfectly gorgeous blooms.

Of course, there are millions of options out there, and Berns is ready to help with plants that thrive in our Ohio homes, plus useful advice and all the supplies you’ll need. Visit our garden center today or learn more online about our houseplant selections!

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