Winter washing you out? Liven things up with indoor plants and flowers
Beat the winter ‘blahs’ with the best indoor plants and flowers, sure to bring an added touch of life and colour to your home this holiday season. As most of us know, the colder months can quickly turn from winter wonderland, to dreary and grey. Adding some indoor plants and flowers to your home is a great way to put a little spring back in your step.
Research from Rutgers University indicates that the presence of flowers triggers happy emotions, heightens feelings of life satisfaction and affects social behavior in a positive manner – making them a great addition to any home or office. “Adding a little greenery or some colourful flowers to your home really brings in a feeling of warmth and life” says Dejan Kristan, from Pick Ontario (pickontario.ca). “Especially during the winter months when all we see are bare trees and snow, indoor plants can really go a long way.” Dejanoffers the following suggestions to anyone looking for indoor plant species ideas:
Poinsettias (Potted) Light: Place in a bright area, but keep out of direct sunlight. Moisture: Water the plant whenever the surface feels dry to the touch. Water until it drains out the bottom, but don’t let the plant sit in water. Characteristics: Poinsettias are known as the typical Christmas plant, and are often just considered red. But the plants also come in white and pink and a wide diversity of forms. The “marbled” type is one of the most fascinating, meaning that it is speckled with a red and white combination. When people refer to the poinsettia’s “flowers” what they actually mean are the petal-like leaves known as “bracts.”
Christmas Cactus (Potted) Light: Indirect natural light during the day, darkness at night. Moisture: Water the plant thoroughly, and then allow the top inch of soil to dry before watering again. Water less when you want the plant to start flowering. Characteristics: Christmas Cactus are also known as Zygocactus and produce beautiful flowers during the winter months. They are epiphytic cacti with tubular flowers and reflexed petals produced singly or in pairs at the end of protruding stems. The flowers come in a wide range of colours, but the most common are orange, red, white and pink.
Cut Flower Bouquet (mixed) Don’t forget that beautiful Ontario grown cut flower bouquets are available anytime with many local cut flowers available year-round. Ontario sourced cut flower bouquets can include wonderful fresh flowers such as Tulips, Gerbera Daisies, Cut Chrysanthemums, Snapdragons, Spray Roses and Alstroemeria. They can add amazing life and color to brighten up any room, no matter the time of year. Moisture: It is important to change the water in the vase the flowers sit in every two days to maximize the life and vibrancy of the flowers.
Amaryllis (Potted) Light: Bright light Moisture: When first planted, water lightly. Once the flowering stem emerges, increase the amount of water though don’t let the pot sit in it’s own water. Characteristics: Potted Amaryllis is grown from a large bulb and produces a cluster of 3 – 8 trumpet-shaped flowers which can grow about 3 inches long. The fragrant, six-petaled blossoms are typically red, but there are variations that can also be pink, white and a striped. Seasonally Amaryllis are often available around November/December and a great option if you are looking for something different from your typical Poinsettia.
Anthurium (Cut) Light: Direct light – as much as possible. Moisture: To get the most from your tropical anthurium, spritz the blossom daily with cool water. Also, keep the water in the vase fresh, replacing every few days ensuring that the water level is near the top of the vase. Anthurium can stay fresh for up to 6 weeks in your home! Characteristics: Cut Anthurium are heart-shaped and have a colourful spike (spadix) coming up from the center of the flower. Anthuium are sold as stems, and often used as the centerpieces for arrangements because of their size. Many people do not believe that the anthurium is a real flower because of its waxy look.
Potted Chrysanthemum: Light: Bright light Moisture: Chrysanthemums like to be evenly watered but not over-watered. If the first centimetre or two of soil are dry, apply just enough water so that some comes out the bottom of the pot. Characteristics: Chrysanthemum come in a wide variety of colours, flower shapes and sizes. Both the potted plants and cut flowers are available year round and make a great addition to any room and can last for prolonged periods.
Spring Bedding Plants: Winter doesn’t last forever so this time of the year is a great time to start thinking about getting the most out of your garden. Ontario greenhouses produce a wide diversity of annual bedding plants. Plants such as Begonias, Geraniums, Petunias, Mandevilla Vines, Marigolds and Zinnias all add colour and beauty to any garden and are grown close to home. If space is limited, think about hanging baskets that often have multiple plants in one container. Because there are hundreds of different bedding plants it’s important to find the right locations for light exposure and available moisture. See the plant tag for more information or visit pickOntario.ca.
Source: PickOntario Pick Ontario is a comprehensive marketing communications campaign developed by Flowers Canada (Ontario) Ltd. to raise awareness, interest and demand for Ontario-grown cut flowers and potted plants. Launched at the Grocery Innovations Tradeshow in October 2007, the fully integrated strategy includes PR, media relations and outdoor advertising initiatives intended to promote the reasons why consumers and retailers should Pick Ontario. When you Pick Ontario, you are supporting the more than 200 greenhouse farmers who employ over 7,000 people in our province. The growers in Ontario work hard to produce quality flowers and are always looking for latest trends in technology and growing techniques.
*Allan Gardens is a park and an indoor botanical garden with six greenhouses comprising over 16,000 square feet located at 160 Gerrard St. in Toronto. The indoor conservatory features colourful plants and flowers from around the world. The colourful seasonal plants supplement the permanent plant collection of botanical importance since 1858. The conservatory boasts the “Palm House” (1909) modelled after similar structures in the United States and England.