The weather outside is frightful, but the indoor flowers are so delightful! Flowers and plants might be the last thing on your mind, but when the weather turns chilly in Louisville, our flower experts at Nanz & Kraft Florists get excited about indoor gardening and cultivating the most beautiful plants for winter. We put together a list of our top five favorite plants, blooming and non-blooming, to grow inside in the winter.
Amaryllis flowers are big, beautiful, and the perfect shade of red for the holiday season. A gift that keeps on giving, these flowers grow from bulbs that can be replanted each year. Once the flowers have wilted, store the bulbs in a cool, dry place. Replant them in the fall and expect to see new flowers in six to eight weeks.
One word of caution: the amaryllis is poisonous for people and pets. Be sure to display yours in a place where small children, cats, and dogs can’t reach it.
2. Christmas Cactus
We absolutely adore Christmas cactuses, and we think you will, too. These beauties bloom in response to the length of daylight they receive, which times their exotic, tube-shaped flowers perfectly for Christmastime. Unlike the amaryllis, the Christmas cactus is actually completely safe for both humans and our pets. Ingesting any part of the plant is sure to cause a stomach ache, but it won’t do any real harm.
To keep your cactus healthy and blooming for years to come, keep in a sunny location in a pot that will drain easily. Originally from the humid forests of Brazil, Christmas cactuses don’t tolerate drought as well as their desert-dwelling cactus cousins. They actually like a little humidity. Be sure to water yours frequently, but never let it sit in standing water.
3. Norfolk Island Pine
Norfolk Island pines make the perfect little Christmas trees for the home and stay vibrant and beautiful all year long. These trees aren’t true pines, as they’re native to more tropical forests. As a result, they won’t do well planted outdoors, but they can thrive inside, given the right accommodations. Keep yours in a location with plenty of sunlight. They need to be watered frequently to keep their soil moist, but like most plants, they won’t do well if they’re allowed to sit in standing water.
Cyclamen flowers have swept-back petals that resemble shooting stars. They bloom in a range of colors including white and all the shades between light pink, dark red, and violet. A deep green color woven with silvery threads, cyclamen leaves are stunning, too.
These cheerful plants naturally begin to flower in the fall and can continue through winter. To prolong the blooming cycle, be sure to cut back wilted flowers and trim seed pods as they develop. Let your cyclamen get lots of sunlight and always keep its soil moist. Cyclamen plants enter a dormant phase in the spring and summer when they look almost dead. Store it in a cool, dark place for the season and resume watering in the fall to enjoy another year of blooms.
We couldn’t have a list of favorite winter plants and not include the poinsettia. These plants are elegant, beautiful, and they make perfect holiday gifts and decorations. Their red and white varieties are clearly the most popular, but they also come in orange, yellow, and bright pink. These off-beat poinsettia varieties can be a fun way to achieve a non-traditional take on your usual holiday decor.
Poinsettia bloom in response to the amount of daylight they receive, which is why they’re always at their most vibrant in the winter when the days are shortest. To keep your poinsettia healthy and happy through the season, place it in a location where it will receive full sun and make sure its soil always stays moist. Be careful, however, not to give it too much water, as soggy roots can kill a poinsettia.
Winter Flowers to Grow Outdoors in Louisville
Although winters in Louisville (USDA hardiness zone 6) can get quite cold, there are some flowers that are fairly early bloomers, budding as early as February. Some of our favorite winter flowers for our climate are snowdrops, crocuses, Icelandic poppies, winter jasmine, and winter honeysuckle.
During the coldest months, we still prefer to garden inside, where it’s warm and comfortable. For more indoor gardening inspiration and winter plant advice, we welcome you to stop by Nanz & Kraft Florists this winter!