Winter is the perfect time to bring the outdoors in to brighten up the cold and wet days.
From African violets huddled in little pots to hardy rosemary in a corner of the kitchen and big bold leafy green plants that add impact to an entrance foyer, it’s time to bring back indoor plants.
When we talk about ‘green homes’ it’s not just about being environmentally friendly, it’s about adding some greenery and nature to your interior. However before you spend up big at Bunnings, think about the plants that will suit your interior style.
Textured foliage and sculptural plants like succulents and cacti add impact to the clean lines and minimalist look of modern homes. They’re by no means girly flowers so won’t look out of place in a bachelor pad either. Plant lots of different ones together in a large, low oval or round pot on a dining table or pot them singularly and display them as a collection on a large timber platter.
If your interior style is softer and homelier, or if you’d like to make your home a little more like something you’d see in Country Style magazine, then your interiors will be best complemented with heart-shaped flowers, like cyclamens, pretty petals, like tulips or sweet peas, and soft, romantic ferns.
Winter is the perfect time for colourful plants like pansies, polyanthus, hyacinths and cyclamens that survive well indoors. Or plant flowers like hellebores or daisies or native shrubs like Correa. There are also many varieties of the native Grevillea, which begins flowering in mid winter and has bursts of colour throughout the year.
With large plants it makes sense to keep them in plastic pots with drainage holes that slip inside heavier decorative pots. This way you can move plants around or take them outside for sun and air without breaking your back. The plastic will also insulate them from ceramic or terracotta pots that get cold in winter.
If you don’t have a green thumb or a lot of space for pots, then cut flowers will instantly brighten up any home.
Cymbidium Orchids are suited to cooler weather with cut stems lasting well over a month in the right conditions. They come in a range of colours from earthy browns and burgundy, to golden hues, bright green and shades of pink. They’re striking on their own or mixed with twigs and foliage.
Tulips give a beautiful winter bloom, especially in red or purple. Buy them when the buds are closed and green which means they are fresh from the markets. This way you can also watch them open and bloom as they continue to grow after cutting. Sit them somewhere where they will catch a little sun and see them twist and stretch towards the light.
With any cut flowers or potted plants in the home, make sure to avoid direct sunlight, heat (especially from heaters or open fires) or draughts which can wilt flowers and leaves and shorten a plant’s life. And if you can get a second pot for outside and swap them around as they will survive longer if you cycle them as constant ducted heating and artificial heating can shorten their flowering time.