Just because the winter is typically gloomy and grey, that doesn’t mean your home has to be. There are plenty of indoor plants that flower right through the winter, that could add some brightness and cheer to your living space.
Research tells us that having plants in our homes can help us feel calmer, raise productivity levels and boost our general wellbeing. So, if you’re wondering how to inject some life and positivity into your home during the colder months, then check out these 10 plants that boast beautiful blooms right through winter.
When many people think of winter flowering plants, they will often think of poinsettias – which are best known for their striking, velvety red petals during December and January. If you’re looking to bring some brightness and positivity to your home, then a poinsettia is a great choice, and with a little care, you can keep your plant all year round. They grow wild in Central America, mainly in Mexico, and according to House Beautiful, we sell over eight million of them in the UK every year!
Poinsettias are relatively easy to care for, as they don’t like much water – they just need to be watered when the soil is starting to look dry, which could vary during the winter, depending how warm your home is, and whether your plant sits near a radiator. The most important thing to note when caring for your plant is that they can’t withstand cold, so they must be kept away from draughts. You’ll be able to tell if your poinsettia is healthy because the yellow buds in the centre will be intact and look tight. House Beautiful have written a useful guide which will tell you everything that you need to know about caring for this red beauty.
2. Cyclamen, commonly known as a “Persian Violet”
Cyclamen are beautiful, hugely popular plants, with heart-shaped marbled leaves. From October to February they produce wonderful ruffled petals in bright purple, pink, white and red, making them the perfect plant to cheer up your home this winter. Indoor cyclamen are varieties of the wild cyclamen persicum – a member of the primrose family that grows in the Meditteranean between Spain and Iran, and the region between northeast Africa and Somalia.
You’ll need to keep cyclamen in moist, well drained soil, away from direct sunlight, and protected from frost. If placed on a windowsill, make sure that you don’t leave your plant behind your curtain at night, especially when it’s frosty outside. They also don’t like being too hot – room temperature is fine – but anything above and they will start to suffer.
Cyclamen don’t need watering often – once a week is usually enough. Just be sure to keep the soil moist, but not dripping wet. You can encourage flower growth by adding some fertiliser at half strength once or twice a month. For more tips on how to care for your Cyclamen, take a look at this guide from GardenBeast.
Note: Cyclamen are poisonous to animals and humans if ingested – so be sure to keep them away from pets or small children.
3. Schlumbergera, commonly known as “Christmas Cactus”
Christmas cactus are quirky, prickly plants that typically put on a floral display of pink, purple, red, or white flowers, between November and January every year. Their leaves are a deep glossy green, and slightly spiky in nature, so even when their not flowering, Christmas cactus make for interesting houseplants.
These plants originated in the shady, humid forests of Brazil, so naturally they prefer to be kept in a spot that is warm and bright, but is out of direct sunlight (which usually isn’t an issue in winter anyway!). Their watering schedule will vary depending on the warmth of your home, but as a general rule of thumb, it’s best to let the top inch of soil dry out before you water them again. You should also make sure that your plant is kept in a pot with adequate drainage, as water logged soil will usually cause the roots to rot, and the plant to wilt. For more tips on how to care for your Christmas cactus, have a read of this article from House Beautiful.
4. Spathiphyllum Wallisii, commonly known as “Peace Lily”
Peace lilies are elegant, ethereal plants that have a real presence in any room they are placed in. They have large, glossy green leaves, and huge fragrant white flowers – which are spoon-shaped (and referred to as spathes). These flowers can bloom in spring and autumn, lasting for a couple of months each time.
Over the years, peace lilies have had many different meanings, but most commonly they are seen as a symbol of peace, healing, purity and hope. The big white flowers are synonymous with the symbol of the white flag, which is recognised all over the world, as a signal of truce. For this reason, some people send it as a gift to people that they want to make peace with, to mark the start of a new friendship.
These stunning plants, which originate from the tropical rainforests of Columbia and Venezuela, are flexible when it comes to light. They are likely to flower more in a brighter spot, but are also quite happy in most conditions. If your bathroom is fairly light, then this could be a great place to keep your peace lily, as they thrive in humidity.
While peace lilies do appreciate regular watering, they are fairly resilient and can bounce back from missed watering really well. You only need to water them when the top inch of the soil feels dry – the timing of which can vary from household to household, depending on how warm your home is during the winter.
If you need further convincing over whether this plant is for you, then you might be interested to know that NASA have also named the peace lily on their list of top-rated indoor plants, because of their ability to improve indoor air quality! Just make sure that every now and then, you wipe the leaves with a soft, damp cloth, to their oxygen-releasing pores from becoming blocked. This helpful guide from ProFlowers will explain more about how to care for your peace lily.
Note: Peace lilies are toxic to both humans and animals if ingested – so be sure to keep them away from pets or small children.
5. Cymbidium Orchid, commonly known as a “Boat Orchid”
These exotic-looking, decorative flowers will make an eye-catching addition to any home during winter. The stems are long and slim, and each one produces clusters of 10-15 delicate, scented flowers in a variety of colours; from lime green to yellow and red, through to bright pink!
Boat orchids can usually be found growing in Southeast Asia, China and Australia, and are one of the less demanding of the orchid family, when kept indoors. They typically bloom from mid-autumn through to mid-spring, and unlike some of the other flowering plants in this list, they prefer cooler temperatures while their buds are forming (below 15C) – so you might want to keep them outside during this time, or in a very cool spot (for example, near an open window) during this time. Once the buds start to open, the plant will continue to thrive in a warmer environment and can be brought indoors.
Once indoors, they should be kept in a bright, well ventilated spot, and the soil should be kept moist, but not saturated. For more tips and information on how to care for your cymbidium, have a read of this guide from Nurseries Online.
Azaleas, which are native to Asia, Europe and North America are easy-to-care for plants whose flowers can deliver a huge burst of colour in shades of red, pink, white, peach and lavender. Although these plants look delicate and beautiful, they are incredibly hardy, and can withstand freezing temperatures, so you don’t need to worry about them getting chilly on your windowsill.
To keep an azaleas happy, it’s best to keep it in a cool room in partial shade, and mist them daily until their buds start to show colour. They should also be kept in moist (never allow it to dry out), well-drained soil. It’s best to avoid keeping them near radiators, as this could dry out the foliage and kill the plant.
Azaleas produce flamboyant, frilled blooms anytime between February and September, and with the right care, their flowers will continue looking lovely throughout the winter. To find out more about how to look after your azalea plant, check out this video from BBC Gardeners’ World.
Note: Azalea plants contain toxins called grayanotoxins which are toxic to both humans and animals if ingested – so be sure to keep them away from pets or small children.
7. Phalaenopsis Orchid, commonly known as a “Moth Orchid”
The reason that phalaenopsis orchids make such great winter houseplants is because they thrive in centrally heated rooms, and are capable of producing flowers all year round. These flowers (which are attached to tall, thin, wiry stems), come in a variety of stunning colours, from pastel yellow to vibrant blue, through to bright purple. What makes them even more striking is that many of them have unique patterns – such as mottling, stripes and splodges of colour.
Moth Orchids, which are native to southeastern Asia and part of Australia, need to be kept in an environment that has a minimum temperature of 16C, as they are tender, and will often become damaged otherwise. It’s best to avoid letting the roots dry out completely, but you also don’t want the plant to be sitting in water, due to the risk of root rot. When moth orchids are blooming, it’s worth adding fertiliser to them most times you water them (but still giving them an occasional flush with fresh water), to spur growth – good light levels will also help with this. To find out more about how to care for your moth orchid, have a read of this guide from the RHS.
Amaryllis plants produce large trumpet-like bloom in brilliant colours, making them a cheerful addition to your home this winter – plus with proper care, they can bloom for up to 75 years!
These tender plants originate from Peru and South Africa, but bulbs were brought to Europe in the 1700s. They hate the cold, and should be protected from frost by keeping them away from any chilly windowsills during the winter.
You can buy ready-grown potted amaryllis plants, or you can choose to plant them yourself. Bulbs are usually available to buy between September and December, and flowers will usually start to bloom six to eight weeks after planting. Flying Flowers have created a useful guide, which will show you how to grow and care for amaryllis plants indoors.
Note: Amaryllis plants are toxic to both humans and animals if ingested – so be sure to keep them away from pets and small children.
Found growing wild in tropical Madagascar, kalanchoe produces clusters of tiny fragrant flowers in beautiful shades of orange, red and yellow. They also have luscious green leaves, with a scalloped edge, which can look just as attractive as the flowers themselves. Kalanchoe is widely available for purchase in the UK, and doesn’t need much care, making it a popular choice for a winter houseplant.
For best results, keep this plant in partial shade, in temperatures of no less than 16C. It’s important to allow the soil to dry out in between waterings to avoid root rot, and your kalanchoe will appreciate a dose of fertiliser once a month, while it’s in bloom. For more tips, info and interesting facts have a read of this article from Serenata Plants, or watch this video from BBC Gardeners’ World.
Note: Kalanchoe plants are toxic to both humans and animals if ingested – so be sure to keep them away from pets and small children.
Anthuriums are striking plants that will make you look twice. Their thick rubbery leaves – which typically come in deep red or bright white – leave a lasting impression. They look so glossy that you might even wonder whether they’re real! Like peace lilies, anthuriums have been listed in NASA’s top-rated houseplants for its ability to remove formaldehyde, ammonia, toluene and xylene from the air.
These bright beauties originate from the tropical rainforests of Guatemala, Columbia and the Amazon region in Brazil where they have an unusual growing style. They grow in and on trees, so that they can draw their nutrients from them, and they have very few roots.
These unusual-looking plants enjoy a warm home and moist soil. They also appreciate being misted with water every now and then, as this recreates the humidity of the tropical rainforest, where they would usually grow. Anthuriums can produce up to six blooms per year, with each bloom lasting between two and three months. You can also help to keep its leaves and flowers glossy (and stop it’s oxygen-releasing pores from becoming blocked) by wiping them with a damp cloth.
To find out more about how to care for your anthurium, have a read of this guide from the Flower Council of Holland.
Note: Anthurium plants contain calcium oxalate crystals which can be poisonous if ingested in large amounts. The sap can also be irritating to the skin and eyes. Be sure to keep plants away from pets and small children.
You might be surprised just how much some of these bright and beautiful plants could cheer up your home. Not only do houseplants give us something positive to focus on when times get tough, but they also bring us closer to nature – which is especially important at a time when we’re getting out less.
If you’re looking for some further inspiration and you don’t mind whether your houseplants flower or not, then you might find it helpful to check out our article; 10 low maintenance indoor plants that can add life to your home, for some extra ideas.
What’s your experience with indoor plants? Have you got any additional flowering winter houseplants that you would recommend to others? We’d love to hear from you. Join the conversation on the community forum, or leave a comment below.