We tend to associate colourful plants with spring and summer – the time of year when everything feels vibrant and alive. Yet there are many plants for the colder and wetter months. Most flowering plants won’t survive the cold and wet of autumn and winter, which is why you ideally need indoor plants. Here is a small selection for your home to brighten the place up for the next few months.
Although we tend to associate “daffys” with late winter and early spring, some varieties flower earlier than this. For example, the Narcissus canaliculatus (more commonly known as Segovia) will flower earlier in a warm environment. Your greenhouse is ideal, and they give out a pleasant scent not commonly associated with common daffodil breeds. On average, they flower some six weeks early in a greenhouse. In mild winters, you may even have nicely scented flowers around Christmas.
Glory Bush is a late summer flower. Although ideally an outdoor plant, it will live just as happily in a greenhouse or a living room with plenty of warmth. An evergreen, their vibrant blue-purple flowers are constant until very late in the year and welcome colour in the drab months. Under the right conditions, they could conceivably flower through the entire winter. Purple is one of the colours of autumn.
Orchids are the most obvious type of winter flowering plant. At the earliest, some breeds flower in late September so will be in their prime now. Other breeds flower even later than this. So if it is colourful, bright and attractive flowers you want through the autumn and winter, you can do much worse than orchids. Most have a pleasant scent and are easy to manage and maintain in your greenhouse or in your home. They will live quite happily on the window ledge.
Although you are supposed to plant them out in winter, you can induce winter flowering by keeping them inside in a warm area. Greenhouses are ideal for humidity, but if you opt to keep them in a lounge or other living room, be advised that they need humidity. Allow the soil to dry between watering, as it does not like too much water at the roots. Keep a water spray bottle nearby for regular misting of the leaves though. Otherwise, these are simple plants to care for and their bright flowers are welcome at any time of the year.
As outdoor plants, you can expect them to grow and flower in early spring. In ideal indoor conditions, you can expect flowering as early as Christmas. This is why you will see them commonly on sale in the run up to Christmas at your favourite garden centres. They like cool, shaded areas away from direct sunlight. Outside, they grow best in the shade of trees. Inside, a window ledge is perfect. The cooler sun and humidity of condensation creates the perfect environment.
Jasmine is a temperamental plant outside, though it grows well in the warmer counties of the southwest that get less frost. For everybody else, it grows well indoors in temperatures of around 10-15C (50-60F) in most conditions. However, ensure to place it somewhere it does not get too much shade. The bright yellow flowers last a long time and are a welcome boost. After all, the winter breed was created with bright colours for gloomy days and evenings in mind. When not flowering, it has a pleasant scent.
The winter plant, they have graced Christmas dinner tables for years and it’s not difficult to see why. Flamboyant and colourful, the poinsettia flowers from December to January. Not only does it grace your Christmas environment with colour and positivity, when the colour is gone in January, the poinsettia is still there. They like bright light, but filtered. Away from a window ledge or a window that does not get much direct sunlight is ideal.