Gardening and flowers might be the furthest thing from your mind during winter. Even though it’s cold outside in Birmingham, you don’t have to completely forgo everything green and growing. At Norton’s Florist, winter simply means getting to enjoy seasonal plants and flowers. We’ve put together a list of our top five favorite winter plants to enjoy this season.
Holiday Homecoming Basket
There’s no way to make a list of favorite winter flowers and plants and not include the poinsettia. These leafy beauties are holiday mainstays, and they make lovely decor and wonderful gifts. Of course, the red and white varieties of the poinsettia are the most popular, but they also grow in orange, yellow, pink, salmon, and marbled varieties, which can make for a fun take on the typical holiday look.
To keep your poinsettia healthy and blooming throughout the season, you’ll need to place it in a sunny location and keep its soil moist. Be careful not to let your poinsettia sit in standing water, as this can damage its root system.
We absolutely love to grow succulent gardens in the winter. Even though it’s cold outside, succulents do really well indoors at this time of year because furnaces do a great job of warming up and drying out the air inside a home. We especially love kalanchoe, a succulent that blooms from autumn until spring. It has clusters of brightly colored flowers in pink, orange, yellow, red, and white.
To keep your succulent garden healthy, put it in a location that receives direct sunlight, give it a pot that drains easily, and water it sparingly. The worst thing you can do for a succulent is giving it too much water. Be sure to allow the soil to dry completely before you water a succulent.
3. Christmas Cactus
The Christmas cactus is another seasonal favorite. These cacti bloom in response to the short days that occur close to the winter solstice. As a result, you can pretty much set a watch by their Christmastime blooms. In bloom, a Christmas cactus is simply dripping with beautiful, tube-shaped blooms in pretty shades of purple, pink, red, orange, and white.
Another great thing about Christmas cacti is that they are one of few plant species that aren’t poisonous for humans, cats, or dogs, making them a safe addition to a home with small children or pets.
If cared for properly, your Christmas cactus will continue to bloom around Christmas every year in the future. They like to receive lots of indirect sunlight while resting in a pot that drains easily. Unlike their desert-dwelling cousins, Christmas cacti actually come from humid forests in Brazil, which means they’re not very tolerant of drought. Water yours when the top inch of soil becomes dry.
One of the most cheerful winter bloomers, cyclamens have flowers shaped like shooting stars that bloom in just about every shade of pink, red, violet, and white. These beauties also attract dark-green foliage with silvery threads throughout.
Mediterranean natives, these plants need as much sunlight as they can get. They also like their soil to be moist at all times. You can prolong a cyclamen’s blooming cycle by trimming wilted flowers and removing seed pods as they form. Cyclamens go dormant in the springtime, and they look like they’ll never come back. Store yours in a cool, dry location and resume watering in the fall.
Orchids bloom in respond to the dropping temperatures of winter, which makes them the perfect houseplants for the season. Their exotic, colorful blooms will warm up your house. An estimated 30,000 orchid different orchid species grow around the world, making them an incredibly diverse type of flower.
To care for yours, give a location with filtered or indirect sunlight and pot that will allow its potting mix to drain completely. Be sure to water frequently, but do not let your orchid sit in standing water. If the air in your home is dry, you can mist an orchid with a special plant spray or water to keep it from becoming too dry.
Outdoor Plants to Grow in Birmingham
Winter may be the coldest season, but there are still some plants that are tough enough to thrive and bloom as early as February in the USDA’s hardiness zone 8. A few of our favorites are witch hazel, inkberry holly, and Chinese fringe flowers. Just because you can grow flowers outside in the winter doesn’t mean you have to garden outside. We highly recommend indoor gardening for the winter, since you can enjoy a wider variety of seasonal blooms and do so in the comfort and warmth of your home.
For more tips, advice, and inspiration for your indoor winter garden, we welcome you to stop by Norton’s Florist any time this winter.