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How to Bring Nature Inside With the Right Houseplants

It’s no surprise that greenery has gained popularity during the pandemic. Here’s how to make the most of it at home.
Source: The New York Times
Photos Source: The New York Times

“I always suggest people cluster plants for maximum impact,” said Eliza Blank, the chief executive of the houseplant retailer The Sill, who said her company’s sales have skyrocketed over the past year.
“I always suggest people cluster plants for maximum impact,” said Eliza Blank, the chief executive of the houseplant retailer The Sill, who said her company’s sales have skyrocketed over the past year.Credit…Courtesy of The Sill
Source: The New York Times
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Tim McKeough

By Tim McKeough

  • March 2, 2021

Spending more time inside has accelerated any number of trends that existed before the pandemic, including bingeing of all kinds. But here’s one that’s actually good for you: Bringing nature indoors.

The appeal of interiors draped in greenery is no mystery: Houseplants are a natural salve for spaces filled with artificial materials and products, reminders of the far-flung gardens and landscapes that may be difficult to visit these days — and even stand-ins for the friends we used to entertain in our homes.

“You can actually be a minimalist, but if you have plants, all of a sudden the space feels warm and inviting,” said Eliza Blank, the founder and chief executive of the houseplant retailer The Sill, who said her company’s sales have skyrocketed over the past year.

Maximalists have found their stride too, inspiring legions of followers on Instagram with rooms that resemble private jungles. The National Gardening Association estimates that household spending on houseplants has climbed almost 50 percent since 2016, with a year-over-year jump of more than 12 percent in 2020.

But adding plants to your home isn’t always as easy as it looks. They can shrivel and die. And even if they live, they may not look as good in your home as they do on Instagram.

  • Dig deeper into the moment.

So what’s the secret to integrating plants into your living space?

“I like to have plants at all levels” — on the floor, on tables, near the ceiling — said Justina Blakeney, the founder of blog-cum-lifestyle-brand Jungalow.
“I like to have plants at all levels” — on the floor, on tables, near the ceiling — said Justina Blakeney, the founder of blog-cum-lifestyle-brand Jungalow.Credit…Dabito
Source: The New York Times
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

“When it comes to plant styling, it’s just like any design project,” said Justina Blakeney, the Los Angeles-based founder of the blog-cum-lifestyle-brand Jungalow, whose latest book, “Jungalow: Decorate Wild,” will be published next month. “You have to think about the greater context and the overall look and feel you’re going for.”

She added: “Of course, plants are living creatures, so you have to keep in mind what they want as well.”

Ms. Blakeney and other plant stylists and designers shared their strategies.

Many houseplants suffer simply because they’re put in environments that don’t suit them. Just because a big fiddle-leaf fig tree looks impressive in a living room you see in a shelter magazine doesn’t mean it will look good or flourish in your living room.

“My biggest tip is to assess the light in your home first, because light is the most important aspect of keeping plants happy,” said Danae Horst, the founder of Folia Collective, a plant store in Los Angeles, and the author of “Houseplants for All.” “It’s more important than watering; it’s more important than fertilizing. Light is to plants as food is to humans.”

Danae Horst, the founder of Folia Collective, recommended using shelves and risers to vary the heights of smaller potted plants.
Danae Horst, the founder of Folia Collective, recommended using shelves and risers to vary the heights of smaller potted plants.Credit…Danae Horst
Source: The New York Times
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Consider which direction your windows face; look for obstructions from neighboring buildings or trees outside; and study the quality of light. South-facing windows usually get the most direct sunlight, Ms. Horst said, while east- and west-facing windows get some light, and north-facing windows get very little, which makes them the most challenging.

Then, with help from a nursery or plant guide, choose the types of plants that are best suited to your home’s conditions. Desert plants like cactuses and other succulents thrive in rooms that get direct sun all day long, Ms. Horst said. Tropical plants tend to fare better in rooms that get a lot of indirect, filtered or dappled light, as they would under a canopy of trees. Snake plants and ZZ plants can tolerate darker conditions.

It’s also important to be realistic about your plant-parenting skills: Are you overzealous, or more of a hands-off plant parent? Some people insist on watering every day, and drown plants that would fare better with once-a-week watering; others bring plants home and forget to water them for months, or let the soil dry out when they travel.

Neither approach is necessarily a problem, so long as you choose the plants suited to your habits. “Understanding what is going to fit your lifestyle, and your personality, is helpful,” Ms. Horst said.

Hilton Carter, a plant and interior stylist, has a variety of plants in his office, including a board-mounted staghorn fern on the wall.
Hilton Carter, a plant and interior stylist, has a variety of plants in his office, including a board-mounted staghorn fern on the wall.Credit…Hilton Carter
Source: The New York Times
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

For instant gratification without amassing a large collection of plants, you could start with a single, eye-catching plant, said Hilton Carter, a Baltimore-based plant and interior stylist whose latest book, “Wild Creations,” will be published next month.

“I make decisions based on what I call the statement plant,” he said. “It’s the one plant that instantly grabs your attention and sets the tone.”

Mr. Carter’s home bursts with greenery, but there’s no missing the statement plant in his living room: a towering fiddle-leaf fig tree.

Any plant with impressively large leaves will do the trick, he said: “A larger foliage plant, or a bigger plant, in most situations — it’s all about what you want the statement to be.”

A bookcase in Summer Rayne Oakes’s Brooklyn, N.Y., apartment is draped in greenery.
A bookcase in Summer Rayne Oakes’s Brooklyn, N.Y., apartment is draped in greenery.Credit…Summer Rayne Oakes
Source: The New York Times
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Ms. Blakeney sometimes looks for a plant with a vivid pattern. “I am a huge fan of decorating with plants the way that one might traditionally decorate with textiles or color,” she said. “Some of my very favorite plants are ones that are polka-dotted or have stripes or bring different vibrant colors into the space.”

But make sure to choose varieties that won’t interfere with the way you use the space.

Shape, or what Summer Rayne Oakes, an entrepreneur, YouTube personality and author of “How to Make a Plant Love You,” calls “structure,” is important. A tall plant in a big planter is nice in an empty corner of a loft, but may be impractical in a tighter circulation area.

Similarly, if you use a hanging planter, “you might want a plant that drapes down,” she said, rather than one that reaches up to the ceiling. And in a functional space like a kitchen, a plant on a shelf should stand up rather than spread out, because when you’re trying to wash dishes at the sink, she said, “you can’t have something that’s flailing its leaves too much.”

Choosing containers with similar colors or materials creates a cohesive look.
Choosing containers with similar colors or materials creates a cohesive look.Credit…Courtesy of The Sill

As you begin adding more plants to your collection, build clusters of plants rather than spreading out the individual pots.

“I always suggest people cluster plants for maximum impact,” Ms. Blank said. If you have just a few plants, she recommended making a cluster with an odd number of pots — three or five, for example.

The plants don’t need to match: Usually, the greater the variety, the better the composition will look. “Take advantage of the natural texture and color, and pair plants with different attributes,” Ms. Blank said. “One might be very structured and upright, like a snake plant. One might be more delicate and trailing, like a philodendron. And you might add a pop of color with an anthurium.”

It doesn’t always require that much planning. Ms. Horst often advises people to simply identify the window in their home that gets the best light, “and then make that your crazy plant window.”

Woven baskets make appealing containers for plants, but require an internal pot and saucer, Ms. Blakeney noted. 
Woven baskets make appealing containers for plants, but require an internal pot and saucer, Ms. Blakeney noted. Credit…Loloi Rugs
Source: The New York Times
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

At a sunny window in her own kitchen, she suspended various plants from a ceiling rod and added others on the floor, a stand and the tops of cabinets. “One good window is enough to make a big plant statement,” she said.

Adding plants at different heights along one wall can create the impression of a verdant garden. “I like to have plants at all levels,” Ms. Blakeney said. “I oftentimes will have plants on the floor. I’ll have plants on tables, consoles or cabinets at waist level. And then I love to draw the eye up with plants high on shelves and spiller plants kind of cascading down. It creates a lot of movement and a very whimsical feeling.”

Mr. Carter sometimes mounts plants directly on the wall. At home, he has a propagation area where wall-mounted wood cradles hold test tubes filled with cuttings. He also installs air plants in wall hangers and sometimes mounts staghorn ferns directly to boards as wall plaques.

Mr. Carter’s home has a propagation area with wall-mounted wooden cradles that hold test tubes filled with cuttings.
Mr. Carter’s home has a propagation area with wall-mounted wooden cradles that hold test tubes filled with cuttings.Credit…Hilton Carter
Source: The New York Times
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

“You can mount a staghorn fern to any reclaimed piece of wood,” he said, because it doesn’t need to be potted in soil. “You can utilize this particular plant almost as a work of art. If you have a gallery wall, you can put up your other art and have a piece of living art there, as well.”

Plants are the stars of the show, but their containers have a crucial supporting role. If you use a hodgepodge of flowerpots, it may look cluttered. That doesn’t mean the containers have to match, but it’s helpful to have a vision of what you want to achieve.

One option is to choose pots with similar colors. Ms. Horst likes vintage and handmade ceramic containers with a lot of texture, but she focuses on collecting terra-cotta and white-colored pots because “they’re easy to mix together,” she said. “And I never have to worry about what plants are next to each other if I want to change things up.”

Another option is to choose a common material or construction technique. Ms. Blakeney, for instance, has designed rooms where plants sit in a variety of woven baskets.

Placing plants near a window that receives abundant natural light helps them thrive.
Placing plants near a window that receives abundant natural light helps them thrive.Credit…Courtesy of The Sill
Source: The New York Times
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

But none of this means that plants necessarily have to be repotted, Ms. Horst noted. She often leaves them in the plastic pots from the nursery — which have generous drainage holes and can be easily moved to the sink for watering — and places those pots in larger ceramic containers.

“Then when you do need to repot, it’s much easier because the roots haven’t attached themselves to the ceramic,” she said. And when you find decorative pots that don’t have drainage holes, there’s no need to break out a drill.

Follow us on Twitter: @nytrealestate.A version of this article appears in print on March 7, 2021, Section RE, Page 5 of the New York edition with the headline: Bring Nature Inside With the Right Houseplants. Order Reprints.

What are some of the benefits of having plants in your home besides creating oxygen? How can you bring more of nature into your home with plants? Will your house plants be herbal or fruit bearing?

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5 tips for taking care of your houseplants and patio plants during the winter

Plant Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

By ALEX GROVES | agroves@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
PUBLISHED: November 30, 2020 at 8:43 a.m. | UPDATED: November 30, 2020 at 8:53 a.m.
Source: OCR Register
Feature Photo Source: Unsplash, Toa-Heftiba

Houseplant parenthood has been a trend accelerated by the novel coronavirus pandemic, but to quote Ned Stark from “Game of Thrones”: “Winter is Coming.”

Even in Southern California, where “winter” is a relative term, plant experts say there are a list of considerations to think about in a time period when there’s less light, drier air and chillier temperatures to contend with, even with indoor plants.

Here are their tips for what to do with your plants when the days are short:

1. Know when to move plants

Danae Horst, owner of Folia Collective in Eagle Rock and author of the book “Houseplants for All: How to Fill Any Home with Happy Plants,” said that lots of houseplants such as monsteras, cactus and succulents require a lot of bright filtered light in order to thrive and as winter time approaches the shorter days mean that there’s less of that bright light indoors.

For a lot of houseplants that means that their growth might slow down and they might even lose some of their leaves because they’re not getting enough light to feed themselves through photosynthesis. Cactuses may take on unusual growth pattern where they stretch themselves out looking for light and might even get to a point where they can’t support themselves.

Horst said that sometimes determining where the best source of light in your home is and moving the plants there, is a good solution.

“For instance, if you have one south or southwestern facing window, that’s going to be a good place for plants no matter what time of year and you may end up needing to put a bunch more of your northern or eastern facing plants in a different window just for the few months where the days are much shorter,” she said.

While some houseplants are more finicky and may need to be moved, others are a little more carefree, Horst said, including the low-light tolerant sansevierias (snake plants) and Zamioculcas zamiifolias(ZZ plants).

Spider plants, pothos and Chinese evergreen are other plants that are hardy in the darker conditions, according to Nehemias de Leon-Martin, a manager at Planta Nursery in Highland Park.

2. Be prepared to water less

Mackenna Rowley, owner of Riverside plant store Piep, said that how much water plants use is based on the amount of light that they are receiving. Less light means less water is needed.

Rowley said that a common issue she sees with her customers is that they might be watering their houseplants on a schedule and the plant will do well for a while and then suddenly in the fall — when light hours are decreasing — its leaves start turning yellow.

“It’s because they’re giving it more water than it needs for the amount of light that it’s getting,” she said.

Rowley said it’s generally a better idea to not water on set schedule but rather to keep tabs on how dry the plant’s soil is and water according to that.

3. Maintain humidity  

Colder air is generally drier and that could have an impact on plants, but so can turning on your gas or electric heater — that can really dry out the air, too, according to Horst.

Rowley recommends seeing where your plants are in relation to heat sources.

“As you start turning on your heat, do a quick check throughout your whole house, then notice where the vents are and make sure the plants aren’t directly under them or within two or three feet.” Rowley said.

For plants that need elevated humidity even during the non-winter months — such as calatheas, ferns and marantas — humidity is going to be particularly important. Horst recommends using a humidifier to keep the air less dry but does not recommend other methods such as misting the plants. She says the amount of humidity that adds is fairly limited and the lingering moisture on leaves can lead to things like fungal infections and leaf spot disorders.

de Leon-Martin said one of his tricks is to group plants together and in doing so that locks the humidity into one place as the plants share humid air among themselves.

“If you group them, they kind of help each other,” he said.

4. Know when to bring plants indoors

Whether you bring plants inside or not generally depends on the type of plant and how established it is.

Rowley said there are some plants that can live outdoors in Southern California all year long, especially once they’ve become big and established. These include plants such as birds of paradise and succulents.

“But generally under about 40 degrees and they’re not going to love it,” she said. “It’s only if you have a large, hearty plant, that they’re going to be able to thrive.”

Gary Jones, Armstrong Garden Centers’ chief horticulturist & training manager, said that smaller tropical plants should be brought inside if there’s the potential for frost.

If a plant is too big to bring in, “just simply covering tropical plants or a house plant with any kind of a lightweight cloth makes a huge difference,” he said.

But there are some things to think about before bringing plants indoors.

Horst said that there’s always the possibility that the plants might have picked up some pests from being outside, such as spider mites, mealybugs and thrips. She said it’s important to examine plants to see if they have these bugs and appropriately quarantine them so the bugs don’t spread to other plants.

It’s also important to make sure that you’re giving the plants as much light as possible since they were likely receiving a lot of light, Horst said.

5. What to do if your patio plants get damage 

If your patio plants receive frost damage on their leaves, your first instinct may be to cut the plant way back, but Jones says it’s better to wait.

“Most people cut off good growth,” he said. “It looks bad but it actually is just fine, so they’re cutting back way more than they need to. The plant will recover.”

Jones said to wait a couple weeks until you see new growth and then you can cut the plant to that point.

Where will you put your plants when you bring them indoors? Are they near a natural light source? Do you have grow lights?

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Tips for Bringing Outdoor Plants Indoors

Written by Marie Iannotti
Reviewed by Debra LaGattuta, Updated 11/25/20
Source: The Spruce

outdoor container plant arrangement
Source: The Spruce / Christopher Lee Foto
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Good news, plant lovers: The end of the outdoor gardening season does not have to mean the end of your container plants. Although most will not survive the winter in freezing climates, they can be brought indoors as houseplants to help them make it through the colder months. Once nighttime temperatures become cooler, it’s time to think about bringing your more delicate or temperamental plants indoors (that includes any vacationing houseplants that you brought outdoors in the spring). With a bit of strategy and a little TLC, your outdoor beauties can make it through winter unscathed and ready to enjoy another season in the sunlight come spring.

Choose the Right Plants

Successfully overwintering plants indoors starts with choosing the right type of plants. Contrary to popular belief, not all plants can survive indoor growing conditions (or at the very least, not all plants can thrive indoors), especially if your home has limited light, warmth, or humidity. There’s a good chance that there are fewer sunny spots inside your house than in your yard, so you’ll have to make some tough choices about which plants are worth keeping for the season and if you can give them the care they need indoors.

Although it’s tempting to want to move every plant you’ve been growing outdoors inside for the winter, it’s also impractical. Before you get to rearranging your greenery, run through the below checklist and hang onto the plants that meet the following criteria:

  • Keep only healthy plants. If something has been struggling all summer under the best of conditions, it’s probably not going to improve indoors. Time to face reality and send it to its final resting place in the plant graveyard (aka the compost).
  • Never bring a plant indoors that has pests or diseases. Problems spread more quickly among indoor plants than in the garden, and even if you take great care to quarantine the troubled plant until it’s been coaxed back to health, there’s no guarantee that you won’t spread the issue to your other plants. Plus, there are no natural insect predators in the house, making the conditions ideal for spreading disease. Check all plants thoroughly for any signs of problems before you bring them indoors. 
  • Give priority to your favorite plants. When deciding which to bring indoors for the season (assuming you have limited space), give preference to any varietals that you’ve already invested a lot of time and energy into, like the ferns you’ve been coddling for years, anything you’ve trained into a standard, and sentimental favorites. Of course, expensive splurges are worth the effort too, if you have the room.
  • If the plant would look good as a houseplant, bring it indoors. Many homes have enough light to successfully grow several flowering varietals like winter geraniumsfuchsiabegonias, and even passion flower, all of which can bloom beautifully indoors. Sure, they might not look as lush or vibrant as they would outdoors, but it’s still nice to have something flowering in winter and the plants will be ready to start blooming again outdoors early in the spring.
  • Consider giving priority to certain vegetables, like small pepper or tomato plants. They’re actually tropical perennials and, when given enough light, will continue to produce fruits all through winter. However, some may need an especially large pot, so you’ll have more success growing compact, patio varieties—cherry tomatoes and small-fruited peppers like chilies or cherry varieties will fruit easiest and produce a higher yield. Keep in mind, there are no insects or gentle breezes indoors to pollinate your plants, so you will have to pollinate them manually.

Alternatives to Bringing Plants Indoors

It’s important not to overlook that some of your plants, like tender perennials, may actually benefit from a period of dormancy in the winter months. Plan to overwinter varietals like potted lavender and rosemary in your garage or basement—as long as the temperature doesn’t dip below 20 degrees Fahrenheit or above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, they won’t freeze but will stay dormant. Take care not to let the pots dry out or stay overly wet—water them only when the soil becomes dry a couple of inches below the surface and allow any excess to drain out.

When dividing your winter plan of attack for your plants, be realistic about your available space and winter light. Remember, even if you choose not to bring a plant indoors in its entirety, you can always start cuttings from the mother plant. They’ll take up far less space and may even do better than established plants throughout the winter because they won’t suffer the shock of having to adapt to new growing conditions. The young plants will have time to develop their root systems during winter and will be ready to be moved out into the garden and start growing early in the spring.

Once you’ve decided which plants to move indoors, give them time to acclimate to being houseplants. Bring them inside while the windows are still open and the temperature indoors is about the same as outdoors. That way, they’ll be able to adjust to the change in temperature and humidity more easily, rather than waiting until a frost is expected and then bringing them into a dry, heated home.

If the temperature outside is already different from inside, what do you do? Ask! by leaving a comment below.

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16 Low-Maintenance Indoor Houseplants Most Likely to Survive All Year Long

Liven up your home with these winter-hardy houseplants.
By Marla Christiansen Updated August 22, 2018

On a windowsill in a dry room is the ideal location for a succulent collection. They come in a wide array of colors and styles, so you can mix and match to create a unique grouping. “One thing to keep in mind is that temperatures tend to be cooler near windows in northern climates, especially in older buildings. In scenarios like this, it can be advised to almost not water your succulents throughout the winter months,” Hill says. Some succulents may continue to grow during this time, while others will wait at a standstill until spring. When warmer weather hits, you can resume regular (yet still infrequent) watering. | CREDIT: SPROUT HOME

In many areas, winter months lend themselves to cold, snowy weather, and consequently warm, toasty homes. Keeping greenery in your home throughout the bleak months of winter is sure to brighten the spirit. But fewer hours of daylight, fluctuating temperatures, and dry air creates a challenging growing environment for most plants. In search of houseplants that are best suited to winter conditions, we reached out to several plant pros for their top picks for durable indoor houseplants likely to survive all year long.

Easy Houseplants, Chinese Evergreen
Credit: Costa Farms
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

1 Chinese Evergreen

Don’t be fooled by the beauty of the Chinese evergreen—beyond its handsome exterior is one tough plant. Justin Hancock, a horticulturist at Costa Farms, explains that this forgiving houseplant is great during the wintertime because it “doesn’t mind low light or inconsistent watering, as long as it doesn’t stay wet for extended periods.” Its broad, decorative leaves are woven with gorgeous patterns in colors that come in a range of glossy greens, silvers, grays, and cream. Even the least experienced gardener can successfully grow the Chinese evergreen thanks to its hardiness. Cast aside any self-doubt, as Hancock reassures, “this air-purifying houseplant powers through the winter season and looks fresh and green all year.”

Easy Houseplants ZZ Plant in living room
Credit: Costa Farms
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

2 ZZ Plant

This gem of a plant is virtually indestructible, looking green and healthy even after months of neglect. In fact, the zz plant will often do better if you leave it alone. “Its thick, rubbery leaves stand up well to dry winter air and don’t get brown crispy edges like less-sturdy houseplants can,” says Hancock. Since it can thrive in low-light conditions, the zz plant “continues to look good under short winter days,” says Hancock.

Easy Houseplants, Moth Orchid on Side Table
Credit: Costa Farms
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

3 Moth Orchid

“Orchids don’t have a reputation for being easy-to-grow,” notes Hancock, “but happily, cultivating a moth orchid can be a breeze.” Elegant, long-lasting blooms stud the tops of bright green stems on this low-maintenance houseplant. While the moth orchid is happiest in a medium to brightly lit spot, it tolerates low light very well. This plant holds up well during the winter months when you may be traveling or simply distracted by the hustle and bustle of the holidays and forget a watering or two. Thanks to its preference toward a drier climate, you can enjoy its blooms without having to shower it with attention. “Best of all,” adds Hancock, “it usually reblooms once nighttime temperatures begin to drop.”

Easy Houseplants Snake Plant
Credit: Costa Farms
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4 Snake Plant

Adding architectural interest to any room, the snake plant is one of the most accommodating houseplants available. “A tried-and-true houseplant that you practically have to kill, the snake plant holds up well to the conditions that can make winters inside a challenge,” says Hancock. Low-light, drought, and insects are no match for the sturdy constitution of this houseplant. Its blade-like leaves come in a diverse range of colors and patterns that offer not just beauty but also air-purifying benefits.

Easy Houseplants Ponytail Palm in living room
Credit: Costa Farms
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

5 Ponytail Palm

If you’re in search of a plant that will add a little flair but will also survive a winter with the heat cranked up, look no further. According to Hancock, the ponytail palm can “survive dry soil and dry air so you can grow it without worry.” It stores a generous amount of water in its thick, textured trunk, making use of its reserves during periods of drought. Long and narrow, dark green leaves form a fountain-like cascade that flows down to the plant’s base. Resilient in nature, the ponytail palm is the perfect way to “add a festive feel to your home or desk,” says Hancock.

In a Low-Light Room: Maidenhair Fern
Credit: kf4851/Getty Images
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

6 Maidenhair Fern

Many varieties of fern don’t need much light because they’re used to growing on forest floors, completely shaded by a canopy of trees, says Maria de Los Angeles Rodriguez Jimenez, a floral designer for GRDN, a gardening supply shop in Brooklyn. However, while they can tolerate low levels of light, they demand high humidity and like to be watered and misted frequently, so this option isn’t for the hands-off plant owner. While many houseplants prefer to dry out in between waterings, ferns like constantly damp soil. The maidenhair fern is a pretty option with delicate, lacy leaves, and will be happy in a spot offering indirect light for at least part of the day.

In a Drafty Room: Clivia
Credit: Juliette Wade/Getty Images
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7 Clivia

If you have a room that’s chilly and doesn’t get a lot of sunlight, the clivia may be its ideal match. “These durable plants actually prefer a period of cooler weather which will allow their fantastic blooms to emerge, typically in orange or sometimes a golden yellow,” explains Stephen Hill, the creative director at Sprout Home, a garden design center with locations in Chicago and Brooklyn. Not only will this beautiful plant bloom even in a drafty home, but the vibrant colors will brighten up a chilly space. Another bonus: clivia like to be kept on the dry side, so you won’t need to water them every day.

In a Drafty Room: Moss Terrarium
Credit: Sprout Home
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

8 Moss Terrarium

To protect your plants from a chilly breeze beside a window or near the front door, consider a miniature version of a greenhouse: the glass terrarium. “It will retain humidity within the glass as well as protect the plants from both hot and cold drafts,” says Hill. Not only does the terrarium shield the plants inside, but it also adds a stylish conversation piece to a living room. “Ideal plants for covered terrariums are mosses, ferns, and fern allies,” recommends Hill. You can try creating your own terrarium, and Sprout Home offers terrarium-building classes and online orders in Chicago and New York City.

In a Drafty Room: Jade Plant
Credit: Marcel ter Bekke/Getty Images
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9 Jade Plant

“A lot of plants don’t really like the combination of cold air with hot radiator air in the winter months,” admits Maria de Los Angeles Rodriguez Jimenez. “However, some plants can tolerate it.” One of the most likely plants to survive these temperature variations is the jade plant. “The jade plant, which is a type of succulent, will be fine near an open window in the winter,” she says. It also doesn’t require much water, and can thrive with a watering once every three weeks. This plant looks like a miniature tree, so it will introduce a refreshing burst of greenery to your home, even when the trees outside are leafless.

In a Drafty Room: Christmas Cactus
Credit: White Flower Farm
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

10 Christmas Cactus

If you’re looking for a durable plant that will also bring a pop of color to your space, turn to the festive Christmas cactus. This plant is typically propagated for sale before Thanksgiving, but its pretty red and pink blooms hint at spring. Plus, this houseplant is undeniably low-maintenance. “They range in color, thrive on neglect, and can be kept indoors year-round or moved outside for the summer in full shade,” says Barbara Pierson, nursery manager at White Flower Farm.

In a Dry Room: Philodendrons
Credit: mykeyruna/Getty Images
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

11 Philodendrons

The good news is, many of the most common houseplants don’t like a lot of water, according to de Los Angeles Rodriguez Jimenez. One of her favorite drought-tolerant picks is a philodendron, like the split-leaf or the monstera, which is an on-trend choice. These plants only need to be watered once every two weeks or so. What’s the secret to knowing if your giant monstera plant is thirsty? Pick up the plant and get familiar with its typical weight. “Sometimes water evaporates much faster or much slower depending on the room temperature. So if your plant feels heavy but hasn’t been watered in two weeks, the soil is probably still very wet and watering it again will only cause it harm,” she explains.

In a Dry Room: Succulents
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Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

12 Succulents

On a windowsill in a dry room is the ideal location for a succulent collection. They come in a wide array of colors and styles, so you can mix and match to create a unique grouping. “One thing to keep in mind is that temperatures tend to be cooler near windows in northern climates, especially in older buildings. In scenarios like this, it can be advised to almost not water your succulents throughout the winter months,” Hill says. Some succulents may continue to grow during this time, while others will wait at a standstill until spring. When warmer weather hits, you can resume regular (yet still infrequent) watering.

In a Dry Room: Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree
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Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

13 Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

One thing to remember about caring for houseplants in the winter is that many, including the popular fiddle leaf fig, experience natural growing seasons and periods of dormancy. These periods should also correspond to how often you water them, says de Los Angeles Rodriguez Jimenez. For example, the fiddle leaf fig tree should be watered once every two weeks during the growing season, but only needs water about once a month during the winter. Also keep in mind that water evaporates more slowly in a chilly room than a hot one, so pay attention to whether the room is drafty and damp or dry and hot.

In a Dry Room: Aloe
Credit: White Flower Farm
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

14 Aloe

If your house runs dry in the winter, but you’re too busy to water your plants regularly (let alone turn on a humidifier for them), then aloe is a great choice. This hardy succulent can store water in its sculptural leaves, allowing it to go long stretches between waterings. The only downside is that this plant won’t give you any visual clues if it’s parched. “You have to check the soil to see that it needs water—it won’t wilt!” says Pierson. While this desert plant can handle a dry environment, it also loves to sunbathe, so set it near a window that gets plenty of light.

In an Overly-Heated Room: Cacti and Desert Plants
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Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

15 Cacti and Desert Plants

If you live in a home with an overactive heater, cacti and desert plants will thrive there. “They love dry air and hot environments because that’s where they are naturally from,” explains Maria de Los Angeles Rodriguez Jimenez. “A piece of wood, which is a poor conductor of heat, over a radiator is the perfect place to have a small cacti desert set up, and super cute,” she says. And because many deserts are known to get chilly at night, some varieties of desert plants can handle the cold and go into winter dormancy. “They’ll drop their leaves, but appreciate the snooze from the growing season,” explains Stephen Hill.

In an Overly-Heated Room: Wax Plant
Credit: White Flower Farm
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

16 Wax Plant

If you keep your thermostat turned all the way up in the winter, and also tend to be an inconsistent plant waterer, the wax plant, also known as hoya, is for you. “Hoya have thick waxy leaves and rope-like stems that allow them to take hot temperatures by storing water in their succulent plant parts,” says Pierson. By reserving water in this way, the wax plant is always prepared for an unexpected drought. The hoya’s cascading leaves look stunning when suspended in a hanging woven basket, and if you forget to water it for a few weeks, this forgiving plant will bounce back quickly without getting brown leaves.

What indoor plants do you currently have? Which ones are you now interested in. How has this article helped you with your house plants?

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