As winter settles in and snow blankets the garden, many gardeners bring their garden indoors by growing colorful flowers that bloom during the winter. Not only does this extend the life of your flower garden, it brings life to your home and brings a bit of nature inside while outdoor cousins enjoy a long winter’s sleep.
Winter-Flowering begonias create a lush mound of foliage topped with abundant blooms that continue throughout the winter. Available in a wide range of colors from shades of pink and white to brilliant hues of yellow, gold and red, these flowers are ideal for growing inside during the winter months. Because they do not require high light conditions, they thrive on a sunny windowsill. Water when soil is dry, and deadhead blooms as soon as they fade, to keep this plant blooming for months.
Cyclamen blooms throughout the winter when grown inside as a houseplant. Its attractive blooms resemble a butterfly ready to take flight. Colors range from white to deep shades of pink, lavender and red. Foliage remains compact and may be green or variegated green and silver or green and white. Cyclamen requires relatively little light making it ideal for the reduced light on windowsills during the winter. Water when soil dries, but avoid over-watering, as this plant prefers soil on the dry side.
African Violets are always in style and add rich color to the home. These delicate blooms range in color from white and pink to rich shades of blue and purple. Tolerant of low light conditions, these plants do well in office and home with fluorescent lights. The secret to success with African violets is to avoid cold drafts or exposure to windowpanes that get chilly at night. Water lightly when soil is dry and avoid soggy soil.
Flamingo Flower creates visual interest with a splash of bright color in shades of pink or red. Attractive heart-shaped foliage is a rich green while blooms appear on a short stem that holds them upright above the foliage. This plant is native to tropical forests and requires high humidity, but thrives in bright indirect light from a north or east window.
Christmas Cactus explodes with cascades or brilliant color in the midst of winter. Preparing it for blooming does require some extra care. Place in a cool location with temperatures of 50 to 55 degrees for one month before the desired blooming date. Keep the area dark for at least 12 hours a night to induce blooming. Move to the desired location once buds have formed. Water lightly and place in an area that receives bright indoor light.
Growing winter blooming flowers inside during the winter months allows you to enjoy gardening even when the snow begins to pile up outside. Once spring arrives and all danger of frost has passed in your area, move plants outside to your flower garden for the summer-but don’t forget to bring them inside when frost threatens in the fall.
PlantCare.com. Flamingo Plant
Ed Hume Seeds. Christmas Cactus