I’ve been thinking a lot about plants this week. Normally I’m planning for flowers or vegetables for the garden in winter, but this year is different. I’m looking at houseplants in a whole new light. I’ve been taking extra care of my poinsettias and the mums I started using shoots from last fall’s containers. I don’t know whether the mums will make it to spring or not, but it’s cheerful having live plants indoors. Plants are an interesting way to change your home décor. Houseplants come in all shapes and sizes. Many even have white, pink, red, yellow, and orange foliage features to complement or provide contrast with existing décor. Unique textures of some houseplants may also provide interest in your living spaces. Several studies point to houseplants as being good for your wellbeing, too.
Now, I’ll be the first one to tell you that I don’t have a green thumb when it comes to houseplants. I often forget to water. And when I do remember, I typically overwater, causing browned leaf tips and jolly camps of fungus gnats. But the added interest of green things indoors makes growing houseplants worth the effort. Light is often a limiting factor for many houseplants. Before buying, check the light requirements and decide if you have enough natural light from windows to accommodate the plant’s needs. South-facing windows are often the best choice for plant placement, but artificial lighting can be used as well.
I recently went out on a limb and bought a rosemary plant. I wasn’t always a fan of rosemary’s smell, but my taste and smell preferences have changed as I’ve gotten older. The pungent aroma smells good to me now, and this herb seems like a sturdy plant that can withstand even my novice treatment. I’m looking forward to using fresh rosemary in vegetable and chicken dishes this winter. Many people find that using herbs brings out new flavors in your favorite meals and cuts down on the urge to add salt.
Following are some great guides that will help you successfully grow plants indoors:
- The Argument for Houseplants
- Caring for Houseplants
- Master Gardener Guide to Houseplants
- Growing Herbs Indoors
- Cooking with Herbs
Written by Traci Missun, Oldham County Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent.