Another New Year’s resolutions… aargh!!! As much as you promise to workout at the gym all year long, most of us won’t last beyond two weeks. However, this simple resolution will last well into the new year. I will create a home environment that is a sanctuary of tranquility.
First, clear out the holiday clutter by tossing the petrified holly and sweeping out the gingerbread crumbs. Replace the ‘fa-la-la’ with the relaxing tones of fresh, white blossoms. White-flowering plants always bring a calming effect to your indoor space, while the green foliage removes the toxins in the air. What a perfect combination for a beautiful and healthy New Year.
Favorite, white-flowering plants:
Mophead Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)
The voluptuous, Mophead hydrangea is a perfect plant for indoors. The rounded flower clusters bloom in shades of blue, purple, pink or white. However, the snow-white blossoms will give any room in your home a fresh start on January 1. The flowers last for weeks along with the lush, dark green foliage.
Growing Tips: Hydrangeas love their water so keep the soil evenly moist—not soggy. Provide at least four hours of bright, indirect light every day. This is an easy, flowering plant for most indoor home environments.
Jasmine plants are subtropical vines with dark-green leaves and clouds of fragrant, white flowers. Tiny, pink buds open to white in 6-8 weeks with the sweet scent of Lily-of-the-Valley or Gardenia. This plant’s fragrance will fill your home with its exotic scent of the tropics.
Growing Tips: Jasmine prefer cooler temperatures from 50-60 degrees and bright, indirect light for the longest blooming time. Water your plant until water comes out of the bottom of the container—no soggy soil.
Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum)
Cyclamen flowers look like butterflies in January, Vibrant pink, red, violet or snow-white flowers on upright stems stand tall over heart-shaped leaves. Perky, white-flowering plants will ring in the New Year for weeks to come.
Growing Tips: For longer lasting blooms, place Cyclamen in a cool spot with bright light but not too much direct sunlight. Keep in mind, they are sensitive to over- and under-watering. Water them when the soil is dry to the touch but not bone dry. Try placing the plant in a container of water and allow it to draw in the moisture from the bottom of the pot. Soak the soil and let excess water drain away. Water on the leaves or flowers can cause rot.
Moth orchids (Phalaenopsis)
Moth orchids are known as the ‘easy-care’ orchids. Although the delicate blooms of the moth orchid are available in a rainbow of colors and patterns, there is nothing more elegant than the larger two- or three-stemmed orchid plants with their regal, white flowers. If you follow a few simple requirements, these orchids will reward you with several months of blooming—ultimately, less expensive than cut flowers!
Light: Phalaenopsis are low-light orchids so they are perfect plants for most indoor environments. They thrive in an east window. However, they can be grown in a south or west window, if sheltered with a sheer curtain. Red-tinged leaves mean the plant is getting too much light. Darker green leaves mean it is not getting enough light.
Fertilizer: Feed monthly in winter with an all-purpose plant or orchid fertilizer.
Water: How often you water your orchid will depend on the potting medium. Bark retains less water than moss. If your Phal is potted in bark, watering once a week is generally sufficient. If your plant is potted in moss, water when the top feels dry. The amount of light and heat your plant receives will also affect how soon your Phal needs watering. After a few waterings, you will be able to tell by the weight of the pot whether or not it is time to water again. If in doubt, wait a day. *
*Information from the American Orchid Society