Outside, it’s bleak and brown.
Inside my house I’ve created a mini-version of the Minnesota Zoo’s tropics trail. My kitchen hutch holds clusters of striped green dracaena. Potted pothos trail over the edge of the coffee table. And a plant stand near a bay window holds my favorite cure for the winter blahs — the jungle-like Peace lily. It’s one of few houseplants that blooms consistently even when there’s little light. Spikes of milk white spoon-shaped flowers shoot out of the deep green glossy foliage. The Peace lily droops when it wants water, and within a few hours, perks back up.
It's a great tme to fill your home’s empty corners, shelves and tabletops with lush green plants. I was at a friend’s house and pointed to a spacious landing at the top of the stairs. “That’s the perfect spot for a Chinese evergreen on a cute little table,” I said.
Why not? Houseplants are pretty cheap and easy to find at local garden centers and even home improvement stores like Home Depot. Don’t worry about a chosen spot not having sufficient light -- many varieties thrive in low-light conditions common in many Minnesota homes in the winter. Good ones are pothos (variegated vine), philodendron (shopping mall staple with heart-shaped leaves) and zeezee plant (fleshy succulent).
These green energizers are pretty indestructible — if watered regularly. Heck, they even clean indoor air by absorbing toxins.
To help with your plant picks, the Better Homes and Gardens website (www.bhg.com) offers sumptuous slide shows — with detailed descriptions — of dozens of different houseplants.
What are your favorite houseplants? Do they help tide you over until spring?