Wintertime in Hampton Roads can be cold and gloomy but that doesn’t mean your home has to be. And with the change of seasons, our moods often follow suit, but there's an easy way to help ward off those winter blues – houseplants. Research suggests that having plants around is a good thing for your health and productivity. Studies show indoor plant care has several benefits, including lowering your blood pressure, decreasing your anxiety levels and improving your overall well-being. And whether you are a houseplant aficionado or just growing a few succulents on a windowsill, there’s a houseplant for you. Here, are five of our favorite, low maintenance houseplants that will help you battle the winter blues:
Pothos - one of the easiest houseplants to grow. Features pointed, heart-shaped green leaves, sometimes variegated with white, yellow, or pale green. Prefers bright, indirect light, and a wet/ dry watering cycle.
Snake Plant (sanseveri/Mother-in-Law’s Tongue) - a tough plant with heavy, sword-like leaves that can grow up to 4-feet in height. Prefers moderate to bright light. Water once every 7 - 10 days thoroughly, allowing the soil to dry in between waterings.
Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica) - grown for their glossy, leathery, large leaves and low maintenance requirements. Leaves are oblong to oval and come in assorted colors from dark green to deep maroon with accents of either yellow, cream, pink or white. Rubber plants do well in a variety of conditions. Prefers medium to low light. Water every 4-6 weeks.
Aglaonema (Chinese evergreens) - this easy-to-care-for plant is adored for its big, beautiful, colorful leaves and low-maintenance requirements. Cultivars are available with streaks and speckles of white, yellow, or even pink and red. Aglaonema tolerate a wide range of light conditions from very low light to bright, but not direct sunlight.
Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) - known for its wavy, ripple-edge fronds that grow out of a central rosette, this plant will add a vibrant pop of green to any space. Grows best in filtered or indirect light and moist but not wet soil.
Honorable Mention ZZ Plant – this shiny and slick easy-care plant has a unique form and dense cluster of glossy, zig-zag leaves. It is drought tolerant, can handle dry air, and can survive in low-light conditions. Like a succulent, the thick stems and roots store water, so follow a dry/wet cycle when watering
WATERING TIPS: Overwatering is the most common reason plants fail – particularly in the winter. Overwatering can cause browning of leaves, fungus, gnats, and dropping of leaves. Wait to water your houseplants until they become dry. Check your soil. The best tool is your finger. If the soil is dry from the tip of your finger to your first knuckle, it’s time to water.