Plants brighten the home, bring a sense of calm during shorter days
By Ines Min
Postmedia Content Works
We’re almost nine months into the pandemic, which means you’re probably ready to set aside the sourdough starter and find a new pastime. If you missed out on patio garden season, it’s not too late to discover your green thumb and bring a piece of the outdoors with you.
Plant Something BC, a BC Buy Local initiative, encourages new and experienced gardeners to buy locally grown plants and discover the benefits of indoor greenery.
“Nature connects you to what’s going on and what changes are happening in the world — there is the change in temperature in fall, but some of the most important things on our minds during these months are health, beauty and positivity,” says Janis Matson, a professor of horticulture at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. “Growing plants can be therapeutic because it brings scent, colour and texture into the home, along with a breath of fresh air.”
Matson has three tips for the beginner gardener so that your green corner doesn’t just look nice, but stimulates the senses and inspires calm.
Find seasonal plants
“A lot of smaller, growing houseplants need more light, so be careful to pick varieties that will do well during these shorter days,” says Matson. Pothos plants are vine-like and thrive in partial shade and lower light, as do crawling Philodendrons. For more festive picks, Christmas Cactus and Poinsettia offer a pop of colour, but beware that the latter is poisonous to cats.
Horticulturalist hot tip: If you’re a forgetful caretaker, Philodendrons are tolerant of infrequent waterings!
Play with texture and height
“I love the idea of playing with different textures, patterns, heights and shapes to create a mini-woodland scene,” says Matson. Here’s a simple way to create a balanced grouping of three: pick one bushy plant (like a Prayer Plant), one trailing variety (Pothos or Philodendron) and one upright (Peace Lilies are easy to grow and have a lush, dark green leaf).
Horticulturalist hot tip: Avoid planting different plant species in one big pot — this can be tricky for indoor varieties. Instead, go with one plant per pot and make sure it’s the right size. A tiny plant should be a similarly small pot.
“Ceramic pots are well worth the investment, especially if you like colour,” says Matson. Match your pots with accent colours in your living room or kitchen, or have fun with a funky palette of mix-and-match options. Pots can be a great form of personal expression.
Horticulturalist hot tip: Make sure your pot has a drainage hole at the bottom and use a saucer to protect your floors.
“Being outside or bringing that plant world to you, you just know that life is going on around you,” says Matson. “And that’s a positive thing to remember with everything happening in the world.”
Visit plantsomethingbc.ca to find a garden centre and learn more about creating your own indoor oasis.
This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of the British Columbia Landscape and Nursery Association.