The Plantiful Home: Using houseplants to brighten your mood and home in winter 

Long Canadian winters can be tough for even the most serious cold weather warriors as we spend increasing time huddled indoors. Creating a sanctuary in the home can be a valuable way to brighten our days, regardless of the weather outside. For me, it includes sinking into the plush velvet of my favourite chair, positioned to catch the morning sun, as my three puppies play at my feet. You know what else brings me joy to this space? My plants. While not everyone may want to add puppies to create their happy space, house plants fit any budget and home. More than just aesthetically pleasing, tropical plants breathe life into your home and uplift your spirits. 

Benefits of indoor plants

Research has shown that indoor plants can increase feelings of peace and happiness in as little as 20 minutes. Certain plants are also known to purify the air, acting as natural air filters to make your living space a healthier environment – no small feat during the season of sniffles and flu bugs. Moreover, nurturing these green companions can be immensely therapeutic and calming. 

Caring for houseplants

For those who have witnessed lush tropicals wither despite their best efforts, re-investing in plants may be a hard sell. But with the right planning, you can be a successful plant parent yet.

Michelle Varlese-Fox, the owner of The Floral Collective Inc. in Kerr Village, highlights the importance of proper placement for plants to thrive in their environment. “You want to keep plants away from direct heat sources, such as vents, and cold drafts like an entryway,” Varlese-Fox says. She also points out that cooler temperatures, less humidity and fewer daylight hours will inevitably slow a plant’s growth rate. 

When it comes to watering, Jennifer Klassen, the store manager and curator at Centro Garden in Burlington, says it depends on the plant’s specific needs. “Some plants need water once a week to every 10 days (such as a Fiddle Leaf Fig, Pothos, Dracaena), and some can handle a lot less water (Snake plant, ZZ plant, Jade),” says Klassen. 

A good houseplant fertilizer is also important, yet often overlooked for newbie plant owners. “There are various types,” says Klassen. “But for an easy-to-use option, try the option that involves mixing fertilizer with water and applying it every three months.” 

Creative Display Ideas

With a little creativity, plants can elevate the style of your interior space. Trendy planters with legs or a stand can add elegance and height to your indoor garden. 

“Just like shoes finish an outfit, so does a container for a plant,” says Varlese-Fox. “There are many creative options to choose from. I also love finding non-traditional vessels.” A rummage through your stash of vintage or unused containers, baskets and dishes may uncover creative display ideas. 

Easy-to-care-for indoor plants

If you still need convincing that you have what it takes to be a plant parent, check out these plants that ‘thrive on neglect’, recommended by both Jennifer and Michelle.  

Snake Plant: A tall, upright beauty that needs watering once a month – perfect for beginners.

ZZ Plant: This tall wonder is practically indestructible; it thrives in low light and needs water once a month.  

Jade Plant: With its sturdy nature, it can handle direct or low light and needs watering once a month.

Green Peperomia: Sporting shiny leaves, this versatile plant only needs water once every 10 days.

Pothos: A trailing, adaptable beauty, it can survive in low light, needing water every 10 days.

Succulents: Requiring minimal watering, curate a collection of these small plants for maximum visual impact. 

Local Links 


CENTRO GARDEN, Burlington 


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