Beat the blues with green: 4 houseplants to grow this winter

Daksha RanganDigital Reporter

These houseplants will not only brighten up your living space — they have a myriad of health benefits, too.

Frigid temperatures, messy roads, and darkness before the dinner hour are a few of the top reasons the winter season is least favoured by many.

One great way to combat the dreaded winter blues: add a bit of green. Indoor plants are known to have a myriad of benefits, from purifying the air to brightening up your living space.

Studies have also linked indoor plants to a smoother healing process among surgical patients, reducing anxiety and pain while combating stress.

Although the winter season has a bad rap when it comes to exercising your green thumb, there are plenty of indoor houseplants that thrive during the cold and dark months.

Here are the top 4 tropical houseplants you should grow this winter.



Image Courtesy: Toronto Botanical Garden

With its vibrant colour and texture, the spider plant is an excellent way to brighten up your home.

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Paul Zammit, director of horticulture at the Toronto Botanical Garden, says it’s both the look and modest care requirements that make the spider plant one of his top picks for indoor houseplants.

“Who doesn’t love a spider plant? They’re great for hanging – they have that wonderful texture that comes down – and wonderful colour: particularly the variegated selections that have two colours in their leaves,” Zammit tells The Weather Network.

Another great characteristic of the spider plant: it’s great for sharing.

“They can easily be grown by children – you can take off those pups, root them very easily, and share them with a friend.”


chinese evergreen

Image Courtesy: Toronto Botanical Garden

The Chinese evergreen is another popular option that comes in a variety of textures and colours.

“You can get some that have silver leaves, some that have green leaves, [and] newer selections have pink and are fused with cream,” Zammit says, adding that the Chinese evergreen is also quite easy to care for in terms of light levels and moisture.

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“They’re also quite easy to care for, in terms of the light conditions. They’re tolerant of fairly low light levels – particularly some of the greens and the silvers. . . . and in terms of moisture, they’re pretty forgiving because they can take being slightly on the dry side.”


Image Courtesy: Toronto Botanical Garden

Dracaenas are another great tropical indoor houseplant that are “customizable” to the look of your home. Their variety is one of both colour and size, ranging from small, bushy tabletop varieties, with some that can grow to nearly 2 metres in height.

“Some new selections are a brilliant chartreuse, to wonderful dark greens, and then lime greens – there are all sorts of wonderful combinations,” Zammit says.

Dracaenas are also very tolerant of low water levels and dry conditions as well – perfect for the arid indoor climate we so often develop during Canadian winters.


peace lily

Image Courtesy: Toronto Botanical Garden

Besides being a sight for sore eyes during the dormant season, peace lilies make a great choice of tropical houseplant because – in tune with the others on this list – they’re also very easy to care for.

Keeping on top of the moisture is key, Zammit says.

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Peace lilies are also recommended for lower light levels, but Zammit says he recommends slightly higher light levels, “because that encourages them to flower more.”

Aside from their elegant white spaths (or blooms,) peace lilies have beautiful leaves that are sure to stand out in any home or office.

“[With] big, bold, dramatic, rich, dark green foliage – peace lilies really give you a sense of the tropics,” Zammit says. “I love that green . . . particularly inside during the winter months.”

Do you have any of these tropical plants in your home or office? Share your recommendations for indoor plants this winter season by tweeting us @weathernetwork!