Three Easy-Care Houseplants

Adequate quality light in winter is necessary for healthy houseplants. In this USDA 4-5a growing zone on the Northern Plains, lack of satisfactory light quality indoors can be a problem. Choosing plants with a tolerance to lower light increases the chance they can adapt to the indirect winter sunlight they receive. 

These houseplants can be found commonly in nurseries and trade centers.

Swedish ivy is a mint relative that is native to South Africa and Australia. Stems with rounded leaves trail down the container as it grows. This growth habit fits well for hanging baskets. Stems were recently pruned. The cuttings grow roots in a jar of water and then will be planted in a new pot. 

Bromeliad tolerates neglect. Indirect light is adequate, but it grows more slowly and requires less frequent watering. This plant has produced a second plant and needs to be repotted for each plant’s growth.

Rubber tree plant (Ficus elastica) is naturally an evergreen shrub. The large leathery leaves tolerate low light, but the plant thrives in medium indirect light. The plant thrives in less frequent watering. Yellowing or dropped leaves is a symptom of overwatering. Stems exude white sap when pruned. The cut stems may be rooted in a jar of water and then planted. 

A Few Tips

Make sure the plant container has a hole in the bottom so that roots can be thoroughly watered. A saucer catches extra water to empty. Houseplants are commonly overwatered. 

To be sure the soil is moist but not soaked is to water until it drains out the bottom. With this method, most plants don’t need watering more than once a week, and some once per two weeks.

Try the new plant in indirect light, in a draft-free location indoors where the temperature doesn’t dip below 50 degrees F. and move it if it doesn’t thrive there.

After the plant begins to thrive in its new setting, fertilize lightly and infrequently. Plants that grow indoors often slow in winter and increase in spring and the plant may benefit from a little fertilizer boost.

Houseplants are for enjoyment. Have fun! Thanks for your visit!

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