Brighten up January with colourful houseplants

Published 18th January 2017 by Michelle

Apparently last Monday, 16th January, was the most depressing day of the year, commonly known as Blue Monday. So I reckon that means it’s only up and onwards for the rest of the year (leaving current political events out of the equation)! So if you need a little cheering up and don’t fancy venturing out into the cold, get focused on your indoor spaces and pot up some of these colourful houseplants to brighten up your home and lift your mood.

1\ Amaryllis

Grow these from bulbs, or you can buy them already planted with stems and flower buds emerging. Often grown in time for Christmas, ‘already planted’ amaryllis are still around in the shops now (often at bargain prices) and are an easy way to bring colour to your home. Just water a couple of times a week and within a couple of weeks you’ll have big, beautiful red, white, lemon, orange or pink flowers. Don’t throw away after flowering! Remove the flower stem, then let the leaves turn yellow or brown before removing them too, keep watering it once per week, and then stop watering from late summer till early November. By following these simple steps you will get your amaryllis to regrow and flower again next winter.

2\ Kangaroo Paw plant (Anigozanthos flavidus)

Available in pink, red and purple varieties, this Australian plant is named for its kangaroo paw shaped velvety flowers. It’s pictured below as an outside plant, but it’s best kept inside in the UK as it doesn’t like our low temperatures! Keep on a bright windowsill and water once a week when the soil dries out.

3\ Calatheas

Calatheas are a large family of plants originating from South America, which can be grown as low maintenance houseplants. One variety of Calathea; Calathea Crocata, has striking orange flowers. But for me the most exciting thing about Calatheas are their foliage – they have amazing leaves with interesting markings, coming in various shades of green and purple. In-keeping with the current trend for botanical wall papers, fabrics and prints, these plants will make a bold statement in your home. Calatheas prefer a shady spot with some indirect light. Water them once a week when the soil dries out.

4\ Orchids

Orchids, often given as gifts, have beautiful delicate flowers which can be long lasting when kept in the right conditions. They are humidity loving plants, so a really good place to grow orchids is in your bathroom, they love the humidity created when you shower! Keep orchids in indirect sunlight, water when the soil or bark they are planted in dries out and don’t let them sit in any water. Mist the foliage with water once or twice per week to increase humidity around the plant. After the flower dies, if you continue to look after your orchid in this way, leave the old flower stem on, and feed it with orchid fertiliser once a week, it should re-flower, but it may take a few months. It’s worth the effort and very exciting when the first orchid flower re-emerges!

5\ Bromeliad Guzmania

Bromeliads are a vast family of plants with thousands of species, and this particular species makes an excellent and very colourful houseplant. You can see in the photos below the wide variety of bright colours that Bromeliad Guzmania’s come in. The colourful flower head of this Bromeliad lasts for about 7 months, after which it will drop off and unfortunately won’t regrow. Keep the plant in bright, yet indirect sunlight. Once watered, allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. Keep the ‘cup’ within the flower continually filled with water.

I hope you enjoy bringing these plants into your home and brightening up January! Till next time,

Michelle x