There’s nothing quite like spending a chilly, wintery day snuggled up beside a crackling fireplace, but for some people, the cold might as well be spring. That’s why so many people are rooting their hopes and planting their doubts about indoor gardening in the winter.
Not only is it an excellent way to extend your growing season during months when the outside world is hiding in hibernation, but it’s also an ideal time to try out some new varieties. Unsurprisingly, there are also plenty of unusual plants you can grow indoors this time of year that is both fun and challenging to grow. Here are nine unusual plants you can grow indoors this winter:
Hellebores are perennial plants that can be grown outdoors throughout much of the world, but their flowers are usually white, making them best suited to indoor cultivation.
The plant can be grown from a tuberous root, but also spreads aggressively via underground runners and can take over a large pot. The tuberous roots can be roasted as a substitute for coffee and can also be mixed with yoghurt, cream, or mixed into a cocktail. The plant is native to the tropics and sub-tropics and can be grown in a greenhouse, or outdoors in the winter.
Chinese or Japanese Aralia
When Chinese aralias bloom, they can be an unforgettable, glittering sight, but they’re also hardy perennial plants that can be grown indoors throughout much of the year.
Chinese aralias are best known for their colourful flowers, which are often red, but a few varieties also produce white blooms. The plant can be grown from seed, but it is also available as a cutting. Chinese aralias are mostly grown for their colourful flowers and for their leaves, which are used to produce a yellow dye.
Although some irises are nearly impossible to grow indoors, several irises are easy to cultivate. Rose golden alba, Welsh Iris, Siberian Iris, and Japanese Iris are just a few of the many varieties you can grow indoors.
The flowering tops of the various irises can be dried and used to create potpourri, while the roots can be used to flavour a variety of herbal beverages. Be careful to note the recommended pot size for the particular variety you’re growing, as some irises are best grown in pots as large as two feet in diameter.
Aloe Vera (Outdoor Only)
Aloe vera, which is best known for its medicinal properties, can be grown as an outdoor plant or an indoor plant. The plant is easy to grow and only requires indirect sunlight, water, and a pot that drains well. Aloe vera leaves can be used to produce a variety of herbal beverages and can also be used to treat burns.
Spathiphyllum (Outdoor Or Indoor)
Among the many unusual plants you can grow indoors, spathiphyllum, or screw pothos, is often recommended for beginners. Like other pothos, it is a vine that can grow up to 10 feet long and requires little care.
However, it is also known as the “greening vine” because of how much it will grow during the winter. The plant will grow during the winter and begin producing flowers in the spring. Spathiphyllum is native to parts of Africa and can be grown indoors or outdoors.
Philodendron (Outdoor Or Indoor)
Philodendron, also known as the “mother-in-law” because of its shape, is a hardy indoor or outdoor plant that is low maintenance. It is an excellent choice for beginners and can be grown both indoors and outdoors.
The leaves of the plant can be used to make herbal teas, while some varieties also produce edible flowers. Philodendron is native to parts of Central America and is often grown as an indoor plant. It can be grown outdoors in the tropics.
Snake Plant (Outdoor Only)
An easy-to-grow houseplant, the snake plant, can be grown indoors or outdoors. It is a popular indoor plant because its leaves are toxic to many household pests, such as spiders and ants.
The plant is also helpful in removing mildew from clothes and in removing odours in the laundry room. The plant tolerates low light and humidity levels and needs minimal care. It can be grown outdoors in zones 9-11.
Silk Tea (Outdoor Or Indoor)
A creeping perennial vine, silk tea is a hardy plant that can be grown outdoors or indoors. The vine requires little care, tolerates low light, and is drought tolerant. The leaves of the plant can be used to make herbal infusions and can also be stuffed and used as potted plants. The plant is native to parts of Asia and is often recommended for beginners.
Schefflera (Indoor Only)
Schefflera is often recommended for beginners because it is easy to grow, requires minimal maintenance, and is hard enough to grow indoors. The vine is native to parts of Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific and is often grown indoors. The leaves of the plant can be used to make herbal teas and can also be used as indoor plant decorations.
Indoor gardening is ideal for those who enjoy trying new plants and experimenting with new varieties. Not only is it a great way to extend the growing season or enjoy the outdoors year-round, but it’s also a great way to entertain friends and family while also saving money on backyard party rentals.
If you’ve been looking for an interesting way to stretch your growing season, or simply want a new hobby, growing indoor plants is a great option. There are many unusual plants you can attempt to grow indoors, and many are easy to cultivate despite their unusual looks.