5 Best Easy Houseplants and Outdoor Flowers
One of the best things about springtime is all the plants coming back to life. Green grass, fresh flowers, budding trees… all a refreshing change from Ottawa’s dreary winters. For everyone with a garden, it’s a great time to get out there and get busy. Even those living in apartments can spruce up their home with some natural greenery. Whether you’ve got a green thumb or are a gardening novice, these plants are delightful for spring and easy for anyone to take care of.
For the Home
The peace lily is a beautiful flowering houseplant with dark, waxy leaves and white blooms. Peace lilies thrive in partial shade, making them an ideal plant for the office or bedroom. It is a very resilient plant, and will droop when it is lacking moisture, sort of “reminding” you when to care for it. Generally, it should be watered about once a week to keep the soil moist. It is most comfortable at a humid 18-30 degrees (about normal room-temperature) and when well cared-for it can grow over 3 feet. The peace lily is also on NASA’s list of the Top Ten Household Air Cleaning Plants.
Rubber trees are a wonderfully low-maintenance plant that can be kept as a small potted-plant, or an attractive indoor tree. Just keep them in either a small or large pot depending on your preferred size. Similar to the peace lily, rubber trees will droop when they need water. Keep your rubber tree in indirect yet frequent sunlight: a lightly shaded window or door will do nicely.
English Ivy makes a wonderful addition to any home. It will grow to adapt around any structure, loves shady areas, and doesn’t require much maintenance. You can set this ivy on a high bookshelf or counter, and let the vibrant vines decorate their surroundings like an organic garland. English ivy can grow up to 50 feet long, but don’t be discouraged if you’re not seeing massive growth right away as it can take about a year to really get growing. Simply ensure that the soil is moist and this tenacious plant will do the rest of the work itself.
Succulents come in all kinds of shapes, colours, and sizes, perfect to accessorize your home. Similar to cacti, succulents need very little water to survive, but be sure to do some research on your particular type of succulent as to not over or under water them. Most require about a half day of sunlight every day and should be kept near a window. They also do best in a pot with good drainage. Avoid glass containers and use a sandy or rocky soil. You can mix and match different succulents to form your own indoor rock garden or terrarium. They make the perfect living decor.
Swiss Cheese Plant
This charming indoor plant gets its name from the characteristic holes that form in its leaves. Swiss cheese plants prefer a mix of light and shade (direct sunlight can be damaging) and should be kept in a large room as they can grow to be 10 feet tall! Allow the soil to become dry on the surface between watering, and mist your plant if the air is dry since these plants are native to very humid temperatures. Swiss cheese plants are a great addition to any home. They fill up space and give a room a lively tropical feel.
For the Garden
Nasturtiums are easy-to-grow flowers with blossoms ranging in colour from orange, red, or yellow. They are a great choice for beginners or children because they grow quickly and easily. Simply plant the seeds in the early spring; about half an inch deep in direct sunlight. You will see a plant emerge in just 7 to 10 days! Nasturtiums also prefer poorer soils and do not require fertilizer. Enjoy the colourful blooms from summer to fall, and even use them as a garnish for a summer salad.
Daisies make a great feature to any garden, and grow well without much intervention. They are perennials, meaning they will grow again each year. When planting from seeds, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see blooms in the first season, they usually appear the following year. Daisies thrive in direct sunlight and don’t need to be watered much (unless there has been a lack of rain). They can grow in clusters up to 3 feet tall. Once you’ve succeeded in planting daisies you can be sure to have a hearty crop of them in your garden every year to come.
These picturesque plants display fern-like leaves and showy, warm-toned flowers. They can be planted in early spring when the ground is still cold, or early fall. They can survive in almost any kind of soil, but will not bloom well with too much fertilizer. Harvest these lively flowers before they have bloomed to use them in a flower arrangement.
Snapdragons produce long-lasting and extremely vivid blooms of nearly every colour. They do best in cool weather, so plant them in the early spring and provide them with partial shade and lots of water to help them through a hot summer. They are great for bordering a garden, and make a nice contrast with other, cooler coloured spring flowers.
Daffodils are one of the most well-known and vibrant springtime flowers. The only downside is that the bulbs have to be planted in the fall (about 2-4 weeks before the first frost). But this can just be seen as getting a head start on your spring gardening! They should be watered well in the spring, and snipped from the base once the plant dies off. A well cared-for daffodil bulb can provide flowers for up to four years.