Posted By: Michelle Kuehler /
In most parts of the country, it’s been a pretty mild winter but the lack of sunlight and life in your garden can still make the most upbeat among us a little blue. It is good to have a place to step away, regenerate and reignite your senses, whether that is at a coffee shop, library, gym or your own home. Many plants have properties that can heighten your senses and lighten your mood, making your home a peaceful place to regenerate.
A Sight for Sore Eyes
It’s no secret that many plants can produce luscious, colorful blooms but not all of those plants can survive the indoor environment. Here are a few beauties to start with:
African violet: African violets are easy to grow and bloom all year with little attention. Just warmth, a good dose of sunlight and moist soil make this little beauty happy. African violets come in many colors and varieties and can match any décor.
Hibiscus: Wish you could spend the winter on a warm beach? Then this plant is perfect for you. Hibiscus will bloom through the spring and fall and will take as much light as you can give it. This tropical plant is a show-stopper, with its multiple, bright color varieties and huge blooms.
Oxalis: This plant provides tons of color with its deep purple, shamrock-shaped leaves and an almost constant bloom of pink or white flowers. The oxalis grows from a bulb which should be divided if it becomes too crowded in its pot.
Kaffir lily: The Kaffir lily is easy to grow, requiring cooler temperatures and dry conditions in order to bloom. So go ahead and neglect this one a bit. It’ll still love you and give you a bouquet of up to 20 orange or yellow blooms.
Rieger Begonia: Ever wish you could bring your rose bushes indoors? This easy-to-grow plant is a great substitute with yellow, rose-shaped blooms.
Tingle Your Taste Buds
You can grow a vast variety of vegetables and herbs indoors so the choice is really up to you. Consider space limitations and the plants you enjoy eating. Among the most successfully grown vegetables and herbs are thyme, sage, leaf lettuce, spinach and radish. Just make sure your plants get about six hours of sunlight.
There aren’t too many plants that nourish this sense and it would look a bit strange if you tried to use lamb’s ear or pussy willow to make a pillow or blanket. Mimosa Pudica, also called the touch-me not reacts to touch by curling inward. Although this plant may not make a good blanket or pillow, it can lift your spirits by adding fun and wonder to your home.
Boost Your Mood with Uplifting Scents
Anyone who has ever felt the calming effects of an aromatherapy massage or a flashback to grandma’s famous chocolate-chip cookies after entering a bakery, can attest to the power of smell. Many scents can alter your mood, bring back good memories and even promote better cognitive function and health. Try some of these aromatic plants in your home and see how they benefit you:
Arabian Jasmine: Give this plant a good dose of sunlight and it will bloom all year. The tiny, white flowers emit a light, flowery fragrance producing a warm, relaxing environment.
Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is usually grown outdoors but easily grows indoors when given enough light. Its grey-blue foliage will add a unique touch to your décor. Its aroma is a bit pungent but this healing tree has been used in a vast variety of medicines and antiseptics. The scent of the live plant increases concentration, making it a great addition to your home office or for the coffee table next to your reading chair.
Gardenia: This finicky plant is a bit of a challenge, preferring humidity, tons of sunlight and requiring regular watering and fertilizing. It’s a lot of work to keep this one happy but your efforts will be well worth it if you succeed. Gardenias have a reputation for having some of the most scented flowers and are a popular addition to perfume because of its uplifting scent which is also known to be an aphrodisiac.
Orange jessamine: Orange jessamine is scented from top to bottom. It prefers bright light and high humidity with a regular dose of water and fertilizer. This scented gem can survive low-light conditions but will only bloom if given enough light, but not to worry, both the tiny white flowers and the leaves emit an invigorating and refreshing scent like that of the orange blossom.
Plumeria: Grab a pina colada and have a seat next to this tropical flowering tree. Plumeria can be quite difficult to grow but there is no other flower more reminiscent of the sights and smells of the tropics than the plumeria. These gorgeous flowers bloom in many colors and are often used in Hawaiian leis. The plumeria is used in an innumerable amount of perfumes, lotions and candles for its heady, floral scent which is known for its ability to lift the spirits and heal emotional wounds. .
Plants don’t speak or sing but that doesn’t mean you can’t add some joy to your home with music. Choose a calming music track to compliment your new sense laden, indoor garden and enjoy your calm, joyful home.