Gardening indoors during the winter months

Feb25th 20144 comments

During the seemingly endless Winter months here in New England I find comfort and solace in my indoor garden, a collection of houseplants that connect me with nature. I know most of you are gardeners too, and like myself, are starting to get that Spring fever. The robins are starting to arrive but yet we still have to wait a little longer before the ground has thawed enough to get a trowel in.

I welcome you into my home to share and enjoy the things that make me most happy in life, plants! My collection contains live plants, dried botanicals and fresh cut flowers.


This is a jade I have had for about two years. I nestled in a cute little ornament a friend of mine gave me from a store in Concord, Ma called Nesting, which I absolutely love. Jade are slow growing and do not need a lot of direct sun, as long as it is bright, indirect light they are happy.

String of Hearts, Asparagus Fern

To the left is a string of hearts which I have found to be very easy to grow, and they propagate easily too. I have had great success simply cutting off the bottoms and tucking them into the soil and they root in well. To the right is an asparagus fern, which actually is not a true fern at all. Asparagus fern is a member of the Liliaceae, or Lily family, which includes plants such as amaryllis, daylilies, hosta, and tulips. Asparagus ferns have a soft, delicate, almost ethereal quality about them that I find quite attractive.

Peperomia, Asparagus fern, Basil

This ledge holds several plants. On the left is a peperomia, which is practically fool proof. It has thick, fleshy leaves that give it a succulent-like quality and it needs very little water. Another asparagus fern and then my basil. Basil and Rosemary are probably the easiest herbs to grow indoors, provided you have at least several hours of direct sun. Herbs may slowly decline indoors and may need to be replaced every 2-3 months.

Rhipsalis, Pothos 'marble queen'

On the left is a Rhipsalis, a houseplant that isn't very common, but you can find it at Mahoney's. It is actually a tropical cactus, kind of like a Christmas Cactus, that lives in the tress of Brasil. It likes bright, filtered light. In the basket is my favorite pothos, 'marble queen'. Not only are pothos super hardy, but they have air purifying qualities as well.

Lipstick Plant

This is my lipstick plant, which is closely related to african violets. This plant blooms intermittently throughout the year, producing vibrant red flowers that resemble a tube of lipstick! I picked up the plant stand and rug at a few shops in Rockport that I love. I love all the striking colors in this picture, the red of the flower against the green and yellow.

Sugar Pinecones with a 'Jade' Phildendron

I like to change the display on my coffee table with the changing seasons. For this Winter, I am combining sugar pinecones with a 'jade' phildendron.

Lichen-encrusted bark and grapevine wreath

This is the wreath I made two years ago for Christmas. I love the natural, rustic look and found a lichen-encrusted piece of bark to incorporate into this grapevine wreath. The reindeer moss along with the bird in its nest also adds to the woodland aesthetic. The colors were neutral enough that I ended up keeping it up year round, so here is what ended up being my all season wreath.

Pinecones, acorns, flowers, rocks

On a recent trip to the Southwest, I collected interesting specimens of all kinds of botanicals, including pinecones, acorns, flowers, rocks and anything else that was small enough to fit in my pocket. A clear pie dish displays this wonderful collection of memories from my trip to Arizona and New Mexico.

Dried branches, sunflowers, foxtail fern

The table has dried branches that arch gracefully over a vase of sunflowers. What could possibly be more cheerful than sunflowers on a dreary Winter day? On the right is a foxtail fern, similar to asparagus but has a more compact form. Also in the lily family as well.

Variegated Peperomia, Crow, Dried botanicals

You may be noticing a common theme in my home, birds. My bathroom is home to a sweet, little crow and variegated peperomia. In the back is a yellow dried botanical which I believe is a type of Nigellia. To the right is dried caspia which I saved from a flower arrangement. My bathroom does not have any windows or natural light, so what I do is every two weeks, I switch plants. Low light plants such as pothos or phildendron work great in a dark room, check out the varieties 'scindapsus' and 'brasil' for some interesting options. The peperomia I currently have in here likes brighter light levels so I will only keep it in here for a week at the most. Bathrooms can be tough as most tend to have smaller windows and lower light levels, but there are options and solutions for any room and light level.

Orchid on a bookshelfOrchid, Philodendron 'Micans'

This grouping is all on the same bookshelf. I don't mind when my orchids go out of bloom, I simply put them in an interesting pot and dress them up with fun moss and other accessories. The leaves of this philodendron 'micans' are soft and velvety to the touch, and the underside of the leaf is a pretty reddish brown. It seems perfectly situated in this aged clay pot, doesn't it?

Spring will be here before you know it, but until then I encourage you to grow your own indoor garden if you don't already have one. There are tons of plant options to fit every light level and lifestyle.

Happy indoor gardening!

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Sara Barrios - Mahoney’s Garden Centers

Meet Sara Barrios, blog contributor and the greenhouse buyer and merchandiser at the Mahoney's Brighton location. About Sara Sara grew up in Woburn and has 21 years experience in the garden center and floral industry around Boston. She is passionate about her job and loves plants...


cold plants

I purchased five plants three say avoid extreme cold, I guess I didnt get them home quick enough do they restore

cold damage

Hi Armajean,

I am sorry to hear that your plants suffered some cold damage. Any existing leaves that turned black can be trimmed back. They should put out new growth, but it does depend on the extent of the damage. If you would like to send me some pictures or bring them in, I would be able to assess them better. Sara

Indoor Plants

Thanks very much for this post! You've given me some great ideas and helped me understand the care of some of my existing plants better!


Viewing your arrangements of house plants was very enjoyable. Thank you for sharing.

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