Flowerbeds and vegetable patches are buried in snow, but that’s not stopping plant enthusiasts. Many greenthumbs throughout the state have moved indoors to enjoy different types of gardens, those made of potted ferns and unruly vines, cacti and succulents. Houseplants add life to a household — quite literally.
They release oxygen into the air and add vibrant colors and fresh smells to the home. But successfully caring for houseplants takes a bit of knowledge and effort.
“I always tell people to start small, gain some confidence, and then branch out,” Holly Clukey, retail manager for Sprague’s Nursery and Garden Center in Bangor, said.
For beginners, Clukey suggests starting with one variety of houseplant. But first, it’s important to do a little home inspection and examine just how much sunlight pours through your windows each day. This will help you determine what kind of plant to start with.
If you have windows facing the south and southwest, those will receive the most direct sunlight and are therefore good for plants that need a lot of sunlight, such as cactuses and succulents, Clukey said. On the other hand, if you want to place plants in rooms with windows facing the north or northeast, you may want to go with low-light to medium-light plants, such as peace lilies, snake plants and certain types of ferns.
“There are lots of types of ferns that people usually find easy,” Clukey said. “Those are lower light. … Boston ferns, everyone usually loves. Those are big and full, and we sell right out of those, so I know that’s a good one.”
Foxtail fern is another favorite that is easy to care for.
“We have some philodendrons and some English ivies, and those are good beginner plants,” Jason White, who works in landscape design and consultation at Plants Unlimited in Rockport, said.
He also recommended Christmas cacti, which are currently in bloom, as well as colorful poinsettias and spider plants, which are especially hardy.
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