Here in the Lower Midwest, it is hard to grow flowering plants, such as gardenias, indoors if you don’t have a green house. During winter, heated homes are dry and the grey days offer little natural light. Here are two houseplants that make great holiday gifts because they manage to thrive despite the inhospitable winter environment.
Anthuriums, with their attractive dark green, leathery leaves and long-lasting, waxy-looking flowers in red white or pink that come from Hawaii, do manage to bloom indoors. They don’t seem to have periods of dormancy, and they are fairly slow growers. If you see small plants for sale buy three and combine them in a pot to make an easy hostess gift for the holidays.
Another good gift plant that adapts to indoor growing is the clivia, which has handsome dark green, strap-like leaves. It flowers indoors in mid winter in shades of orange and yellow. Always be careful when you water these houseplants to keep moisture off the leaves. Clivias are said to thrive on neglect but should never become waterlogged. It is safe to water them weekly and keep them in a place indoors where they get good light. They dislike hot sun however, so should be kept in the shade, if they summer outdoors.
Frequently you will see anthuriums and clivias on sale in the grocery store flower departments or in nurseries that are open year round. Buy them when you see them on sale and repot them in an attractive container so that you have them on hand to give as gifts over the holidays. They are reliable indoor plants and are therefore gifts that keep on giving.