Indoor Blooms

6 plants to brighten your home.

By Carolyn Szczepanski


Cyclamen are a popular winter bloom.Deck the halls with winter-blooming plants that make even dim windowsills vibrant and colorful. Add these plants to your indoor landscape to keep the gardener in you merry until the first flush of spring flowers arrive.

Heart-shaped leaves and butterfly blossoms make cyclamen a Christmas favorite. "If conditions are right, the flowers will just last forever," says Hans Gerritsen, president of the Hortus Group, specialty cyclamen growers in Castroville, California. Cyclamens flourish in chilly temperatures—ideally no warmer than 65°F—with indirect or filtered bright light, moist but well-drained soil, and foliage that is kept completely dry. Florist's cyclamen (C. persicum) is the most widely available. Latinia hybrids, whose red, purple, or salmon "flame" flowers boast a white blush and, in some cases, a sweet scent, are also a good choice, Gerritsen says. If your house is warm, try the new Metis miniature hybrids, which promise prolific blooms even in less-than-ideal conditions.