Winter in Phoenix means a break from the intense heat of the summer, but also cold nights and shorter days. Gardening is probably one of the furthest thoughts from your mind, but there are lots of plants that thrive in Arizona’s winters, both indoors and out! At Phoenix Flower Shops, our florists put together a list of our top five favorite indoor plants that are in season and in bloom in the winter.
1. Christmas Cactus
The Christmas cactus couldn’t be left off the list of favorite winter plants because its blooms are stunning, and they emerge, like clockwork, around Christmastime. With flowers in alluring shades and combinations of red, pink, purple, orange, and white, you’ll instantly fall in love with a Christmas cactus. Plus, they’re one of the few plants that aren’t poisonous for humans or pets, which makes them a completely safe choice for any household.
Although this plant is technically a cactus, it’s not native to the desert. Since these lovely plants are originally from humid forests in Brazil, they don’t tolerate drought as well as the cacti found around Phoenix. While they shouldn’t sit in standing water, Christmas cactuses should be watered when the top inch of soil in their pots dries out. Keep yours in a sunny spot and get ready to enjoy its pretty flowers for years to come.
Poinsettias are the quintessential plant for the holiday season. Popular in red and white, they also come in less commonly seen colors like orange, yellow, pink, salmon, and marbled varieties. These unusual colors make a great way to put together a slightly quirky, yet fun holiday display.
To keep your poinsettia vibrant throughout the holidays, keep it in a sunny location and make sure its soil is always moist. Be careful not to let a poinsettia sit in standing water, as this will damage its root system.
Kalanchoe are perfect winter plants for Phoenix! They’re desert succulents, so they love our dry air and abundant sunshine. Kalanchoe begin blooming in the fall and, as long as they’re happy, their brightly colored flower clusters won’t stop until spring. They come in bright shades of pink, red, yellow, orange, and white.
Care for them like a traditional cactus or succulent, and you won’t go wrong. Just be sure to let a kalanchoe’s soil dry out completely before giving it any water.
The amaryllis is a flowering bulb that can be timed to bloom in any season, but they’re especially popular for winter, given their big and bright, Christmas-red flowers. To save an amaryllis’s bulb to be replanted, store them in a cool, dry location for the spring and summer. Plant them again in the fall and expect flowers within six to eight weeks.
Be careful where you display an amaryllis. These blooms, though beautiful, are poisonous for dogs, cats, and people. Keep them out of reach of small children and household pets.
Another winter favorite is the orchid. These beauties bloom in response to the cooler temperatures of winter. With an estimated 30,000 different species around the world, orchids come in an endless variety of colors, shapes, and sizes.
Orchids prefer indirect or filtered sunlight. Phoenix is a little arid for orchids to grow naturally, so you’ll need to be sure to provide yours with plenty of water. Pot them in a pot that drains easily and water frequently. To keep them extra-happy, feel free to mist your orchid with water or a specially formulated plant spray, too.
Winter Plants to Grow Outside in Phoenix
Phoenix’s mild winters give plant life a break from the hot, dry air, allowing several to thrive. Some of our favorites are Snapdragon, petunia, geraniums, pansies, hollyhocks, and globemallow — all great outdoor plants that can live in Arizona’s cooler temperatures.
We also love Blackfoot daisy, which thrives in full desert sun and can handle frigid nighttime winter temperatures. Its ability to thrive in both intense heat and cold makes it suitable for all regions throughout the Southwest, although it may not flower in winter outside the low desert. Flowering will occur off and on throughout the year with the most prolific blooms occurring spring through fall. Plus, no pruning is needed other than to remove dead growth!
For more indoor gardening inspiration and winter plant recommendations, we welcome you to drop by Phoenix Flower Shops this winter!