Minnesota mid-winter days are anything but cheery: Between white snow and gray skies, the outdoor environment is void of color. Luckily, Plymouth florists are ready to help. From brightly hued, fresh-cut arrangements to leafy green houseplants, there are plenty of ways to add a shot of life to your home that will not only brighten the décor, but can do wonders for your emotional state, as well.
A ghostly white environment outside shouldn’t deter you from choosing white to bring pizzazz indoors. “With cut flowers and arrangements, we can get a lot of color in a very small space. It gives a little hint of spring,” Dundee Nursery and Landscaping manager Kim Gaida-Wagener says. She favors mini-carnations, snapdragons and chrysanthemums (usually available year round) to freshen up a room during the winter.
Frank Bohlander, co-owner of Best Wishes Floral, is a strong proponent of the emotional benefits of flowers in dreary winter weather. “People with flowers are just happier people,” he says. “Having them around, especially during the winter months, can make a really big difference in people’s emotional states.”
Fresh-cut flowers are great for adding cheer to a room, but their lifespan is short, regardless of the season. Bachman’s manager Renae Chesley suggests purchasing an indoor blooming plant for a similar look that will yield longer-lasting flowers. Hydrangeas (beginning at $12.99 per pot) are elegant and can be found in a wide variety of sizes to suit any space. Chesley recommends placing them near a window to glean maximum sunlight from short winter days, but to avoid drafty spots. The health benefits of short-bloom plants like these are vast. “Green plants help with oxygen exchange and keeping air fresher indoors, where things can get stale,” Chesley says.
While all flowers carry a certain element of luxury, true prestige is found in orchids—and potted ones have lasting power when cared for properly. The most common types flower and bloom for between one and three months. Orchids Limited manager Jason Fischer suggests purchasing the phalaenopsis variety (available in many sizes, from $10–$65) in a bright hue to add extra life to an indoor space. He believes that plants release a positive energy that spreads to the people around them. “When a plant blooms, it’s trying to attract something,” he says. “Humans are attracted to them as well.”
When it comes to growing your own plants, Gaida-Wagner suggests easy-to-care-for blooms that last well in low-light situations, such as African violets ($5.99–$6.99 for a 4-inch container). To encourage growth, Gaida-Wagner recommends purchasing a growlight (beginning at $32.99) that provides faux-sunshine for plants—it’s worth it, she believes, to get the benefits of having plants indoors during the wintertime. “Blooming and green plants are great because they just give a sense of another living thing in the room when everything outside is dead.”
While Bohlander recommends sending a bright arrangement of cut flowers to a friend as a quick pick-me-up gift, he praises green plants as a longer-term solution. “They’ll tolerate, if not thrive in, indoor conditions,” he explains, emphasizing that proper watering is key to helping potted plants like peace lilies live (available in a variety of sizes, with the 2 ½ inch pots starting at $5).
One way to combat dry indoor winter air is to embrace it with plants that thrive in desert-like conditions. Lilia Flower Boutique owner Elizabeth Mattingly recommends a potted garden of cacti and succulents ($15–$55 depending on pot size) to bring extra vibrancy to a room.
“Looking at a green plant releases certain endorphins, especially when it’s dark and dreary,” she says. Mattingly explains that the increased oxygen flow and fresh smell of plants greatly improves one’s mental state.
Bachman’s, 10050 Sixth Ave. N.; 763.541.1188.
Best Wishes Floral, 689 Winnetka Ave. N., Golden Valley; 763.593.1777.
Dundee Nursery and Floral, 16800 Hwy. 55; 763.559.0385.
Lilia Flower Boutique, 236 Minnetonka Ave. N., Wayzata; 952.473.0366.
Orchids Limited, 4630 Fernbrook Lane N.; 763.559.6425.
Tip: Keeping a house toasty-warm in winter leads to dry air, so check plants for water daily and make sure that they’re watered at least once a week to keep them vibrant and fresh.