Biophilia – a term coined by the American biologist and naturalist Edward Osborne Wilson – is the human desire to interact or be closely connected with forms of nature. Plants have long been found to boost our mood and concentration, ramping up our productivity and contributing to our overall wellbeing.
Style inspiration is also often taken from the landscape, with designers adopting ‘earthy tones’. Reverse this process by picking indoor foliage that matches your space, bringing a bit of nature inside and creating an atmosphere you’ll enjoy all year round. Taking the time to care for indoor plants also provides purpose, light activity and a sense of accomplishment during those dreary winter months stuck inside.
All plants – even the evergreen ones – naturally have a dormant period, so they become quite easy to care for during the colder time of year, typically requiring less water and only minor adjustments to their space (such as increasing humidity or positioning nearer to a light source). Gently wiping their foliage will also keep the leaves free of dust and looking shiny and fresh.
Our top plant picks for brightening homes in winter include:
Philodendron hastatum Silver Sword
Native to Colombia, this low maintenance variety is quite adaptable to most conditions, making it the perfect house plant. Silver Sword will make a fantastic contrasting addition to your green foliage collection due to its unusual colouring. New leaves begin as pale silvery grey and turn into a blue/green as the plant matures. It’s strong climbing habit means a trellis or pole is recommended. Although not requiring a lot of water, it’s native climate means Silver Sword appreciates humidity from a regular misting.
Ficus elastica Burgundy
Ficus elastica or ‘Rubber tree’ plants are super tough and require very little maintenance at all; they can survive with little water and in temperatures as low as 10°C. Burgundy’s new growth in vivid red stands out against the glossy dark green leaves, making it a spectacular indoor pot plant. Can be grown in relatively low light levels indoors, though best kept near a big window, and is also perfect for patios and verandas.
Ficus elastica Ruby
Native to tropical regions of India and Malaysia, the vivid colouration of Ficus elastica Ruby – also known as the ‘Variegated Rubber Tree’ – has long captured the hearts of many interior stylists. A hardy, evergreen plant, its red-pink and white leaves have green overtones, making it suitable with a wide range of home décor. They prefer a well-lit position however, as its unique tri-coloured variegation requires brighter light conditions than the Burgundy variety to keep the colours strong and defined.
Ficus Midnight Beauty (PBR)
Ficus benjamina Midnight Beauty is ideal as an indoor plant or potted shrub in courtyards. A rainforest giant in its natural habitat, it will grow to the contained space of a pot. The dainty dark evergreen foliage has a beautiful weeping habit. Its tight conical growth means it can also become a tall spreading shade tree if given the room. Thriving in sunny positions, it prefers well drained soil and pruning will encourage denser bushier appearance.
A popular low maintenance houseplant, Monstera deliciosa is easily identifiable by its huge glossy leaves, which develop holes or slits as the plant matures, giving it the nickname ‘Swiss cheese plant’. Its lush, heart-shaped green leaves add a tropical feel to the home. Ideal in spacious and brightly-lit spots indoors or under patios, it can also be successfully grown outdoors in filtered sunlight or full shade. It produces white lily-like flowers and fruit resembling a green ear of corn – that is only edible once ripened, which takes approximately a year.
Native to South America’s tropical regions, Peperomia polybotrya has thick, heart-shaped foliage and is a very easy to maintain plant. A small, compact plant with bright, glossy green leaves, it is ideal in containers on balconies and windowsills in indirect or dappled light. Mature plants produce slender creamy-coloured flower spikes. It is also highly adaptable, tolerating a wide range of climates and seasons.
Explore all available indoor foliage plants in our online plant library.