When it comes to choosing native plants, there are some real gems waiting to be discovered for your garden. Here are 5 of them by region.
While temps fluctuate greatly outdoors, your home is most likely a balmy 70-80 degrees year round. This gives you options to grow plants indoors that you normally couldn’t grow in your temperate zone. However, choosing to grow plants native to your area in your home means you can move them outside where they can continue to thrive.
Here are a few plants that do well indoors, as well as outdoors in their corresponding geographic regions, should you wish to move them outside.
The yellow lady’s slipper orchid makes a bold decor statement, both in shape and in color. Like many orchids, it can take a while before you’re able to enjoy its dramatic yellow flowers. Be patient. The wait is worth it. Its ability to tolerate low light and occasional over-watering make it a great houseplant for beginners.
Orchids also have a cult-like following. If you need advice on your plant, chances are there’s an orchid club in your area.
Gardenias have some of the most distinctly fragrant blossoms in the south. They naturally reach large bush size outdoors, but when grown indoors they are considerably smaller. Gardenias are the princesses of the plant world. They are high maintenance, but don’t let that deter you. Their delicious fragrance and creamy blossoms are intoxicating.
They love humid air, so a dry home just won’t do. Keep air temps around 55-75 degrees and use a humidifier, or place the plant over a tray of water filled with pebbles (much like you would for an orchid).
Succulents are the perfect blend of beauty and adaptability. They are easy to maintain because they need very little water, making them a good fit for the arid climate of the Southwest. While all cacti are succulents, don’t limit yourself in thinking that all succulents are spiny to the touch.
Some have lusciously soft skin, like the aloe and jade plants. Because of their low maintenance requirements, you’ll often see succulents used in design projects and craft shows in items like wreaths and table planters. The number one killer of succulents is over-watering, so if you’re someone who often forgets to attend to your houseplants, your succulents will thrive.
The Pacific Northwest
The Pacific northwest’s summer sun, temperate air, and abundant moisture produce some of the most dazzling rose displays in the country, but did you know you can also bring these fragrant beauties inside? They do best in bright light with moist soil.
Don’t let the soil dry out, but don’t allow the plant to sit in water, either. A miniature rose variety will stay a nice household size, or you can keep a regular rose bush pruned to keep up its shape.
Not exactly a geographic region unto itself, it is worth mentioning because of its great number of tropical plants that thrive indoors. The papala has broad green leaves and enjoys potting mixes that hold a lot of water. Most varieties grow quite large, so make sure you have the space for it.
Caring for your regional plant indoors is a bit harder than growing them outside. However, if you’re able to recreate the growing climate they have outdoors inside, then you’ll be able to enjoy them year round.