27 Greatest Houseplants To Brighten Your Residence By The Winter

Winter can be a tough time for garden lovers in cooler climates. Although many outdoor plants will survive and look good when temperatures dip, the bright colors and intricate flowers are usually gone by December. Winter houseplants can keep the beauty going throughout the cold season.

It’s helpful to focus on your indoor garden to keep up your gardening energy. Keeping plants indoors over winter protects them from the harsh elements, greatly expanding the list of things you can grow. Many winter houseplants also flower (or can be forced to flower) over the cooler months to instantly brighten your indoor space.

These 27 winter houseplants are great for injecting some color into your home in winter, whether that be through flowers or colorful foliage. There are also a few tough plants that won’t look sad in winter, requiring little attention to stay happy until the growing season continues again.

Thanksgiving Cactus

A Thanksgiving cactus adds festive winter color, and with proper care, it blooms during both Thanksgiving and early winter.

You can’t go wrong with a Thanksgiving cactus if you’re looking for early winter color and interest in a houseplant. This houseplant is named after the period it typically flowers – around the Thanksgiving holiday – making it an essential part of your holiday décor. Don’t confuse it with the Christmas cactus, which will flower closer to the December holiday.

There are some tricks to getting your Thanksgiving cactus to flower at the perfect time. As long as you time it correctly, you’ll enjoy the blooms not only at Thanksgiving dinner but also in the early weeks of winter.

Christmas Cactus

Close-up of a blooming Christmas Cactus in a large white pot. The Christmas Cactus is a distinctive succulent known for its flattened, segmented stems that are green. This cactus has more rounded, scalloped, and toothed stem segments. It produces showy, pendulous, tubular flowers of bright pink color. Christmas Cactus is cherished for its unique, cascading growth.The Christmas cactus is a highly desired winter bloomer that thrives with proper care, even though it’s not a typical cactus.

Of all the holiday cacti, Christmas cactus is the most sought-after. This species is a true winter bloomer, adding a gorgeous burst of color to your home throughout winter. Even when not flowering, the lobed stems still provide ample interest, especially when planted in hanging baskets and kept around eye level.

Although it is technically a cactus, this species does not appreciate the conditions you may expect. Originating from humid jungles and growing attached to trees, Christmas cacti thrive in bright indirect light and high humidity. Replicating their native habitats will ensure you get the best possible flowers year after year in winter.


Close-up of a blooming Cyclamen in a white ceramic pot on a white background. Cyclamen, a charming perennial plant, boasts distinctive heart-shaped leaves with marbled patterns in shades of green and silver on top. Rising above the foliage, slender stems carry a series of delicate, upswept, five-petaled flowers in bright pink.Cyclamens become popular indoor plants during winter due to their colorful, long-lasting blooms.

Cyclamens are not majorly popular houseplants for most of the year. However, once winter rolls around, they truly become the star houseplants of the show. Their adorable blooms, emerging in a range of eye-catching colors, pop up in the middle of winter and stick around until early spring.

One of the major benefits of keeping cyclamen in your indoor garden is the wide variety of species to choose from. You can pick a favorite that’s perfectly suited to your interior design or start a collection to gather them all. That’s certainly my preference.

African Violet

Close-up of blooming African Violets in a white pot on a light windowsill. African Violets are small, charming houseplants featuring clusters of fuzzy, oval-shaped leaves with a rich, deep green color and a velvety texture. Rising above the foliage, they produce an array of dainty, five-petaled purple flowers. These flowers have a symmetrical, star-like appearance, with a contrasting eye.These plants are well-known for their vivid, year-round blooms with proper care and lighting.

When you think about indoor flowering plants, African violet is probably one of the first to come to mind. Their pearlescent blooms appear in purples, pinks, and whites so vivid you’d be forgiven for thinking they aren’t real at all.

African violets can bloom continuously throughout the year, including in winter. They need plenty of bright indirect light and moisture to provide the resources required to flower. Feeding at the right time and repotting often can also help improve your chances of seeing blooms over the winter months.


Close-up of a flowering Cineraria plant in a pot indoors. Cineraria, a popular flowering plant, is recognized for its vibrant, daisy-like flowers of bright pink color. The flowers have a distinctively ruffled or fringed appearance, and they rise above a rosette of soft, deeply lobed, and fuzzy leaves.Typically grown outdoors, cineraria becomes an attractive indoor winter decoration with daisy-like flowers.

Cineraria is usually grown as an annual outdoors or a short-lived perennial in warmer climates. But once winter arrives, this plant becomes a wonderful addition to your indoor holiday décor. Covered in color, the daisy-like flowers will instantly brighten up gloomy winters.

While you can buy flowering cineraria plants around the holiday season, it’s also possible to sow your own for better control over flowering time. Planting in mid to late summer will ensure the plant starts blooming in December, continuing into the later winter months.


Close-up of a flowering potted Amaryllis plant in a white decorative pot with gold designs against a light orange wall indoors. The Amaryllis is a stunning bulbous plant known for its tall, erect flower stalks that bear large, trumpet-shaped blossoms. These flowers are white with red stripes. The Amaryllis leaves are long, strap-like, dark green.Amaryllis is a popular choice that can be easily grown indoors after a period of rest.

Several flowering bulbs make ideal winter houseplants, thanks to the protection our homes provide. With control over environmental conditions, you can decide on the flowering time for your bulbs – a process known as forcing.

Amaryllis is one of the easiest bulbs to grow indoors and is often used as holiday gifts or décor. Allowing them to rest in summer in a dark place for around eight weeks will signal to the plant that it’s time to flower. Place it on a sunny windowsill in late fall and watch the massive flowers emerge in winter.


Close-up of blooming Paperwhite Narcissus against a blurred background. Paperwhite Narcissus, a delightful bulbous plant, is recognized for its graceful, slender stems that bear clusters of small, star-shaped, white flowers with a central cup or corona in white.Paperwhites are known for their fragrant white blooms that can be clustered to extend the winter blooming season.

If amaryllis is the most popular indoor bulb, paperwhite narcissus is certainly a close second. Flower stalks are packed with stark white blooms (hence the name) that have a gentle, sweet scent, stealing the show wherever they are placed.

Paperwhites bloom in around four weeks, so keep that in mind if you’re timing planting for winter flowers. You can also stagger your planting slightly to extend the blooming season throughout winter. These flowers look best when planted en masse – don’t be afraid to pack the bulbs in tight.


Close-up of blooming Snowdrops in a pot on a windowsill. Snowdrops are small, dainty perennial plants known for their graceful and understated beauty. They feature slender, nodding stems that carry solitary, bell-shaped flowers with pure white petals.Cool, indirect light is ideal for snowdrops.

Every year, gardeners look forward to the emergence of adorable snowdrops, signaling the tail end of winter and the start of spring. But if you’re growing indoors, you can bring this excitement forward a couple of weeks by forcing the bulbs to flower throughout winter.

Since the bulbs are small, don’t plant them too deeply in their containers. Keep them in a dark and cool spot for several weeks, then bring them into bright, indirect light when you want to encourage flowering. As they prefer cool conditions, avoid harsh direct sun or high temperatures indoors, which may prevent flowering.


Close-up of blooming Hyacinths in a decorative pot on a windowsill. They produce dense, upright spikes of small, bell-shaped flowers that grow close together and come in various colors like blue and pink. The individual florets are tightly packed, creating a lush, columnar flowerhead. Hyacinth leaves are long, strappy, and glossy green.This lovely indoor bulb thrives in bright indirect sunlight, offering a variety of colorful blooms.

Hyacinth is another beautiful bulb suitable for growing indoors, flowering reliably in spots with bright indirect sun. Their intricate flowers produce an incredible display in many colors, from warm peaches and reds to cool blues and purples. Who needs short-lived cut flowers when you can have hyacinths that last for weeks?

Although you can grow them in soil, there is a more exciting way to display your bulbs. Either purchase specialized glasses that keep the bulb dry while allowing the roots to grow into the soil or place the bulbs on a shallow layer of pebbles to keep all the action visible.


Close-up of a blooming Clivia in a white pot against a white wall. Clivia, a striking evergreen plant, is characterized by its dark green, strap-like leaves and a cluster of trumpet-shaped, vivid orange flowers that rise above the foliage on sturdy stalks. The flowers have a prominent central corona and a bell-like shape with a gentle curve.Indoors, these plants are available in various sizes and colors, making them great for different spaces and preferences.

Clivias are sensitive to cold, growing in USDA zones 9 and above when planted outdoors. However, their love of shady conditions makes them suitable for indoor growth. These plants don’t mind being confined to containers either, with the strappy green leaves arching over the sides.

Growing indoors in winter opens up a world of growing possibilities for clivias. Choose larger varieties to fill corners or more compact species for table displays. While classic orange clivias are the favorites, there are many other colors available as well.

Moth Orchid

Close-up of a flowering Moth Orchid plant in a decorative wicker planter on a light windowsill. The Moth Orchid, scientifically known as Phalaenopsis, is an elegant orchid species, boasting lush, broad, glossy green leaves and long, arching flower spikes. The blooms are characterized by their delicate, butterfly or moth-like appearance, with large, intricate, and gently undulating petals. The flowers are delicate white.If kept beyond the initial season, they may bloom in the fall and early winter.

A classic gifting plant, moth orchids are one of the most widely grown orchids indoors. They are famous for their intricate flowers, emerging on top of tall flower spikes in almost any gorgeous color imaginable (including blue).

You can typically find moth orchids in flower at any time of year. To sell the plants, growers force them to flower at certain times throughout the year. However, if you keep your moth orchid longer than its initial season, new flowers should emerge in fall and last into the early winter months.

Cymbidium Orchid

Close-up of a flowering Cymbidium Orchids plant in a large brown plastic pot against a blurred background. They feature long, arching stems with strap-shaped, leathery leaves. At the end of these stems, they produce clusters of vibrant, waxy, and long-lasting burgundy blossoms.Consider cymbidiums for a unique addition to your indoor garden during the winter.

For those who already have a few moth orchids and may be looking for something a little different, try cymbidiums. These orchids are ideal for winter indoor gardens, preferring cooler temperatures and flowering throughout the winter months.

Although they look intricate, these plants are not difficult to care for. As long as they receive enough bright indirect light to promote flowering and regular watering in well-draining soil, even beginners won’t have trouble keeping these plants alive.


Close-up of a flowering Begonias plant in a white pot against a white wall. This plant has glossy, asymmetrical, heart-shaped leaves that are dark green in color and have jagged edges. The plant produces a variety of stunning bright red rose-like flowers.Begonias are popular indoor plants due to their colorful leaves and year-round flowering potential.

Members of the Begonia genus don’t only come with adorable flowers but also often feature bright and patterned leaves that add a pop of color year-round, including in winter. Tender begonias are typically kept as houseplants. Wax begonia (Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum) does well in containers, but angel wing begonia (Begonia maculata) is one of the most famous houseplant species.

Begonias flower prolifically in shady conditions, continuing to bloom indoors in bright indirect light. Most species usually bloom in summer, but the ability to control conditions and protect them from the cold indoors can extend the season much closer to winter.


Close-up of a flowering Kalanchoe in a pot. Kalanchoe is a succulent plant characterized by its fleshy, paddle-shaped leaves and compact growth habit. Kalanchoe produces clusters of small, bell-shaped flowers of delicate pink color.Kalanchoe does well indoors with bright indirect light and has unique features and colorful flowers.

Succulents don’t always make great indoor plants, thanks to their sunny, hot, and dry native environments. There are a few exceptions, though, and the kalanchoe is one of them. Native to Madagascar, this succulent appreciates tropical conditions and will flower happily in bright, indirect light indoors.

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is the most common indoor species, with clusters of flowers in bright reds, oranges, yellows, and more. But there are many more to choose from with unique characteristics, like the fluffy Kalanchoe tomentosa or the spiky Kalanchoe delagoensis.


Close-up of an Anthurium plant in a gray plastic pot indoors, with other potted plants in the background. It features large, glossy, heart-shaped leaves with a rich, dark green color and prominent venation. The most distinctive feature is the spathes, which are modified leaves that resemble brightly colored, waxy, heart-shaped flowers of bright red. The spathes enclose a slender, upright spike called the spadix, which bears tiny, true flowers.Anthuriums are popular indoor plants known for their colorful spathes and large leaves.

Anthuriums are houseplant must-haves. They have been indoor garden staples since the 1970s when the colorful spathes and large leaves took center stage in every home. As long as temperatures don’t drop too low inside your home, you can enjoy anthurium blooms almost all year – including in winter.

If you’re looking for décor for the holiday season, classic red anthuriums have you covered. But if you want something a little different for the new year and later winter months, there are colors for every occasion.

Peace Lily

Close-up of a Peace Lily plant in a large wicker planter against a background of translucent grayish tulle in the room. It features dark green, lance-shaped leaves that arise from a central crown and arch gracefully. Atop long, slender stems, it produces white, hood-like, spathe-shaped blooms that enclose a slender, upright spadix.Spathiphyllum is a popular gift plant known for striking white spathes against lush green leaves.

A relative of the traditional anthurium, the peace lily is another houseplant commonly given as a gift. The stark white spathes can stand out wherever they are placed, especially when contrasting with the deep green and glossy leaves.

Peace lilies provide plenty of winter interest, even if they aren’t fully in flower. Remember that growers also force these plants to flower before sale, so don’t be disappointed if yours doesn’t flower as prolifically, especially in winter.

Purple Shamrock

Close-up of a Purple Shamrock plant in a white square ceramic pot on a white table. The Purple Shamrock, or Oxalis triangularis, is a charming plant distinguished by its delicate, three-lobed, triangular-shaped leaves that are a deep purple. The plant produces small, five-petaled flowers that are pale pink.Consider Oxalis triangularis with its distinctive triangular leaves, small contrasting flowers, and dynamic coloring.

To brighten up your winter interior with something other than traditional houseplant green, look no further than purple shamrock. This houseplant has risen in popularity over the last few years, largely thanks to its unique shape and dramatic coloring.

The small leaves of purple shamrock have a triangular shape (hence the scientific name Oxalis triangularis) and move throughout the day, much like prayer plants. They also produce tiny flowers dotted around the foliage in a contrasting white or pastel color.

Jade Plant

Close-up of a Jade Plant blooming indoors next to a light window. The Jade Plant, or Crassula ovata, is a distinctive succulent characterized by its thick, fleshy, oval-shaped leaves that are dark green. The leaves are shiny and have a smooth, waxy texture. Jade Plants have a tree-like growth habit with sturdy, woody stems. Jade Plants (Crassula ovata) produce small, star-shaped flowers that are white. These flowers are held in clusters at the tips of the plant's branches and have five petals.Jade plants are hardy and can thrive in winter, producing white flowers with a sweet scent.

Do you consider yourself a black thumb that can’t keep any houseplants alive? Jade plants will turn this perception around. These succulents are incredibly tough and adaptive, handling neglect with ease. They also don’t struggle much in winter, even flowering in the right conditions.

Jade plants produce clusters of adorable white flowers in winter, with a sweet scent that can quickly fill a small room. They don’t flower often indoors due to the differing conditions from their native habitats. However, if you give them enough direct sun and don’t overwater, you may enjoy the blooms indoors along with your other winter flowers.


Close-up of a flowering Hoya plant in a large plastic pot. Hoya, also known as the Wax Plant or Porcelain Flower, is a captivating vining plant recognized for its waxy, thick, and elliptical leaves that are dark green. This plant features clusters of small, star-shaped, waxy flowers that hang in pendant-like clusters, resembling miniature umbrellas. These flowers are the desired white color with a pinkish tint.Hoyas thrive in low-maintenance conditions, store water in their leaves, and produce various scented, sticky flowers.

Hoyas are wonderfully forgiving houseplants in the right environments, growing best when given little attention. Known as wax plants, several species develop clusters of tiny, sticky flowers with interesting scents, from floral to grassy and more.

Many hoya species store water in their broad leaves, allowing them to withstand a missed watering or two. However, if you have one of the species with thinner foliage (like Hoya linearis) and still want them to flower, don’t let them dry out too much.

Indoor Citrus

Close-up of a lemon tree in a bright yellow plastic pot on a white table in a bright room. The lemon tree is a small evergreen tree with glossy, elliptical leaves. The plant produces three round, yellow fruits, the lemons. The fruits have a textured, dimpled peel.Growing citrus indoors is a great alternative, as they thrive in warm indoor conditions with sufficient sunlight.

If you don’t have any outdoor growing space to plant a sprawling tree, growing citrus indoors is the next best thing. Citrus trees typically appreciate warmer temperatures and the protection of our homes throughout the cooler months. They need plenty of sunlight indoors (or a grow light if you don’t have the right spot), but other than that, they are no more difficult to handle than other houseplants.

The most exciting time for indoor citrus trees is winter, when you can harvest the ripe fruits from your tree. They won’t likely produce many fruits while indoors and confined to a pot, but you can still enjoy the few you can pick fresh. They also make great garnish for cocktails, an ideal party trick when you can pick them straight from your indoor tree.

Chinese Evergreen

Close-up, top view of a potted Aglaonema Red Lipstick plant in a large pot against a dark green background. The Aglaonema Red Lipstick, a striking houseplant, is known for its striking appearance with lush, dark green, lance-shaped leaves. The distinguishing feature of this variety is the vivid, bold, red and pink vein-like patterns that run throughout the leaves.Aglaonemas are hardy houseplants known for their resilience in low light.

Any list of tough and resilient houseplants has to include Chinese evergreens. These tropical plants are known for handling almost anything you throw at them, from missed watering to low light. They can also manage temperature dips without showing too many signs of struggle, perking up again around springtime.

Another reason why Aglaonemas are great for winter is their colorful foliage. Who needs bright flowers when you can enjoy the bright patterns of Chinese evergreen foliage year-round?


Close-up, top view of a potted Dracaena marginata plant in a large square pot against a white background. The Dracaena marginata is a visually striking houseplant distinguished by its slender, arching stems adorned with clusters of long, lance-shaped leaves. The leaves are green with red edges.Dracaenas are robust indoor plants with a sleek, structural appearance, ideal for contemporary interiors.

Dracaenas are just as tough as Chinese evergreens but have a more structural look suited to contemporary or minimalist interiors. They also grow quite large indoors and can fill empty corners in your winter indoor garden without trouble.

Dracaena marginata is a personal favorite, with a red pop of color perfect for decorating around the holiday season. Several houseplant species also fall under this genus, from lucky bamboo to snake plants mentioned next.

Snake Plant

Close-up of a Snake Plant in a white decorative pot against a soft peach wall. The Snake Plant, or Sansevieria trifasciata, is a hardy and low-maintenance indoor plant characterized by its upright, sword-like leaves. The leaves are dark green with distinctive, vertical yellow stripes. Incredibly resilient, snake plants thrive in low-light environments.

Snake plants are so tough that they are often labeled almost impossible to kill. You’ll see them often in malls or offices with very little natural light and harsh conditions – just one indicator of their resilience. Snake plants can also handle slightly cooler temperatures than other tropical houseplants, making them easy additions to your winter indoor garden.

The tall, spiked leaves add an excellent structural look wherever they are placed, ideal for contrasting with cascading leafy plants. If your plant becomes overgrown, remove some leaves or plantlets to propagate – they make ideal holiday gifts.


Close-up of a Pothos Lime plant in a decorative wicker planter in a room with many different potted houseplants. The Pothos is a popular indoor plant with heart-shaped, waxy leaves that are bright green. Its cascading vines can grow quite long.Choose the right pothos cultivar based on your available light.

If you’ve filled every surface in your home with winter-friendly houseplants, it’s time to use up the vertical space by hanging a few baskets full of pothos. These tough plants grow vigorously throughout the year and aren’t bothered by much, including winter conditions. They are also great for filling vases, using your rooted cuttings to grow even more plants.

Considering the variety between cultivars, it can be tough to pick the right one for your space. If you don’t want to collect a couple, consider your available space and decide what fits best. Heavily variegated cultivars grow best in brighter spots, while those with solid leaves can handle low light with ease.

ZZ Plant

Close-up of ZZ Plant in a beautiful decorative pot indoors. The ZZ Plant, or Zamioculcas zamiifolia, is a distinctive houseplant with glossy, deep green, pinnate leaves that grow in a spiral pattern along its stems. The leaves are composed of multiple smaller leaflets, and their glossy texture adds to their unique appearance.This slow-growing plant is ideal for beginners and thrives in indoor conditions.

ZZ plants are another species considered almost impossible to kill and great for beginners. I’ve had several around my home and garden that I’ve honestly forgotten about, and they simply refuse to die. As I write this, one plant I propagated months ago and haven’t watered much since has just pushed out a new stem.

ZZ plants are not bothered by indoor winter temperatures, although growth will slow. The bright green leaves can uplift gloomy interiors, but if you want to lean into the winter chill, you can also opt for the dramatic Raven cultivar with almost black leaves.

Aloe Vera

Close-up of Aloe Vera in a decorative gray pot on a dark gray background. Aloe Vera is a succulent plant recognized for its striking, rosette-like clusters of thick, fleshy, lance-shaped leaves with serrated edges.Known for its many uses, aloe vera thrives as a compact, spiky houseplant on a sunny windowsill.

Aloe vera is recognized worldwide for its use in beauty products and as a topical sunburn gel. But they also make great houseplants if you have a sunny enough windowsill to keep them happy. They remain relatively compact when confined to containers and have a unique spiky look you won’t find in most houseplants.

If you’re a forgetful waterer, this is the best winter houseplant. These plants store water in their juicy leaves, giving them the ability to handle periods of drought with ease.


Close-up of a mint plant in a decorative wicker pot against a white wall. The mint plant is characterized by its bright green, aromatic leaves that are small, ovate, and serrated at the edges. The leaves grow in pairs along the plant's square-shaped stems.Consider growing an indoor herb garden during the winter with herbs like mint and thyme.

If traditional houseplants aren’t quite what you pictured for your winter indoor garden, try starting an herb garden indoors instead. Mint, thyme, and many other herbs grow well indoors as long as they are given enough light to be productive.

Many common herbs are not frost-tolerant and need to be planted in spring each year to prevent damage. However, if you keep them protected indoors, you can grow a productive herb garden year-round, even in winter.

Final Thoughts

When growth slows in your garden over the winter months, you can continue the excitement with these winter houseplants. Whether you want a pop of color or something that will survive without much attention, this list has you covered.

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