Five Colorful Plants to Lift Your Spirits
By Laurelynn Martin
I don’t know about you, but whenever I feel kind of down or blue, I look to plants to bring me out of the doldrums. Plants have a way of bringing us into the present moment, letting us appreciate the here and now with the beauty that is right in front of us. The miracle of plants is how each one has a different form and shines forth with colorful flowers or foliage. I hope looking at these five colorful plants will give you a bit of solace and cheer, and lift your spirits as we move through these difficult times.
My first selection is Abutilon ‘Little Sunshine’ (Abutilon hybrid). The name says it all. This Abutilon, or Flowering Maple as it’s commonly called, is an everbloomer and makes a great windowsill plant. Its multi-branched, compact size and non-stop show of sunshine yellow flowers puts a smile on the face of anyone who passes by. We like using ‘Little Sunshine’ in mixed containers to bring a dash of color since this low-growing plant only reaches 1-2’ tall. The inner flower petal blushes with a bit of orange given full sun conditions.
The next plant, Hibiscus ‘Cooperii’ (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis cooperii) is grown for its stunning variegated foliage and brilliant red flowers. It can be grown indoors or out and makes a showpiece with its colorful leaves in shades of burgundy red, pink, white and green. Grow in full sun for maximum color intensity.
Another plant that brings us cheer is our fancy Angel Wing Begonia ‘Wightii’ (Begonia maculata variegata). Large, dramatic silver markings dotted on its leaves appear to have been perfectly placed by an artist. Plus, with its pristine white flowers, ‘Wightii’ makes a stunning upright potted plant for a partially sunny windowsill or it can be grown in a hanging basket where it is truly a wonder to behold. Grow in partial sun and give moderate fertilizer to this vigorous grower.
If you’ve never grown an Easter Cactus, we recommend this brilliant red one, Easter Cactus ‘Scorpius’ (Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri), to bring cheer to your surroundings. It blooms profusely from March until May and the iridescent, star-shaped flowers open every morning and close at night. They prefer filtered light and well-drained soil. These plants are budded and blooming now.
My list wouldn’t be complete without some splendid pink flowers. Crown of Thorns ‘Pink Princess’ (Euphorbia milii hybrid) is an easy-care plant that tolerates soil dryness and has spectacular cotton-candy pink flowers that emerge as white with pink speckling and age to a beautiful pink with white highlights. The blossoms grow in clusters with individual flowers measuring 1-2” across. It blooms profusely during spring and summer when grown in full sun.
I hope these plants will delight your senses and add a dimension of peace and solace in the coming months as we all navigate these unique times together. Stay safe and well.
The plants mentioned in this article: