Top Fall Plants 2023: Enhance Your Indoor Garden with Seasonal Splendor
Don your scarves and pour up your pumpkin spice lattes, it’s fall! Most of us are probably ready to break out the Halloween decorations and pack the shorts and swimsuits away, but for those who spent the summer in the garden, they may be wondering what to do now that the harvest has come and gone.
No worries! Soltech has you and your plant babies covered year round! In this article we’ll cover the basics of autumn plant care, and our top choices of foliage to bring into your home this fall and how to make sure you get the most out of them within your space!
Introducing the Basic Needs of Fall Gardens
1. Fall Transition:
As summer transitions into fall, one of the most noticeable changes is the decreasing amount of daylight. This shift can have several effects on houseplants:
a. Reduced Light Intensity:
- With shorter days and lower sun angles, the intensity of natural light reaching indoor plants diminishes. This means that many plants, especially those that thrive in bright, indirect light, may receive less light than they're accustomed to. As a result, growth may slow down, and some plants may become leggy as they reach for more light.
b. Adjusting Placement:
During this transition, it's essential to assess the placement of your houseplants. Move them closer to windows or consider rotating them to ensure all sides receive adequate light. South-facing windows typically provide the most light during the fall and winter months.
c. Artificial Lighting:
- To compensate for the reduced natural light, you may want to introduce artificial lighting, such as grow lights. These can help maintain optimal lighting conditions for your plants, especially if you have light-demanding species like succulents or tropical plants. If you have limited room in spaces with this light availability, we recommend investing in an Aspect™ to supplement sun exposure for your plants. This model of grow light is Soltech’s most convenient option for larger potted varieties of plants, giving you the freedom to place it wherever it works best.
2. Winter Dormancy:
- Winter is the season when many outdoor plants go dormant, and this change in natural cycles can also affect indoor houseplants:
a. Slower Growth:
- With even fewer daylight hours and lower light intensity, houseplants often go through a period of slower growth or dormancy during the winter. This is a natural response to reduced light and can be beneficial, as it conserves the plant's energy.
b. Decreased Watering:
- During dormancy, most plants require less water because they're not actively growing. Be cautious not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot. Monitor the moisture level in the soil and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. To check soil moisture, stick your finger into the soil and only water when the top inch is dry. Use pots with drainage holes to prevent water accumulation. Ensure proper airflow and avoid cold drafts to prevent root rot in dormant plants.
c. Limited Flowering:
- Many flowering houseplants may not produce as many flowers or may not flower at all during the winter. This is primarily due to the lack of sufficient light to support the energy-intensive process of blooming. If you would like to test your skills and want to try encouraging winter flowering, provide ample indirect light near south-facing windows. Maintain consistent temperatures and humidity levels. Avoid sudden temperature drops, as these can stress plants. Use a balanced, diluted fertilizer sparingly during the dormant period to promote bud development and flowering.
3. Spring Revival:
- As the days start to lengthen and spring approaches, houseplants begin to respond to the changing lighting conditions:
a. Increased Daylight:
- With longer daylight hours and more intense sunlight as the sun's angle rises, houseplants experience a resurgence in growth. This is an ideal time for repotting, fertilizing, and pruning to encourage new growth. Repotting needs will vary from plant to plant, but generally a container 1 to 2 inches wider in diameter will suffice. Make sure you research this fully, however, along with the ideal fertilizer and pruning techniques you should be employing.
b. Adjusting to Light:
- As light conditions change, you may need to acclimate your plants to the increased brightness gradually. Sudden exposure to intense sunlight can lead to sunburn or stress on your plants. This is a simple process, just move your plant gradually into a sunnier spot. Invest in a sheer curtain or other device to filter direct light, or shade your plant. Monitor your plant closely, and once acclimated maintain consistent conditions.
- Spring is an excellent time for propagating house plants through stem or leaf cuttings, as the increased light and warmth encourage faster root development. Make sure you use a clean, sharp pair of shears and research the best place to make cuttings from on the species you will be propagating. As well, you will want to decide if you will root the plant in soil or water, depending on which is best practice for the sample you have taken.
4. Summer Vigor:
- Summer is often the peak growing season for many indoor plants, and the lighting conditions play a crucial role:
a. Abundant Natural Light:
- With the longest days and the most intense sunlight of the year, indoor plants can thrive during the summer. However, it's essential to protect them from scorching afternoon sun by filtering or diffusing the light.
b. Increased Water Needs:
- As houseplants experience rapid growth during the summer, they typically require more frequent watering. Be vigilant about maintaining consistent moisture levels and ensure proper drainage to prevent waterlogged roots.
c. Pruning and Maintenance:
- Regular pruning and maintenance, such as removing dead or yellowing leaves and providing support for tall or leggy growth, can help your plants make the most of the summer growing season.
Why Gardeners Need to Think Beyond Fall
The cycle of plant will of course repeat itself all over again after the summer season, as long as you have provided adequate care throughout the year. Remember, if you want healthy foliage month after month, you need to always be thinking ahead to what the next seasons bring!
Our Top Plant Species
Snake Plant (Sansevieria):
Snake plants are hardy and adaptable, making them perfect for indoor spaces year round. Their striking upright leaves add a touch of greenery to any room. The variegation and dark green color of this foliage is the perfect addition to the warmer color palette of fall, and will be a lovely contrast to all orange and red decor elements spread throughout your home this season.
ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia):
ZZ plants are low-maintenance and tolerate low light conditions. They have glossy, dark green leaves that remain attractive throughout the year. We love the unique leaves of this plant, a fresh look and wonderful addition to the traditional maple leaves we see so often in fall decor.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum):
Peace lilies are known for their elegant white flowers and lush green foliage. They thrive in indirect light and help improve indoor air quality. We especially love Peace lilies during this time of year for this reason, as you prepare to spend more time indoors with fall allergens, the kids as they come home from school with the new germs of the year, and any holiday guests as they arrive.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum):
Spider plants are easy to care for and have arching green and white striped leaves. They are great for hanging baskets or as tabletop plants. Could anything scream “Halloween” more than trailing foliage with spider literally in the name? No? Yeah, we didn’t think so either.
Planning on breaking out the cook books this fall to try every pumpkin and apple recipe you can get your hands on? Well, you may have all your whisks and aprons ready, but are you prepped for mishaps? Aloe vera not only adds a touch of green to your space, but also has healing properties for cuts and burns. Place it in a sunny spot in your kitchen, right near the rest of the first aid kit.
While we’re in the kitchen, why not get some ingredients growing. Herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage indoors are extremely popular in fall cooking, and cultivating them yourself during the fall can be a practical way to have fresh herbs for your autumn recipes. Soltech has created the Grove™ with these herb gardens in mind, the convenient bar light structure making it perfect for kitchens, no matter the size of your space.
Perhaps our favorite fall plant selection of the year, Croton is a wonderful choice for several reasons. Its striking, multicolored foliage features vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow, a perfect autumn addition for all decor. This tropical plant adds a burst of warmth and color to indoor spaces, and they thrive in bright, indirect light, making them ideal for bringing the fall spirit indoors.
Kalanchoe is a succulent with vibrant, long-lasting blooms in shades of red, orange, pink, or yellow. This is the perfect choice for someone looking to keep their fall decor light and bright, as opposed to dark and cozy. The colors of Kalanchoe will liven up your space, just watch for signs you may be overwatering your plant, and keep it away from any chilly drafts.
mums are an autumn classic, and while they are typically grown outdoors, potted mums can be brought indoors for a pop of fall color. Place them in a sunny spot and keep the soil evenly moist. Grow an indoor and outdoor collection in a variety of colors, and watch your neighbors turn green with jealousy.
Begonias come in various leaf shapes and colors, and some varieties have attractive foliage that can brighten up your indoor space during the fall. These cute little buds are easy to care for, and can perfectly round out all your decor choices.
Looking for a challenge this fall? Orchids are elegant and exotic, with long-lasting blooms which are definitely worth the effort it takes to cultivate these plants. They can add a touch of sophistication to your home during the fall season.
Autumn Fern (Dryopteris erythrosora):
This fern is named for its beautiful coppery-red new fronds in the spring and early fall, which can add a touch of autumn warmth to your indoor garden. The relative ease of care of this fern, once established, makes it a wonderful variety to try out this fall season.
Are you excited for fall, or want to hold onto the warmer summer days for as long as possible? We hope Soltech can make the autumn season a bit brighter for everyone, regardless of how they feel about pumpkin spice and hay fever! Show us your autumnal setups on Instagram, we are excited to see how you fit foliage into your Halloween decor, Thanksgiving table settings, and everything in between!