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Plant Magic: Flowering houseplants won’t cure your seasonal depression but you’ll buy them anyway

By Cheryl Rafuse for Boston Compass (#130)

January 24, 2021

The pandemic rages on, the days get darker, and seasonal affective disorder is in full damn swing. You know what you need. It’s warm and lush. Dewy and fresh. Filled to the brim with leafy friends…aaaaah a (masked) trip to your local greenhouse. Legit the most curative experience for winter blues IMO.

The flowering plants practically SCREAM at you. Their pops of color to remind you that the bleak darkness is actually about to be waning. (No really the days get longer after 12/21 I promise!) Let’s fill your plant shelfies with some happy colorful flowering houseplant shall we?

Goldfish Plant

Nematanthus nervosus

Um HELLO little orange blooms that look like real-life goldfish bbs?! My anxiety: GONE. My sadness? VANQUISHED. You literally can’t think sad thoughts when you look at these things. Plus they’re super easy to take care of. Give ‘em bright light and water regularly and you’ll have planty orange fish blooms for most of the year.

Christmas Cactus

Schlumbergera bridgesii

Whether or not you celebrate the holiday, this cactus will bloom around Christmastime and almost assuredly bring you tidings of comfort and joy. Nondenominational cactus more like! Likes indirect light, moist soil, and being wished happy holidays.

Lipstick Plant

Aeschynanthus radicans

Remember lipstick? Me neither…I haven’t worn makeup since March. But these beauties are dressing to impress, full face of plant makeup and ALL. They come in a couple different colors and have shiny leaves with a bunch of cutie lipstick-shaped flowers coming out the ends of their trailing stems.

Painter’s Palette

Anthurium andraeanum

Probably the easiest to care for in this bouquet of flowering houseplant goodness, anthuriums are a little phallic and we love it. Their blooms come in a whole rainbow of colors so the possibilities are almost endless! They tend to bloom more when they have a little less root space so don’t repot them too often!! The flowering plant for the laziest of us tbh.

Want more plant tips? Follow me on @plantmagicshop and find my zines at Best vibes and green leaves, stay healthy y’all.

—Cheryl Rafuse


Check out all the art and columns of December's Boston Compass at


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