Top 5 Plants for Toronto’s Climate

Although there are many great reasons to move to Toronto, its climate for plants isn't high on that list. For those who aren't blessed with a green thumb, it can be difficult to choose the right plant for home — and disheartening to lose that plant if you aren't too sure how to care for it. Curtis Evoy, who runs the conservatory at Allan Gardens, helped shed some light on the plants best suited to Toronto.

Sansevieria trifasciata

also known as "mother-in-law's tongue", has long sharp leaves, which is where it gets its nickname from. This plant is easy to grow and helps to purify the air when it's grown inside as a houseplant.

"They don't need a lot of water or natural light,"

says Evoy.

"They can take quite a bit of abuse."

Evoy says the plant can be grown outside but isn't fond of frost, so it will need to come inside for the winter.

Sansevieria Trifasciata by James A Artis
Sansevieria Trifasciata by James A Artis

Aglaonema

is considered a low-light apartment plant, commonly known as "Chinese evergreen." It requires very little light — and in fact, too much sunlight will scorch the leaves. Diffused natural light will keep the plant full and healthy, although the plant can survive off very little. If your Chinese evergreen is in low light, allow the soil to dry between waterings.

Aglaonema White Lightning by scottzona
Aglaonema White Lightning by scottzona

Geraniums

are a tried-and-true flower for Toronto, as they can live on the balcony during the warmer months but stay inside when it gets cold. If you're planting geraniums outside, be sure to do so once the frosty period has ended. Plant them in an area with lots of sunlight, where they can have light for eight hours or more. Geraniums need to be well watered, but you should always let the soil dry between waterings to avoid rotting. Often in Toronto, these flowers will be planted in planters or a tub, which is fine, but you must remember they need drain holes and should be watered often because the tubs can get warm from the sun. When it starts to get cold, bring these beauties inside and allow them sunlight for at least eight hours. Supplement the daylight with florescent lights if needed.

Geranium bush on doorstep by Leimenide
Geranium bush on doorstep by Leimenide

The jade plant, crassula ovata,

is a great plant for people who aren't always home, as it doesn't require a lot of water or attention.

"If you go away for a couple of weeks in the winter, they're not going to die on you,"

says Evoy.

They don't require much water, and they need about three to five hours of sunlight per day, while too much sun will hurt their leaves. The jade plant is often referred to as "the money plant," and some believe it brings good luck, which makes it a great housewarming gift!

Happy Jade Plant in bloom by miheco
Happy Jade Plant in bloom by miheco

Orchids

have to be one of the most beautiful plants on this list. There are many different kinds of orchids, but one that's ideal for the home is the phalaenopsis. Once in bloom, phalaenopsis orchid flowers will last for almost six months. They do well with east windowsill lighting and generally only need watering about once a week.

Orchids by Virginia Sanderson
Orchids by Virginia Sanderson

This list gives a few examples for Torontonians looking to start their plant family. But as Evoy says,

"It's hard to pick one plant that covers all the bases."

Evoy explains that it's difficult to find an all-purpose plant in Toronto because of the seasons, but this list shows there's something different for everyone in Toronto!

JM00VK

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