Lovely Flowering Houseplants

Many people have leafy green houseplants here and there within their homes, but many do not attempt to grow flowering houseplants. Why is this? Do they think that they plants are too difficult? I’ve found that some flowering houseplants are easier to keep than some of the tropical green plants that I’ve butchered over the years. Amaryllis come to mind instantly as a fairly easy winter blooming plant that you could have indoors.

I always find it almost magical when some of my houseplants begin to bloom- particularly if it’s in the dead of winter. I eagerly watch as the first buds appear, and then as the bud grows and begins to bloom. I’m amazed every time. Perhaps I’m easily amazed but I think it’s almost miraculous.

Some house plants that tend to be easy to care for, and that will bloom readily are African violets. I must admit that I’ve only had success with one plant – and it died this summer after surviving for two years. I think I gave it too much care, because I know many other non gardeners who’s African violets are thriving and I’m sure they get very little care.

Unlike many plants, African Violets do not have a dormant period. If they are happy, and conditions are satisfactory they continue to grow and bloom year round. One of the most common causes for African violets failure to bloom is insufficient light. They need to be near a bright sunny area to thrive.

The African Violet has several relatives that make good flowering houseplants as well. For example, the Episcia are fibrous-rooted trailers grown for metallic-toned and delicately veined foliage.

Chznet has fringed white flowers with purple spots, and Acajou has bright red flowers. Oh the possibilities! Neither of these plants need as much light as as African Violets, and both can make attractive hanging basket plants as well.

Miniature Sinningia are lovely in terrariums or in small pots of 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Flower colors include red, lavender, and white. Cape primrose give home owners and outstanding show of flowers, and hybrids are available in several colours such as white, purple and pink. These plants enjoy semi shaded window sills and grow about 10 inches tall.

You may be interested in growing exotic flowers in your home. Bromeliads are easy and popular in the last few years. The Pineapple, aechmea and Billbergia are popular and reward the owners with lovely colour combinations of pink bracts and blue flowers which last for weeks.

Other flowering plants that you might consider are:

Abutilon (Flowering Maple) – large hollyhock like blooms of orange, pink, white, red or salmon. Shrub like, needs bright light.

Aphelandra or Zebra Plant – Shiny, deep-green leaves veined white. needs filtered or diffused sunlight.

Stapelia or Starfish Flower – Large Star-shaped flowers, velvety brown in color. Unfortunately the flowers smell like dead meat, and this plant is sometimes called the Carrion flower.

Plants that are often grown outdoors in the summer and then abandoned to the elements during the cool winter months can make good indoor plants as well if they are given sufficient light to survive- Fuchsia, Impatiens, Begonia, Geranium, Lantana, and Browalia do well. Care should be used to avoid bringing in insect pests when you move these plants indoors.

Sometimes people get plants such as Poinsettias, Easter Lilies, Cyclamen, and Cineraria to survive – I’ve had the first three in my home for the last five years myself – but they can be difficult as they need periods of cooling and adequate humidity to survive.

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