When the weather outside is too cold for gardening, flowering houseplants bring a touch of the garden into your home. Blooming indoor plants add color and decor to any indoor setting and are cheerful year round.
My first attempt at gardening started with houseplants. I remember coming home one day to the aroma of the open blossoms of a dwarf orange tree plant. I’d been admiring its pretty flowers for weeks and the addition of the smell as I walked in the door is something I’ll always remember.
I enjoy all types of houseplants, especially low light indoor plants, since they can be grown in so many homes. But if you are lucky enough to have ample sunshine in your home in the form of sunny window sills, then flowering houseplants cannot be beat as a way to add bright blooms, tropical foliage and even fruit.
My Favorite Flowering Houseplants
At the top of my list is the ever popular African Violet. These pretty blooming indoor plants with velvety leaves and colorful flowers are one of the most popular indoor flowering plants. Most of the big box hardware store carry them in the winter months and with a bit of luck and general care, the plant will flower year round.
Most gardeners are familiar with begonias. They are unusually treated as an annual bedding plant. But all types of begonias can be grown as house plants and tuberous begonias are the showiest, with their double blooms that are so vibrant in color. Many of them also have showy leaves in the off flowering season, too.
I love the way the leaves of oxalis close up when the sun goes down. The plant has shamrock shaped leaves in a triangular shape and seems to always have a show of pink or white blooms that sit above the plant. Oxalis is a perennial that grows outdoors from small bulbs, but it’s also happy indoors if you have medium to bright light. As a special treat, give it as a gift to a gardening friend for St. Patrick’s day! See my tips for growing oxalis here.
I won’t lie, you’ll need a bit of a green thumb to grow aphelandra squarrosa, also known as zebra plant. But this is a plant so worth the effort. It has spectacular yellow tiered flowers that sit above glossy striped green leaves. It needs high humidity and warm temperatures to flower but can do with bright filtered light.
If you are looking for showy flowers, you can’t grow wrong with Phalaenopsis Blume, also known as Moth Orchids. These blooming indoor plants have long stalks with large flowers which last for months. Contrary to common thinking, this type of orchid as actually easy to grow, at least for the first round of blooming. Getting it to re-bloom can be tricky though.
I love the way that the flowers of anthurium mimic the shape of its leaves. The plant is also known as Flamingo Flower. Unlike most flowering houseplants, anthurium will actually thrive in lower light.
The calla lily is not actually a true lily but it does have amazing flowers. The flowers are often used in bridal bouquets and can be quite expensive. Calla Lilies grow well outdoors in temperate climates and also make great flowering houseplants on a sunny window indoors.
More Blooming Indoor plants
Most outdoor annuals can do double duty as a flowering indoor plant. Taking cuttings in the autumn is a good way to prolong their life.
I grow this plant outdoors almost ever summer in flowering baskets. The plumes of red fluffy flowers have a natural draping effect that makes them ideal for this type of planter. The flowers look almost like red caterpillars and can get quite long. The plant does prefer higher humidity so misting may be necessary indoors. The plant is also called “cat’s tail.”
Dwarf Citrus Trees
I can’t forget to include my dwarf orange tree, can I? There are many types of citrus trees that have a dwarf size ideal for growing indoors. They have showy and VERY fragrant flowers that turn to small fruit. The fruits can remain on the plant for many weeks. You’ll need bright light, moderate temperatues and evenly moist soil to get them to flower indoors.
I take my Christmas cactus plants outdoor each summer and keep them in a semi sunny spot. The plant is a succulent that takes easily from cuttings. They never fail to flower for me over the holidays when I bring them indoors. Short days and less light seems to be the answer! When I see those buds appear, I know that Christmas is right around the corner.
My mother always had several pots of bright red geraniums in her family room. To this day, I can’t see the plant without picturing how wonderful they looked in bloom. Geraniums also comes in lots of other shades, as well.
Aechmea fasciata bromeliad
If you like long lasting flowers, try growing aechmea fasciata bromeliad. The showy pink flowers last for months on end, and the plant sends out pups easily to produce more plants for free. My plant had the same flower on it for 9 MONTHS. What a bargain!
Pachystachus lutea is also called golden shrimp plant. The plant is named for its unusually shaped blooms. It does well in a room with bright light and average room temperatures. Some direct sunlight gives the best blooms.
Showy amaryllis bulbs are often forced around the holidays. The flowers grow on a long stalk and produce enormous lily shaped flowers on the top. After flowering, remove the stem but leave the flowers. Place it outdoors during the summer and then bring the plant back inside for another round of flowering in late fall.
This tropical succulent is generally known as an outdoor plant, but it can be easily grown indoors. It is very happy with low moisture but does need at least a few hours of sunlight each day to bloom indoors.
The commonly grown indoor plant is this variety of Kalanchoe – Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana – with glossy green leaves and red flowers and is known as florist Kalanchoe. But other varieties of succulents, such as kalanchoe millotii will also flower, as well.
Flowering houseplants thrive on bright light and even moisture. If you have sunny window sills in your home, be sure to give one of two of these blooming indoor plants a try.
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