Indoor Flowering Plants
If you are looking for something producing flowers and tolerates growing indoors, don't despair. Whether you are seeking seasonal bloomers, low-growers, ones tolerating like low-light or those that grow taller to fill a larger area, there's something to fit everyone's desires. Even gardeners who feel they kill everything they bring indoors have choices in plants that thrive on neglect and still offer a blast of color.
With its large green succulent leaves and fleshy stems holding clusters of long-lasting, brightly colored flowers that come in various colors, kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana) makes a hardy houseplant that requires little care and in fact, thrives on neglect. It blooms for months, making it an attractive and colorful indoor addition to brightly lit locations such as windowsills or other bright locations.
The plant only needs water when the top inch of soil feels dry, but forgives you if you forget, just make sure the container drains. To keep the plant's shape, make it bushier, and promote more flowers, pinch off the spent flower stalks.
For those looking for indoor plants that flower but don't require a ton of light, peace lilies (Spathiphyllum spp.) fulfill those requirements and work well in medium-light areas such as bathrooms. They also remove toxins from the air. Wherever used, the plant's large, shiny green leaves and tall spikes holding creamy white flower bracts bring an indoor tropical feel.
The flowers last for weeks and bloom year-round. They require little care other than growing in rich soil that drains and water when the top inch feels dry.
African violets (Saintpaulia ionantha) have been gracing kitchen windowsills for years with their fuzzy foliage, low-growing habit and clusters of dainty flowers that range in a variety of colors that matches any decor. They make low-maintenance, colorful flowering additions to small spaces indoors that receive bright but filtered light, producing a constant supply of flowers year-round without constant pampering.
If the foliage loses its color and turns pale, the plant is getting too much sunlight. To keep the plant happy and healthy, grow in rich, well-drained soil and water from the bottom and place the African violet's container on rocks to increase humidity and it will reward you with flowers for years to come.
Growing almost 2 feet tall with glossy green heart-shaped foliage, anthuriums (Anthurium andraeanum) are low-maintenance flowering tropicals that even brown-thumb gardeners will have success growing indoors. The tall flower stems hold brightly colored waxy spathes typically found in red or pink that also make great cut flowers, if you can bring yourself to cut them off the plant.
Flowers last for several months and the plant blooms year-round. For proper flowering and growth, situate in an area receiving brightly diffused light, but not direct sun and grow in a rich, well-drained potting mix. Anthuriums love humidity, so spray the plant several times each week with water.
Silver Vase Plant
Silver Vase plant (Aechmea fasciata 'Silver Vase') is a member of the Bromeliad family and requires little care to get along well indoors. Related to pineapples, Silver Vase makes an attractive and dramatic addition to bright but filtered light areas in the home.
Its grayish-green stiff foliage forms an urn-shaped rosette, with the long-lasting, large pink bract forming from the center that holds several tiny blue flowers. Each plant only flowers once, but the flower lasts for over a month and the bromeliad graces you with new pups forming around the mother plant's base. It only requires water every week or two, but forgives forgetful waterers as it's drought-tolerant. Sit the pot on a rock-filled tray and mist with water several times weekly to increase humidity and apply water to the center rosette.
Easter cactus (Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri) are long-lived flowering plants that are true cactus, but without the nasty thorns and grow well as hardy houseplants. It makes a handsome indoor addition used in hanging baskets where its long stems can sprawl over the side and requires minimal care to thrive.
The exotic red, purple, or pink star-shaped flowers put on their main show throughout spring, but the plant periodically blooms year-round. As with all cacti, water when the top inch of soil is dry and make sure the soil is well-drained and situate the container in a location that receives medium light.
For a tropical, fragrant flowering indoor attention-grabber, grow hoya vines (Hoya carnosa) in a hanging basket, allowing the long twining branches to flow over the side. Large round flower clusters fill with waxy, star-shaped blooms that can range in various shades of reds and pinks, complimented by the thick green or variegated leaves. The blooms are long-lasting and placed in a location with bright light, hoya blooms regularly year-round.
Hoya requires little care, which makes it a suitable choice for gardeners feeling like they kill indoor plants. It is tolerant to drought and only requires water every couple of weeks and an application of houseplant fertilizer in springtime.
Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) are perfect indoor flowering choices for forgetful gardeners, and as an added bonus, they help clean the air. Depending on the cultivar, the long, thin mounding foliage is green or variegated, with long arching stems that fill with small white flowers year-round. The flowers eventually turn into baby spider plants, which give the plant its common name due to their resemblance to tiny spiders.
Spider plant thrives on neglect and makes an attractive addition to any room that receives bright light where it can hang in its basket. Its basic requirements are to grow in a container with drain holes and in well-drained potting mix. Apply water when the top inch of soil is dry, but the plant forgives you if you forget.
Florist Gloxinia (Sinningia speciose) makes a stunning indoor flowering display with its clusters of large, velvety trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom in an array of colors and fuzzy scalloped foliage. It puts on a flowering show summer throughout fall and blooms best situated in a moderately bright location.
The gloxinia can be a bit on the fussy side with its watering needs, but the stunning blooms make the extra care worthwhile. When watering, keep it off the foliage and place the container on a tray of rocks to help create humidity and keep the soil moist. The foliage is delicate, so handle the plant with care. Once it's finished blooming, you can store the entire pot in a dark location and bring back out in springtime.
Wax begonias (Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum) are hardy and easy care indoor bloomers that flower year-round situated in a location receiving bright filtered light. They dress up any indoor location with their waxy foliage that ranges in green, bronze to maroon, while producing bunches of small pink to red flowers. Its small bushy habit makes it suitable for small containers to dress up indoor tables or stands.
Grow this tropical flowering beauty in well-drained soil and water when the top inch feels dry and don't overwater. Wax begonias like humidity so spritz the plant with water several times each week and use your fingers to pinch back the fleshy stems to keep plants bushier rather than leggy.
With their large flowers ranging in a rainbow of colors and blooming year-round, don't think hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) is only for warm outdoor climates, as they make hardy, colorful indoor additions to areas receiving bright light. Their glossy green heart-shaped foliage complements the flowers, which are single or double and bring the tropics indoors where a larger houseplant works.
Hibiscus is relatively low-maintenance, requiring well-drained soil and water when the top inch of soil is dry, but will keep performing if you forget. Flowers generally last one day, but once in bloom, hibiscus rewards you with daily flowering displays.
Flowering maples (Abutilon x hybridum) get their common name due to their green maple leaf-shaped foliage, but are hibiscus relatives and make suitable houseplants where something tall works to green up an area. This is a good choice for novice indoor gardeners to have success growing due to its hardiness. Hybrids flower off and on year-round and produce 3-inch bell-shaped flowers ranging in colors of yellow, reds, pinks and orange. They resemble hibiscus flowers that haven't fully opened.
Flowering maples are hardy and carefree indoor plants requiring a bright location, fertile, well-drained soil and water when the top inch of soil is dry. The plant can grow up to 30-inches tall with a similar spread, so prune the leggy branches to keep the plant's shape and size under control.
If you are looking for a flowering plant that thrives in low-light areas in the home and keeps producing blooms, then Cape Primrose (Streptocarpus x hybridus) is the perfect choice. It makes a colorful indoor display supplying an abundance of tubular blooms surrounded by fuzzy foliage spring through fall. Depending on the cultivar, flower colors include purple, pink, blue, white and red.
It's only fussy about its water, so grow cape primrose in a rich, potting mix kept moist and keep the water off the foliage. Place the container on a rock-filled tray and let the water reach room temperature before using.
Guzmania (Guzmania spp.) belongs in the Bromeliad family and makes a colorful and interesting indoor display with its stiff green leaves forming into a rosette and best of all, it thrives with very little attention. The flower bracts, shooting up from the plant's center last for several months and range in various colors and shapes including red, orange and purple. It will dress up a table or area that receives bright filtered light as direct sun will burn the foliage.
Guzmania requires little care to thrive when planted in well-drained soil and requires water every other week, applied from the top and poured over the plant's rosette leaves. This is a definite good choice for the lazy gardener.
For an old-fashioned garden favorite that fills bright indoor locations with a constant display of colorful blooms spring throughout fall, fill your home with geraniums (Pelargonium x hortorum). Depending on the cultivar, the fuzzy foliage is green or variegated and the cluster of blooms held on upright spikes range in colors of white, red, pink and peach. They make attractive home additions used in hanging baskets or regular containers that drain. The only maintenance required is to pinch off the faded blooms to promote further blooming and weekly watering. The leaves are toxic, so keep the children and pets away from the plants.
When it comes to indoor plants, don't feel the only ones that tolerate the conditions are foliage producers. Many flowering types are well-suited for growing inside the home. With proper care, they will keep brightening their space with colorful flowers for months, if not years.