Flowering Houseplants

Great tips for bringing the outdoors In!
Flowering Houseplants - Articles

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Start with healthy plants

Check the leaves both top and bottom. You don't want to bring any new insects into your home! Look for plants with a uniform color. The lower leaves should not be yellowed. Choose plants with straight, sturdy stalks and a well-balanced array of leaves.

Consider the light

Generally, the brightest light in your house is a south-facing window. The lowest light levels are to the north. Flowering houseplants generally require a few hours of direct sunlight each day for flower production. East or west exposures are great places to keep blooming plants over the winter months, but will often be too hot for the summertime. Plants already blooming can be placed at lower light locations throughout your home, but remember that some green leaves will naturally turn yellow in the lower light conditions.

Temperature

All plants vary in their requirements, but generally temperatures between 55-65° F are suitable. Flowering plants often enjoy cooler temperatures than tropical houseplants and some require cooler temperatures to set bud. For the longest bloom, move plants to a cooler location overnight. Avoid heat ducts and tops of TVs.

Monitor for pests

Occasionally insects may be a problem. For this reason careful inspection at the time of purchase is extremely important. Flowering plants are often just temporary visitors, but they have the potential to bring insects to other plants in your home. Most common pests of flowering plants include whitefly, thrips and mealybug. Often disposal of the plant is the best solution. Pesticides can sometimes injure flowers.

Know when to compost

Often flowering plants are grown for a specific season. After the flowers are gone, they may be quite difficult to get to rebloom and not worth the space they occupy in your home. Consider recycling them on your compost pile! Plants that fall into this category might be Pocketbook plant, Florist mums, Cyclamen, Poinsettia, Zebra Plant, Persian Violet, Cinneraria, Kalanchoe, Ornamental Pepper, Paper Whites, Bromiliads, and Gloxinia. Below are listed flowering houseplants that will be of interest even when not in bloom. Many common annuals also make good flowering plants if given enough sunlight. Remember to remove (and compost) spent blossoms to encourage other buds to open.

PlantLightNotes
Violet Family African Violets, Episcia, Streptocarpus, StreptocarpellaFluorescent lighting or east or west window fall- spring
  • Water from the bottom, avoid any water on leaves
  • Use tepid water
  • Fertilize regularly with violet food as directed
  • Use peat based potting soils for repotting
  • Easy to propagate from leaf cuttings
BromeliadsIndirect light
  • Extremely long lasting flowers
  • Change water reservoir weekly
Citrus, GardeniaMinimum 4 hrs. of direct sun
  • Cool nights (50-55° ) to set flower buds
  • Citrus must be hand pollinated to set fruit
  • Gardenias love humidity
Flowering Maple, Hibiscus4 hours direct
  • Keep moist and fertilize regularly
  • Pinch back to encourage bushy, compact habit
Begonia4 hrs winter/ indirect in summer
  • Largest variety of indoor bloomers
  • Interesting foliages
  • Reproduce by cuttings, seed or division
OrchidsBright Indirect
  • Largest variety of indoor bloomers
  • Interesting foliages
  • Reproduce by cuttings, seed or division
Oxalis4 hours direct
  • Dendrobium and Phalaenopsis best for in homes
  • 65-75° plus lots of humidity
  • Special fertilizer requirements
Kafir lilyBright Indirect
  • 50-60° degrees at night to set flower buds
  • Likes to be root-bound
HydrangeaBright Indirect
  • Will bloom 6 weeks with proper care
  • Keep moist, transplant outdoors after blooming
Flowering Bulbs PrimroseNo direct sun
  • Night temperatures of 40°
  • Plant outside as soon as weather permits
  • Don't let plants stand in water

Prepared by Chris Mayer