Age-Old Wisdom meets Modern Tools
Flowering Houseplants to Brighten Winter
Here are great flowering houseplants to brighten your winter days. These plants are practically bullet-proof and will blossom indoors for weeks.
Best Flowering Houseplants
- Kalanchoe are rugged succulents that will grow well on a south-facing windowsill.
They come in a wide range of crayon-bright colors. If you want something a little different look for Kalanchoe pumila which has pink blossoms and gray trailing foliage. It looks stunning in a hanging basket. All kalanchoes like cool temperatures and are drought tolerant, in case you forget to water.
- Christmas cactus are easy to find in florist shops, grocery stores, and garden centers this time of year.
They come in many neon shades of red, purple, pink, and white. Not a true cactus, these plants are actually epiphytes, like many orchids.
A cool bright room is the best place to display them, especially if the night temperatures drop to 55 to 60 degrees. This will prolong the life of the flowers. Don’t put them in direct sun or near a heat source. Try to keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. After blossoming let the plant rest, continue to water it only when dry.
- Phalenopsis is one of the easiest orchids to grow and the flowers, which resemble moths or butterflies in flight, will last for 3 to 4 months.
They come in a wide range of solid colors, stripes, and bi-colors. Water once or twice a week and fertilize once a month. Most orchids die from too much attention rather than from neglect. They like the same temperatures we do, 60 to 75 during the day with a drop to 55 to 60 at night. Bright indirect light from an east or west window is best.
- Cyclamen grow from a corm that sits near the surface of the soil. This long-lasting houseplant will bloom from now thru April. It has marbled, heart-shaped foliage and elegant flowers borne singly on bare stalks.
They come in pink, purple, red, and white with some bi-colors and the blossoms can have plain or ruffled edges. The plants like bright indirect light and cool temperatures. To prevent moisture from rotting the crown, water from the bottom by sitting the plant in a saucer of water for a few minutes. After it has drawn up enough water to reach the surface let it drain. Let the plant dry out slightly between waterings.
When transporting your plants, make sure to protect them from the elements and don’t leave them in a cold vehicle.
Resolve to make any gift a plant this year—and brighten someone’s day!
About This Blog
Get inspired by Robin Sweetser’s backyard gardening tips and tricks. Robin has been a contributor to The Old Farmer’s Almanac and the All-Seasons Garden Guide for many years. She and her partner Tom have a small greenhouse business and also sell plants, cut flowers, and vegetables at their local Farmer’s Market.