If you want fresh flowers in your home all year round, flowering houseplants are the answer. Many flowers for months in summer, and there are even houseplants that flower in the middle of winter. Here are four of our favourite flowering houseplants:
1. Cape primrose (Streptocarpus)
The Cape primrose is a fantastic flowering houseplant, producing sprays of gorgeous flowers from late spring through to autumn, held on slender stems above rosettes of deep green veined leaves. Native to the Drakensberg mountains in South Africa, it grows in woodland conditions, so it needs protection from the hot midday sun. Place it on an east- or west-facing windowsill from spring to autumn, moving it to a brighter spot in winter. Water when the compost feels dry to the touch, and don’t leave the pot sitting in water, as the roots could rot. Feed fortnightly from spring to autumn with a half-strength high potash food or a specialist Streptocarpus food.
2. African violets (Streptocarpus)
Previously called Saintpaulia, African violets are now considered part of the Streptocarpus genus. These compact plants are perfect for a windowsill, with velvety leaves and colourful flowers in spring and summer. Like Cape primroses, they will do well on an east- or west-facing windowsill in summer and should be moved to a south-facing position in winter to get more light. African violets don’t like the cold or sudden changes in temperature. Keep them at between 18-24°C (64-75°F) during the day and above 16°C (60°F) at night, and protect them from draughts. Water when the compost is dry, using water at room temperature rather than cold water. Feed monthly in spring and summer with a half-strength liquid houseplant food.
3. Peace lily (Spathiphyllum)
The Peace Lily doesn’t flower very often, but the blooms last a long time when it does. The elegant hooded white flowers, held on tall stems, look cool and stylish against large deep green leaves. Peace lilies like bright but indirect light and will also grow well in shady rooms. Water regularly and feed monthly with a liquid houseplant food.
4. Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera)
In the middle of winter, the Christmas cactus is a splash of bright colour, with vibrant flowers appearing at the ends of its long, segmented leaf-like stems. Getting a Christmas cactus to come back into flower each year takes some effort, but the results are well worth it.
- Start in winter, with a plant that is already in flower.
- In late January, once flowering has finished, place the plant somewhere cool (12-15°C/54-59°F) to encourage it to rest and water it very sparingly, just enough to keep the compost from drying out.
- In April, move it into a warmer position, water regularly and feed monthly with a liquid houseplant feed.
- In September, when the plant starts producing buds at the ends of its stems, move it back into a cooler spot again until the buds have formed.
We have a sensational range of flowering houseplants in our centre, so visit us soon and fill your home with beautiful flowers!