December 12, 2013

I’ll admit that I’ve never been a big fan of houseplants, mostly because they often wind up with mealy bugs or spider mites. I just can’t manage to give them the TLC they require during the summer months, when I’d much prefer to be in the vegetable garden. That being said, a handful of flowering houseplants have recently grown on me. I’ve taken to these species in particular because they are not only easy to grow, but they also enjoy being moved outdoors for the summer months. I can put them on the patio and take care of them in the same way I take care of all of my other patio plants. They don’t require anything special, and apparently, that’s exactly what I like in a houseplant!

If you’re looking to bring a little color indoors for the winter, you might want to consider adding some of these easy-going, flowering houseplants into your abode. Trust me—if I can do it, you can, too!

Jasmine

5 Houseplants to Grow in Winter: Jasmine - Photo courtesy iStock/Thinkstock (HobbyFarms.com)

You can’t beat this flowering vine for its sweet fragrance. Usually grown on a topiary frame or ring, jasmine bears many tubular white and light-pink flowers. They prefer high light levels, but not direct sun, and evenly moist soils. Jasminum polyanthum, sometimes called winter jasmine, is probably the easiest species to grow indoors.

Rieger Begonias

5 Houseplants to Grow in Winter: Rieger Begonias - Photo courtesy iStock/Thinkstock (HobbyFarms.com)

These winter-blooming tuberous begonias have camellia-like flowers in shades of red, yellow, orange, pink and white. Their glossy green foliage thrives in high light levels, but be sure to keep them out of direct sunlight. Come spring, this is one plant you can easily plant in a shady garden spot, though it will die with the first frost.

Gloxinia

5 Houseplants to Grow in Winter: Gloxinia - Photo courtesy iStock/Thinkstock (HobbyFarms.com)

This lovely, old-fashioned flowering houseplant deserves to make a comeback. It flowers in late winter and bears large speckled flowers in a wide range of colors. The bell-shaped blossoms cover the large leaves, but the plant goes dormant and dies back after flowering. Keep it evenly moist by watering from below to keep the leaves dry. Gloxinia prefer warm temperatures and medium to high light levels and high humidity. Putting this plant on a humidity tray is a good idea.

Silver Vase Plant

5 Houseplants to Grow in Winter: Silver Vase Plant - Photo courtesy iStock/Thinkstock (HobbyFarms.com)

Aechmea fasciata has to be one of the most unusual flowering house plants for its striking flowers and bold foliage. The pineapple-like pink and purple flower spike rises out of the center of the silvery striped leaves. The core of this plant is a hole into which water is added, rather than into the soil. This dramatic plant requires bright light and high humidity, and its flowers last for months. I’ve had the same one blooming for nearly a year!

Calceolaria

5 Houseplants to Grow in Winter: Calceolaria - Photo courtesy iStock/Thinkstock (HobbyFarms.com)

Common names for this unusual flowering plant include pocketbook flower and lady’s purse, and once you see the unique flowers, you’ll understand why. Heart-shaped, hairy, dark green leaves are topped with inflated pouch-like flowers. They can be various shades of red, yellow, orange, white and copper. The plants thrive in high humidity and cool temperatures. Keep the soil evenly moist because allowing this plant to dry out adversely effects its growth and flowering.

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