6 Flowering Houseplants to Bring Color Indoors
Brighten dreary days with pots of colorful flowers. Place these six easygoing houseplants in strategic spots around the house to bring spring inside year-round. Set a pretty pot beside the sink in the kitchen, or display a blooming container on the vanity. A flowering arrangement is the simplest way to add a personal touch to even the smallest of spaces.
Crazy for Coral
There's nothing like a tropical-looking Rieger begonia to calm your spring break fever during blustery winter days. To ensure that the low-maintenance plant lasts until March, give it good, filtered light. It does best when the soil has time to dry out between waterings. How do you know when it's thirsty? If the soil feels dry to the touch a few inches below the surface, your begonia needs a drink. Cover the top rim of the container with the begonias' leaves to hide unsightly stems and soil underneath.
Blue and White Forever
While nothing could replace the excitement of
seeing the first hydrangea blooming in the yard, it's nice that we can add the Southern favorite to any space at any time of the year. Keep these greenhouse-grown flowers healthy by watering only when the soil feels dry. If brown spots appear on their leaves and petals, they've had too much. Come springtime, you can replant them outside as shrubs. Houseplants love humidity. Give them a daily misting when the heat is on during winter months. This can also help reduce the threat of pests like spider mites.
Welcome the scent of your garden indoors with a pot of lush Spanish lavender. This fragrant (but not edible) plant will bloom until spring if it's kept next to a window with plenty of direct sunlight. Grow English or hedge lavender to use in cooking and cocktails. Water when the top of the soil is dry to the touch. If the decorative container doesn't have drainage holes, keep the plant in its original plastic pot. Remove it, and water in the sink. Let it drain thoroughly before returning, because leaving it in standing water for too long causes root rot.
Dress up small spaces with petite African violets. These popular houseplants are easy to maintain and will bloom almost constantly if given the right care. Set this container in a spot that receives bright, indirect sunlight for most of the day. If the plant appears leggy or doesn't flower, it needs more light. Water this plant from below instead of above. Place the container in a saucer of water, and remove it when the soil is fully moist.
Cursed with a black thumb? No one will notice with these delightful fakes made by William C. Wood. The English Field Daisies (left) and Narcissus (right) were created by cutting and shaping pieces of copper and tin and then soldering them together to form delicate arrangements. Meticulous coats of metal and oil paints give the blooms and leaves an authentic look. After all the precise work, Wood places them in casual terra-cotta containers to emphasize the just-from-the-potting-bench effect. Wood has been making these arrangements by hand for 45 years in Clinton, Mississippi. Call to order or request a catalog: 601/488-4587.
Moth orchids are easy-to-care-for, easy-to-find houseplants. These tropical flowers grow best in humid environments with warmer temperatures—like indoors with the thermostat dialed up during the wintertime. Avoid setting orchids in direct sunlight, which could burn their leaves. Pot them in containers with good drainage, and place them in a spot that receives bright, indirect or filtered sunlight—in a powder room with gauzy curtains covering the window, for example. Water regularly, but be careful not to drown them.