It?s sad to say goodbye to the colorful, cheery blooms of the garden when the seasons change. Flowers just make everything feel lighter and happier. That?s why I make an effort to keep flowering houseplants around, especially during the colder months when the garden has been put to bed and I need my flower fix. Design an indoor garden space with these stunning flowering houseplants and you will hardly miss the summer garden at all.
Houseplants are a wonderful way for anyone to get a little garden therapy, no matter what the circumstances. Maybe you live in a small apartment with no outdoor space. Maybe it?s the dead of winter and you miss seeing green, living things. Maybe your home is dark and needs brightening up (if that?s the case, check out the best houseplants for low light ).
Houseplants are also a great option for those who are brand new to gardening or don?t think they have a green thumb (EVERYBODY has a green thumb, I promise). Once you see your first houseplant grow and bloom because of the care you give it, you?ll go from identifying as a black-thumb gardener to a proud plant mama in no time!
The Best Flowering Houseplants
Here are my favorite indoor bloomers and some basic care instructions for each one. I hope you create a magical, flowerful haven in your home with these beauties.
Orchids are among the most stunning flowers available. Orchids like to dry out between watering and have plenty of air circulation at their roots. They like a humid environment, so to keep them happy. Prolong the blooms by keeping the orchid in a warm spot out of direct sunlight. When the blooms have faded, clip off the flower stem and be sure not to overwater. It will make an attractive green houseplant until the next flowers appear.
African Violet (Saintpaulia)
Named for their flowers, which are similar in shape and color to violets, these low-growing plants produce beautiful frilly blossoms which come in various shades of purple, pink, and white. African Violets like lots of indirect sunlight, so place them in a bright window. Water them from the bottom with lukewarm or room-temperature water and remove wilted flowers to promote new blooms.
Usually pink, purple, or red, these sweet little flowers have delicate upward-facing petals and pretty variegated leaves. Cyclamen need to be watered regularly (every day or so), but they are also sensitive to overwatering, so check the soil?s moisture level before you water. Cyclamen also like good air circulation, so be sure to remove any dropped blooms and leaves from the top of the soil.
Bromeliads (Bromeliaceae) and Air Plants (Tillandsia)
Bromeliads and air plants are often brought home when they are flowering, as they are the most striking when the vibrantly-hued flower is in its full glory. That being said, a flowering bromeliad or air plant is at the end of its life cycle. These epiphytic plants propagate by producing pups at the base of the plant after flowering. The mother plant will then die back and allow the pups to grow, flourish, and bloom. Learn more
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
Peace lilies are among the easiest flowering houseplants to grow, and they will produce blooms all year long. The bloom consists of a spadix (this is the long, skinny piece that sticks up) surrounded by a white or colored spathe (the large spade-shaped ?petal?). The little bumps on the spadix are technically the flowers! This plant likes shade best and should be watered only when soil is dry, about once a week.
Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter Cacti
Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x Buckleyi), Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncata), and Easter cactus (Hatiora gaertneri) are succulents that bloom near the holiday that they are named for. These plants produce gorgeous star-shaped flowers that are red, pink, purple, white, orange, or yellow. For in-depth care instructions, see
Flowering Maple (Abutilon)
Flowering maples, so called because their leaves have a shape similar to maple leaves (they are actually a type of mallow), can grow anywhere from 1.5 to 10 feet tall. You can control their size by pruning regularly and selecting an appropriate indoor flowerpot. The bigger the planter, the bigger the flowering maple will get. Place in a sunny area and water only when the soil feels dry.
Have fun creating your indoor flower garden and remember that garden therapy can happen anywhere, from tiny apartments to big outdoor spaces.
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If you have pets at home, you know that they love houseplants. Whether it is to bat at the leaves, dig in the soil, or munch on them, indoor plants are part of the home jungle that belongs to the animals of the house. You may also know that there are some houseplants that are poisonous to pets. While you may not be able to stop your furry friends from chewing on the plants (and make sure you read on to see why they actually should), you can pick and choose which houseplants you keep in paw?s reach in order to create a pet-safe, worry-free environment.
After my small 9-pound Boston Terrier had a seizure one day, I looked around to see what might have caused it. While I may never know the definite cause of that seizure, I was horrified to see that one of my houseplants had clearly been chewed. I looked up the plant and found out that it is toxic to pets.
Luckily, it is only mildly toxic, but it was enough for me to do my research and bone up on which plants I do not want to keep in my pet-friendly home.
For information on which garden plants are toxic to pets, head over to this article:
Let Them Eat Plants!
Teaching pets not to eat plants is a losing battle. Cats and dogs need to eat some roughage to help with digestion. For instance, cats eat plants so they can vomit and?despite the unpleasantness of it for humans?that?s a healthy activity for cats.
Cats will commonly eat grass to help them dislodge hairballs. Cats can?t digest grass nor plant material and therefore it causes them to throw up. When they vomit, they can clear out the undigested fur, feathers, or bone that is irritating their stomach. So, instead of trying to stop your cat from eating grass, make them their own cat grass garden! Provide some sprouted wheatgrass in a shallow indoor planter for them to munch on and get rid of the common houseplants that are poisonous to pets.
Dogs eat grass and plants as well, but not to vomit. Adding some plant material to their diet can help with digestion by adding fiber or nutrients that they are not getting in their food. Try adding chunks of pumpkin or sweet potato to Fido?s food or add finely processed vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and celery. In addition, giving dogs antlers to gnaw on helps them satisfy the need to chew. These tips may help to prevent dogs from indoor plant grazing and keep them safe from the poisonous ones.
Houseplants that are Poisonous to Pets
The following is a list of common houseplants that are poisonous to pets, and exactly how toxic they are. Some of these will cause a minor tummy ache, while others are more severe and require an immediate trip to the vet if ingested. For more information, check out
Rating: Mild to Moderate
Aloe Vera: Aloe can cause nausea and vomiting, and a change in urine color. Instead, try: Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum tectorum).
Amaryllis: Ingestion of the leaves, stems and bulbs of this popular holiday plant can cause vomiting and difficulty breathing. Instead, try: Hibiscus (Hibiscus syriacus).
Araceae family: These common houseplants plants include Alocasia, Arrowhead Plant, Calla lily, Chinese Evergreen, Dieffenbachia, Elephant?s Ear (Colocasia), Peace Lily, Philodendron, Pothos, and Schefflera are common houseplants that can be bad for pets who like to chew on plants. They can cause mouth swelling and your pet could have difficulty breathing and swallowing. Instead, try: Zebra Plant (Aphelandra squarrosa).
Cyclamen: The roots of Cyclamen are toxic to pets, so if you keep this plant, be sure you trust that your pet will not dig it up and eat the roots. Instead, try: African Violet (Saintpaulia).
Ivy: Ivy is both a common houseplant and garden plant that is toxic to pets. Instead, try: Ferns.
Poinsettia: Poinsettias have been long rumored to be greatly poisonous to pets, but the report is somewhat overblown. They certainly are somewhat toxic to animals and can cause some drooling or at worst diarrhea. While it?s a good idea to prevent pets from eating , there is no need to panic if they do. Instead, try: Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera).
Bird of Paradise: Because of its gorgeous flower, this houseplant is often given as a gift, and few people realize that this is very poisonous to cats and dogs. Symptoms develop quickly and so it?s best to seek immediate medical help for your pet if any parts are ingested. Instead, try: Orchids (Orchidaceae).
Kalanchoe: Ingestion can cause serious consequences for cats and dogs. It contains a toxin that affects the heart. Keep these pretty flowering plants away from your pets to be safe. Instead, try: Lipstick Plant (Aeschynanthus).
Sago Palm is a tropical houseplant. All parts of the sago are toxic, but especially the ?nuts? or seeds. Just a small amount can make your pet severely ill. Instead, try: Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens).