20 Flowering Indoor Plants That Produce Lovely Blooms
From moth orchids to chrysanthemums, gardening experts share their favorites.
The only thing better than a gorgeous leafy green houseplant is one that produces beautiful blooms indoors. "Indoor plants including peace lilies, Hoya linearis, and some varieties of Aphelandra all produce flowers, and they're fairly easy to come by," says Dr. Katie Cooper, founder of Bloombox Club. "However, some houseplants might take years to produce blooms, so you should take pleasure in them as foliage plants first and foremost, and then take any flowers as a bonus!"
When shopping for indoor flowering plants, Lisa Eldred Steinkopf, author of Houseplant Party: Fun Projects & Growing Tips for Epic Indoor Plants ($18.23, amazon.com) says to look for ones with more buds than flowers to ensure they have more time to bloom. "Inspect the plant to make sure it appears fresh and bug-free," she says. "Don't let the flowers distract you from the actual plant—it needs to be healthy in order for the flowers to bloom."
Once you bring your flowering plant home, Joyce Mast, Bloomscape's "plant mom" says it will require specific growing conditions to flourish. "The watering needs are the same for most indoor plants," she explains. "Monitor your plant's soil by pushing your finger about two to three inches down into the soil to see if it is damp. If it feels dry, water your plant thoroughly allowing the water to flow from the drainage holes, but make sure there's no water trapped inside the pot (or pot cover) or else the roots may drown." As for right lighting requirements, she says that will depend on the specific plant. "Generally most indoor flowering plants are able to reside in various lighting situations in your home, even in the direct sunlight."
Affordable and easy to find, Steinkopf says Phalaenopsis orchids, pictured here, also known as moth orchids, produce stunning sprays of flowers that can last for months. "Water approximately once a week, removing the plant from the decorative pot, and taking it to the sink to run water through the pot until the medium is thoroughly moistened." Interested in growing some pretty flowering plants indoors this winter? We asked our experts what bloom-producing houseplants they would recommend, to add some color to your indoor plant garden.
If you're looking for an indoor-friendly plant that produces bright colored blooms, Mast suggests bromeliads. "They come in a variety of vibrant colors and the blooms can last up to three months," she says. "They are easy to care for and only require watering every two weeks of so."
For a flowering houseplant that doesn't require full sun, Steinkopf says to consider African violets. "These fuzzy-leaved African natives are perfect for an east window or under electric lights," she explains. "Keep them evenly moist by using a well-drained potting medium."
Aeschynanthus Lipstick Vine
Commonly known as "lipstick" plants, Aeschynanthus lipstick vine has pointy, waxy leaves and produces blooms with clusters of bright red flowers. "The red flowers of the lipstick plant look like they're being pushed out of a lipstick tube," Cooper explains. To ensure better blooms, place your lipstick plants in partial shade, so they receive bright light for at least a few hours a day."
According to Mast, chrysanthemums are an ideal plant for growing indoors. "They require very little care other than keeping the soil moist and making sure the pot has good drainage," she explains. "The blooms generally last three to four weeks and come in a variety of bold colors."
In the market for a flowering plant that you can show off in a plant hanger or on a shelf? Mast says to look no further than Zygocactus, popularly known as Christmas cactus. "Zygos are unique cacti that feature long segmented vines that will spill over the pot, and in the early winter, they produce beautiful red blooms at the end of their vines," she explains. "They can take the full sunlight and do not require much water."
Crown of Thorns
The succulent cousin of the poinsettia plant, Euphorbia milii, known as crown of thorns, produces small, colorful blooms. "Use a well-drained potting medium and allow the plant to dry between watering," Steinkopf advises. "They flower best in full sun, so place them in a south or west-facing window."
A popular flowering houseplant, Mast says kalanchoes produce a plethora of colorful rosette-like blooms. "This is a succulent-like plant, so it doesn't require much water" she explains. "They do well in bright sun, so set them on a windowsill facing south or west."
Mast says cyclamen are an easy-to-grow blooming houseplant that produces bright, heart-shaped blooms that can last up to eight weeks when given the right growing conditions. "Keep the soil moist and make sure there is no standing water in the pot," she advises. "Some varieties have sweetly scented blooms."
Believe it or not, Cooper says your Sansevieria "snake" plants are capable of producing blooms. "Revered for being 'unkillable,' snake plants look rough and tough but they can surprise you with flowers, even if you've had them for years without seeing any," she says. Make sure to place yours in bright indirect light and water them every ten days to provide the best growing conditions.
Known for their large, heart-shaped leaves and romantic white blooms, Mast says anthuriums are unfussy and easy to care for indoors. "These beauties will thrive in a warm and bright spot in your home with a bit of extra humidity, but can tolerate low to bright indirect light," she explains.
Commonly known as "wax plants," Cooper says Hoya Linearis has long, flowing locks that produce little white flowers, seasonally. "This plant can surprise you with little white flowers that have the appearance of tealights, and smell like honeysuckle," she says.
Aechmea Blue Rain
A unique and popular bromeliad with brightly colored foliage, Copper says the Aechmea "Blue Rain" plants produces bright red, pink, purple, and white flowers that can grow up to 40 centimeters tall. "The Blue Rain will transport you to the tropics in an instant," she explains.
Also known as the "zebra plant," Cooper says the Aphelandra squarrosa is a brightly patterned foliage plant that produces little yellow bracts that last up to eight months. "As well as sporting bright, yellow flowers, these plants have gorgeous striped leaves in deep green and white," she says.
Beloved for their beautiful fragrance, Alfred Palomares, VP of merchandising and resident plant dad for The Plant Shop at 1-800-Flowers.com, says that gardenias are perennials that can be grown both indoors and outdoors. "This blooming plant has bright, waxy white petals that boldly stand out among its evergreen leaves," he says.
If you are looking for a traditional flowering plant to grow indoors, Palomares recommends a classic rose plant. "Blooming in different shades of pink, red, yellow, orange, purple and more, this popular perennial can often be purchased year-round," he says.
For a flowering indoor plant that provides ample amounts of color, consider growing hydrangeas. "Hydrangea varieties grow in shades of blues, pinks, purples and whites, and make a high impact in any space," Palomares explains. "Just remember that this plant requires full sun to partial shade in order to thrive—so be sure to place it in a south-facing window, or under grow lights as needed."
Well known for their air-purifying abilities, peace lilies are flowering houseplants with dark green leaves and white bracts that grow hooded over little flowers. Place your peace lily plant in medium light if you want it to produce more flowers, or in low light if you prefer more foliage.
If you thought geraniums could only be grown outdoors, think again. Available in several varieties and colors, potted geraniums can be grown indoors throughout the year as long as they receive at least six hours of direct sunlight, or about 14 hours of artificial grow light, every day.
Native to South Africa, clivia plants are famous for their trumpet-like blooms that range in color from pale orange to red. And while outdoors they require lots of shade to grow, inside they prefer bright, indirect light to thrive as container plants, so take care to place them in a south or west-facing window.