Best indoor flowering plants – 10 pretty blooms to grow
Brighten your home year-round with our pick of the top indoor flowering plants
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Energize and brighten your rooms with our favorite indoor flowering plants. Recognized for their beautiful blooms and easy-to-care for nature, they are a sure-fire way of adding life and beauty to your décor.
From the elegant orchid and understated peace lily to bright and cheery stars such as kalanchoe, wax plant and the eternal flame plant, there is a raft of indoor plants to choose from that have subtle or showy blooms.
Master craftsman and product designer Tom Raffield (opens in new tab) says, ‘Spending more of our time inside, it’s incredibly important for our wellbeing to stay connected to the natural world that surrounds us. Nurturing nature indoors by adding flowering houseplants to our homes has a multitude of benefits: plants help to clean air, boost our mood, promote concentration and even improve memory. Houseplants add height, texture, color and interest to interiors, helping to crate a biophilic haven in which to spend our time.’
We’ve consulted green-fingered experts to find out their favorite flowering indoor plants, too, so you can share in the joy.
Best indoor flowering plants
Looking for flowering indoor plants that reward with mood boosting blooms? These favorites are a real hit with both us and the experts and set to charm you too.
1. African Violet
These are the indoor plants many of us remember from childhood and for good reason too. Enduringly popular and prolific flowerers, African violets have cheery five petalled open blooms in shades of purple, blue, pink, white and red. Set against dark, furry leaves they are pretty straightforward to care for, requiring a constant temperature of 65-75℉ (18-24℃) and at least 10 daily hours of sunlight to flower steadily.
Avoid watering the leaves as this can cause them to mark or rot and only water when the soil is completely dry. Feed with a specialist liquid plant food during the growth period – spring and summer.
With blooms in almost every color of the rainbow, it’s no surprise that Kalanchoe are one of the most popular indoor flowering plants. These small pot beauties look fabulous lined up on a window sill or grouped together on a table top and are incredibly cheery. Most species can tolerate full sun and thanks to their beautiful, thick fleshy leaves that store water they generally need very little care.
Choose from 125 species with single and double blooms and expect flowers to last around eight weeks.
3. Calathea or Eternal Flame plant
A true showstopper and popular with the design-savvy, calatheas are known for their boldly patterned leaves in striking colors but do have spectacular flowers too. One popular variety ‘tassmania’ or Calathea ‘Eternal Flame’ teams deep purple foliage, flashed with green, along with bright orange flowers. Each bloom sits well above the foliage and can last up to 3 months.
Hailing from tropical regions, these plants prefer stable temperatures above 59℉ (15℃) and a well-lit position out of direct sun. Keep them well watered – although not waterlogged – and in high humidity – either in a steamy wet room or kitchen or mist foliage regularly.
4. Anthurium or Flamingo Lily
Easy to care for and wonderfully exotic, anthuriums have large showy blooms that last for weeks on end. Set against deep green glossy leaves, the flowers come in shades of red, pink, white flushed with lime.
Eliza Blank of The Sill (opens in new tab) says,’ Each bloom can last up to eight weeks, and new ones will pop up often. These aren’t actual flowers, but modified waxy leaves known as spathes.’
Originally from the rainforests of Ecuador and Colombia, it’s no surprise that they thrive in warm, humid and light conditions. Temperatures between 59-68℉ (1520℃) are ideal. Mist regularly and only water when the top inch (2.5cm) of compost are dry. These plants are toxic if ingested, so not ideal for homes with young children or pets.
Fancy an indoor flower that’s big and bold? Then try an amaryllis. Often regarded as one of the best Christmas plants and flowers, these large bulbs are hugely satisfying to grow and flower indoors through winter through to early spring. Anticipating the moment the flower bud finally unfurls is truly exciting and with blooms in every shade from pure white, blush pink, coral, scarlet to deep maroon, these plants are seriously addictive.
Plant expert Sarah Raven (opens in new tab) says, ‘I love amaryllis from South Africa and the incredibly fragrant tuberose, both wonderful growing and flowering inside. My favorite amaryllis is probably ‘Green Magic’ or the very rich crimson ‘Mandela’. Tuberrose are famously tricky, so they’re a plant I recommend buying already with buds about to burst open. They smell incredible!’
Plant the bulb in free draining potting compost with the top third of the bulb above the surface. Place the pot in bright, indirect light and water sparingly. Once the stem is 2 inches (5cm) water regularly. Stake the stem to support the top heavy flower.
6. Hoya carnosa or wax plant
This climbing vine from South India has clusters of perfectly formed star shaped flowers and a delightful, sweet scent. Delicate and extremely long-lived this flowering indoor plant needs very little attention and looks stunning indoors in a hanging planter or trailing from a high shelf or mantelpiece. The deep green leaves have a smattering of silvery freckles and can reach up to 4 inches (10 cm) long.
Humidity lovers, try to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged – as this can cause root rot – and mist leaves regularly. A room temperature of above 50℉ (10℃) is a must, and fee with a liquid fertilizer during the growth period – spring and summer.
From March to November, fill your home with the colorful blooms of streptocarpus. In an endless array of eye-catching shades – ranging from delicate rose, pale lemon to deepest violet – these easy-going indoor flowering plants put on a dramatic and long-lasting show. The flat, open flowers are perched on the slenderest of stems, high above green strappy leaves.
Grow them in a bright position, out of direct sunlight and keep them well watered. Regular dead heading and feeding with a potash rich liquid fertilizer will keep the plant flowering continually for nine months of the year.
8. Phalaenopsis or moth orchid
‘Orchids are unusual and striking, low-maintenance houseplants that are available in a range of bright and exotic colors,’ says Scott Perkins, Houseplant Buyer at Hillier Nurseries (opens in new tab). ‘The most popular orchids are Moth Orchids (Phalaenopsis), as they require very little upkeep to still look stunning. Like most varieties of orchid, the blooms are not only vibrant but also monosymmetric, meaning they mirror either half of the flower itself. Orchids look elegant and glamorous and can add a pop of color to any room.’
Orchid care is surprisingly easy: during winter place these elegant plants on a south facing windowsill for some indirect sun but be sure to move them back to an east or west facing in spring to avoid them getting scorched.
Scott continues, ‘Always water your moth orchid in the morning so that they can dry before the evening. They key to keeping moth orchids is not to over water. So once every week or two weeks in winter will allow them to thrive.’
9. Flowering bulbs
Many flowering spring bulbs can be planted up to bring exquisite color and perfume into your home.
Bulb triallist and grower Sarah Raven says, ‘I adore a tired wedding cake of Paper White narcissus or hyacinths, with a smaller pot, stacked on top of a larger one at the base, and then linked together with a nest of silver birch. The branches support the highly scented bulbs as they start to grow so they don’t flop and woven into patterns they look great.’
She also adds, ‘I also cover the indoor bulb compost with moss and/or dried leaves with great shapes (such as sweet chestnut or oak), creating a sort of mini-indoor landscape so that the bulbs look great straight away – even before the bulbs are in flower.’
10. Aeschynanthus 'Twister' or lipstick plant
Quirky, distinctive and above all fun – this plant will certainly grab people’s attention. With its incredible trails of curling green leaves tipped with tubular red flowers you can’t fail to notice this plant when it blooms in late summer.
Slow growing it will eventually grow upto 23inches (60cm) making it ideal for a hanging planter or high windowsill. It does prefer warm climes so keep the room temperature above 64℉ (18℃) and ideally between 70-80℉ (21-27℃). A steamy shower room or kitchen is ideal. Do avoid positioning in direct sun though as this can scorch the foliage.
Where to buy indoor flowering plants
You can buy indoor flowering plants at your local nursery; ask for guidance if you need help. Otherwise, shop online for the best places to buy plants. These include: Lowes Garden Center (opens in new tab), Home Depot's Garden Center (opens in new tab) and Burpee (opens in new tab) for the best buys.
Will indoor flowering plants bloom all year round?
It depends on the plant, but most indoor plants are more likely to flower in spring and summer,’ says Richard Cheshire, Plant Doctor at Patch Plants (opens in new tab). ‘This is simply because that’s when the weather is warmest and there’s lots of sunlight. However, if you can keep the conditions in your home consistently warm and bright, it’s not unusual to see plants flower outside the warmer months.’
Which houseplant flowers the longest?
This is hotly debated, and the two leading contenders have to be the anthurium or the calathea, with their flowers lasting for eight weeks and three months respectively. Both plants are pretty easy to care for and have attractive foliage too, for the rare times when they are not flowering.
Which indoor plants flower the most?
The most prolific and popular indoor flowering plants include: African violet; streptocarpus; phalaenopsis; kalanchoe; anthurium.
Jill Morgan has spent the last 20 years writing for Interior and Gardening magazines both in print and online. Titles she has been lucky enough to work on include House Beautiful, The English
Home, Ideal Home, Modern Gardens and Gardeningetc.com. Although much of her career has involved commissioning and writing about reader homes and home improvement projects, her
everlasting passion is for gardens and outdoor living, which is what she writes about for Homes & Gardens.
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