Houseplants are normally tropical plants and usually grown for their foliage. However, there are a group of houseplants that bloom during certain times of the year.
The first group of flowering houseplants are called seasonal flowering. It could be spring, summer, fall or winter. Many of these seasonal flowering plants can also be bought out-of-season if the are grown in greenhouses. These seasonal flowers include: alamanda, cyclamen, amaryllis, firecracker vine, cineraria, crossandra, gardenia, gloriosa lily, hydrangea, camelia, gloxinia, Martha Washington Geranium and zebra plant.
When buying this group of plants look for shiny, fresh green leaves. Many of these plants are sold just before they begin to bloom. Most will last a lifespan but many people will regard them as a short-lived gift plant and discard them after blooming. Of course, this is a waste of a good plant.
The next group of houseplants are those that bloom all year. With a little luck and a lot of the right care these plants can bloom all year round. In this group are some plants that blooming even when it is not the right time of the year. Naturally they are most beautiful in spring and early summer, but if grown correctly, they will provide year-round enjoyment.
These year-round blooming houseplants include: elatior begonia, crown of thorns, flamingo flower, hibiscus, and African violets. When purchasing these plants look for fresh, green leaves with both buds and open blooms. There should be no signs of bruising or insects damage. Gently inspect the undersides of the leaves for these signs.
The plants in this group could be called short-lived gift plants or “cut flowers” in a pot. They normally don’t cost more than a bouquet of cut flowers, but will last much longer. The idea is to enjoy them and when the flower blooms drop off, discard the plant. It will take a lot of care to get them to bloom again. The two plants in this group include caladium and pocketbook plant.
These plants should be purchased just as they are coming into flowering. The leaves should be fresh, green with no spots. Since caladium are bought for their leaf colors, buy plump, healthy tubers with not blemishes.
Many homeowners dream about having a living room with a nice display of tropical climbing and hanging plants. In this group it is wise to do your homework to get to know all about hanging plants and also for those plants that are well suited for climbing.
This group include lipstick plant, Italian bellflower, Stephanotis jasmine, flame violet, jasmine, cup-and-saucer vine, bougainvillea, and wax plant. The hanging plant group can also include pots of annual flowers but cannot be carried over for next growing season.
Plants should be purchased as compact, bushy plants and have fresh green leaves. Make sure they have a lot of flowers and a lot of buds. These plants can last for several years if placed in the right location and given ample water.
The last group has fascinating shapes and interesting habits. This is the exciting cacti and succulents. Their shapes and habits are the result of adapting to difficult conditions in deserts or tropical areas. Their thick coverings prevent water from evaporating.
This group of flowering cactus and succulents include orchid cactus, prickly pear, hatiora, living stone, queen of the night, Christmas (Thanksgiving) cactus and jade plant.
When buying these plants look for plants with shiny, thick juicy stem and symmetrical form. When buying a cactus, make sure that the roots are well-anchored in the pot. The plant should not be damaged in any way. All of these plants can live long period to time and should be treated as such. This may include thinning out the pot or even moving to the outside as the case of prickly pear.
Jim Coe lives in Lawton.