Plants and flowers can be like pets. Take care of them, nourish them, by all means talk to them, and chances are they will repay you with flourishing blooms and abundant greenery. Beautiful gardens are nurturing and happy havens from the cares of the world. Transplant some of that joy by bringing one or more of your favorite plants indoors or add something new to the floral landscape in your home.
Royal Velvet Plant
Among the loveliest indoor plants is Gynura aurantiaca, more commonly called purple passion plant, purple velvet plant or royal velvet plant. Royal velvet is probably the most accurate description of the velvety purple ovate leaves. They look luxurious cascading from a hanging basket, but they are just as attractive in a pot. Since the Gynura aurantiaca is a trailing perennial, it can extend up to 8 feet long, although its rich purple color tends to fade the longer it grows. It looks best if kept trimmed.
Royal velvet has no illusions of grandeur as to growing conditions. It responds well to indirect light, and some sunlight, and prefers temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This plant needs just a modest amount of water, say once a week or if the soil feels dry. It does not always flower, but when it does the blooms are orange yellow. Generally, this member of the Asteracaea family and native of Indonesia is content to sit in a place of honor, looking royal and receiving adulation from the chief courtier.
Meet all its growing conditions, and the African violet (Saintpaulia) is an easygoing house plant.
Place it in full sun, keep its roots permanently wet or put it in the path of an air vent and you will have a most unhappy plant on your hands. African violets prefer gentle, preferably filtered, morning sun and regular but very moderate watering, They like comfortably warm locations (between 65 and 85 degrees F) and shelter from continuous drafts.
African violets are simple to propagate. Place the stem of a single leaf in water and roots will emerge to transplant to soil. African violets love their own company, so always arrange several pots together and they will often bloom in unison. There are several pretty flower colors, including purple, pink, burgundy and white, as well as combinations of these colors.
The peace lily (Spathiphyllum) is an elegant growing bouquet of shiny green leaves about 10 to 12 inches long on tall stems, and swan-like white flowers that bloom frequently.
While the peace lily does not appreciate direct sunlight, it does need a bright environment to do well, and lots of water to ensure moist, but not oversaturated soil. The leaves will literally droop if there is insufficient water, so make it a point to water punctually, preferably on a set day of the week.
This graceful plant is native to Central and South America.