Houseplants provide a variety of benefits to the humans who care for them. Some purify the air, while others provide a burst of color in an otherwise dull environment. Choose flowers for indoor gardening to liven up your living space and bring a bit of nature into your home.
These colorful flowers are members of the Begonia genus and are grown as annuals outdoors, but provide bright, year-round blooms when grown indoors. Evergreen, flowering begonias keep their foliage year round and flower at various seasons, depending on type. Potted begonias grow in small, six-inch bush-styles or tall cane-like protrusions that reach heights of 10 feet, according to the Clemson Cooperative Extension. Trailing begonias, which produce a cascade of foliage and flowers, work well in hanging baskets. Begonias grow best with full or partial direct sunlight and evenly moist soil. Indoor locales are usually inhospitable to diseases and pests, but it is still possible for indoor begonias to suffer from whiteflies and spider mites when grown indoors.
African violets, Saintpaulia ionantha, come in a variety of colors and sizes. Noted for their dainty blossoms and velvety foliage, these plants thrive in bright, indirect light. To keep these flowers blooming, they need an average of eight to 16 hours of bright light and eight hours of darkness, according to the University of Florida IAFS Extension. These tropical flowers thrive in temperatures from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and require a fair amount of humidity in order to thrive. Well-drained soil of a slightly acidic nature should be used for indoor flowering African violets. Avoid using cold water when watering these blooming beauties--cold water can leave yellow spots or streaks when it comes into contact with warm leaves.
Crown of Thorns
The crown of thorns plant, Euphorbia milii, is a subtropical plant closely related to poinsettias. Growing 5 to 6 feet tall, these succulent shrubs have thorny protrusions on the stems, leading to the colloquial name. Flowers are small and can be red, yellow or white in color. This plant thrives in full sun and prefers rocky soil. Crown of thorns makes an excellent indoor flower choice for those who forget to water their plants--as a succulent, it requires infrequent watering. Water the plant only when the top inch of soil has dried completely. Spider mites and leaf fungus are among the top problems with this plant.
The Brazilian firecracker plant, Russelia equisetiformis, is native to Mexico. Commonly grown in hanging containers, it is a weeping shrub that, when in full bloom, sends long cascades of flowers every which way. Blossoms are small and red. The plant tolerates nearly any soil type, as long as it is well drained. It prefers full sun and regular, thorough watering. Under optimal conditions, this flowering plant grows from 3 to 5 feet tall with a spread of 6 to 12 feet.