Lush, green houseplants are fun and easy to grow; you can choose from hundreds of varieties. Add a touch of color to any room in your home by choosing a flowering plant. Some exotic plants usually grown in the tropics do well inside. The most important thing to know about growing houseplants is that they need three things to thrive: light, water and food. Plants breathe out oxygen, so they contribute to making healthier air in your home.
For late winter and springtime color, plant bulbs such as yellow daffodils, white narcissus or tiny lilies of the valley. Hyacinth, scilla, crocus and tulip bulbs can grow in pots. Amaryllis bulbs produce huge, beautiful red or variegated flowers; planting them six to eight weeks before Christmas will ensure beautiful holiday blooms. Always use high quality bulbs or you'll be disappointed with fewer flowers. You can keep your bulbs and plant them year after year.
Aloe plants are evergreen perennials that grow wild in tropical locations such as Madagascar and the Cape Verde Islands. The long bright green leaves have spiny edges and pointed tops. According to The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), "Early studies show that topical aloe gel may help heal burns and abrasions." Cut off a leaf and slice it lengthwise to get the gel. (Other succulents for indoor planting are cacti, crown of thorns and the jade plant.
Colorful begonias are easy to grow as long as you hang or put the containers in a location with good indirect sunlight. Propagating begonias is easy. Cut off a piece of the plant and put it into a glass or other container of water. You'll soon have many roots on your cutting and can then plant it in a pot.
Growing miniature roses is a rewarding hobby. These roses grow to a height of 6 to 12 inches and bear 1/2 to 1 1/2 inch blooms, some of which are quite fragrant. The many colors for miniature roses include white, red, yellow, apricot, coral, orange, lavender and pink; they also come in two colors, such as white with pink edges.
Grow indoor herbs in a sunny south or west window; they need good light to produce healthy plants. You can use a grow light or fluorescent lamp for more light in winter. Types of herbs that grow successfully indoors are basil, chives, parsley, cilantro, mint, lavender and thyme. Chives and parsley mature in 10 to 12 weeks; cilantro will be ready for use in your favorite dishes in 10 to 12 months.