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Flowering House Plants: These special instructions provide us the best list of easy houseplants and tips for care of all indoor houseplants.

The very important question..."What flowering house plants are the best?" In choosing a few to describe, I don't mean to imply that any of the others are not as beautiful, or may not, with proper care, be successfully grown in the house. However, most of these described are the most popular indoor flowering plants...probably because better success has been achieved with them.

The same is true of the treatment of the other groups such as; shrubs, foliage plants, palms, ferns, vines, cacti and bulbs.

Begonias

begoniaBegonia
Photo Credit: Mindy Kotaska

I think if I was restricted to the use of one class of flowering house plants for beautifying my home in winter, I would without a doubt choose the begonias. Of all common houseplants, no other plants combine such a decorative effect, beauty of form and flower, continuity of bloom, and general ease of growing.

There are three types: the flowering fibrous-rooted begonias, the decorative leaved begonias and the tuberous-rooted, with their abundant and gorgeous flowers and beautiful foliage.

Leaf Cuttings

Begonia house plants are rather difficult to raise from seed and the best way to get them is to go to a greenhouse and buy a few plants; after that...you can easily keep supplied by cuttings.

The large fancy-leaved begonias (Rex begonias) are increased by "leaf-cuttings."

Take an old leaf and cut it into triangular pieces, about three inches each way and with a part of one of the thick main ribs at one corner of each piece; this is the corner to put into sand. These (seven or eight of which can be made from one leaf) should be inserted about an inch into the sand of a cutting box or saucer, and treated as ordinary cuttings. The new growth will come up from the rib.

Some of the 'foliage begonias' have long, thick stems, or "rhizomes" growing just above the soil; from these...the leaves grow. Propagate by cutting the rhizome into pieces about two inches long and covering in rooting medium.

The best way to select your begonias is to see them actually growing at the greenhouse. In case selection can't be made, the following brief descriptions may be helpful.

The begonia with the most showy flowers is the "coral" begonia. The flowers, which grow in large clusters, reach half an inch across.

These are all great varieties for flowering house plants.

  • Rubra
  • Alba, Vernon
  • Nitida
  • N. alba
  • Luminosa,
  • Sandersoni and Semperflorens
  • Gigantea Rosea

For foliage, Begonia metallica, is the most popular of the flowering house plants. The flowers while not conspicuous are very pretty.

These are also very attractive.

  • B. Thurstoni
  • Albo-picta,
  • Argenteoguttata

One of the most glorious of all popular house plants sights is a plant of begonia Gloire de Lorraine in full bloom. It makes a graceful hanging mass of the most beautiful pink flowers. Get a plant, say in October, which is just about to bloom. Even if you lose it after it is through blooming (they continue in flower for several months) it will have been well worth the expense.

But it's not necessary to lose it!! When it's done flowering, give it less water and keep in a cool light place. During the summer, keep it as cool as possible. About September, rapid growth will be seen and it then can be given (gradually) full sunlight.

Gloire Cincinnati is a terrific choice for flowering house plants and it's claimed to be much hardier than Gloire de Lorraine. There are many other beautiful kinds of begonias besides the few described above. If you have room, by all means try some of them.

Flowering House Plants Tip

In watering keep them a little on the "dry side." They like plenty of light, but will do best if kept out of the direct rays of the sun.

Fuchsia

FuchsiaFuchsia
Photo Credit: Andrew Bossi

Of the easy house plants, there is perhaps no plant which more perfectly combines gracefulness and beauty of color than a well grown Fuchsia in full bloom. Well-grown in this case doesn't simply mean that it should've been given the proper care regarding food and temperature.

The Fuchsia are great for flowering house plants. It is naturally a somewhat trailing and very brittle-wooded plant. It needs support, and the problem is to give it this support and at the same time not destroy its natural gracefulness of form...which is usually done when it's tied up to a stake, etc. If tied carefully to an inconspicuous green stake by means of green twine, this will make a strong choice in our flowering house plants.

Fuchsias are shade plants. The full direct sunlight is likely to kill them. In winter they should be kept in an east or north window, or on the inside of other plants in a south window. If you want them to bloom early in the fall, keep well pinched back and disbudded during the summer...which is the natural blooming season for all the best varieties.

For summer blooming, dry off gradually in the fall and keep during the winter (until February or March) in a frost-proof room like a garage, etc. After they have been brought into the light, repot and water and new growth should start. Prune back the old branches a lot, as the next crop of flowers will grow on the new wood. This is also a good time to start cuttings for a new supply of plants.

Old plants (two or three years old) will give a greater amount of flowers.

The most serious enemy of the Fuchsia indoors is the red spider mite. For details on dealing with spider mites, go here.

The varieties of the Fuchsia, in both single and double flowers, are many. Popular houseplants are Elm City, Black Prince, Speciosa, and Phenomenal. Flower magazines and catalogues list many others, new and for the most part well worth trying.

Geraniums

Potted GeraniumGeranium
Photo Credit: Ken Bosma

The geranium has been for years, and is likely to remain, the most popular of flowering house plants, whether for use in summer flower beds or for the winter windowsill garden. To some people, this wide popularity renders it less desirable. With those who grow plants for their beauty, they will always be a favorite.

For its use as a house plant there are just two things to keep in mind; first give it a soil which is a little on the heavy side; secondly do not over-water. Keep it on the dry side.

To have geraniums blooming in the house all winter, prepare plants in two ways:

First, in May or June pot up a number of old plants. Cut back quite a lot, leaving a skeleton work of old wood, well branched, from which the new flowering wood will grow. Keep plunged and turned during the summer and take off every bud until three or four weeks before you are ready to take the plants inside.

Secondly, in March or April, start some new plants from cuttings and grow these, with frequent shifts, until they fill six-or seven-inch pots. But keep them pinched back to induce a branching growth, and disbudded, until about the end of December. These will come into bloom after the old plants.

The best time for propagating geraniums is from September 15th to the end of October. Cuttings should be taken from wood that is as firm and ripe as possible. In all stages of growth, the geranium is remarkably free from any insect or disease.

The varieties of these flowering house plants run into the hundreds. Here's just a few of the best houseplants.

Geranium Varieties

S. A. Nutt leads them all. It's the richest, darkest crimson...usually ordered as "the darkest red." It is a great bloomer, but one word of caution where you grow your own plants: You must keep it cut back and make it branch, otherwise it will grow up tall and spindling.

E. H. Trego is the most brilliant of the reds. Marquis de Castellane is the richest of the reds...a dull, even, glowing color. The trusses are immense and the stems long, stiff. It's the best geranium for massing in bouquets.

Beauté Potevine is the richest, most glorious of the salmon pinks...perhaps the most popular of all the geraniums flowering house plants. It is a sturdy grower...and a wonderful bloomer.

Dorothy Perkins is a strong growing bright pink, with an almost white center. Very attractive!!

Roseleur is one of the greatest delicate pinks. Mme. Récamier, could be the best of the double whites, making a very compact, sturdy plant.

Silver-leafed Nutt is one of the most popular of all geraniums. It has the rich flowers of S. A. Nutt and leaves of a beautiful dull, light green, bordered with silver white.

New-life has the center of the flowers being white in contrast to the red of the outer petals. Another type is the "Cactus" section, with petals narrower. The geranium seems to have by no means reached its full development.

Foliage Geraniums. The best of these is the Silver-leaf geranium. It's unequaled as a border and for mingling with other plants in the edge of boxes. Well grown varieties make beautiful flowering house plants. Mrs. Pollock and Mountain of Snow are other good varieties.

Sweet Scented Geranium. This type has two valuable uses. Their fragrance and also the beauty and long keeping quality of the leaves when used in bouquets or to furnish green with geranium blossoms. Rose and Lemon (or Skeleton) are the two old favorites of this type. The Mint geranium, with a broad, large leaf of a beautiful soft green, and thick velvety texture, are well known. All three must be kept well cut back, as they like to grow long and scraggly.

The ivy-leafed geraniums....to me might be the most beautiful of all. The leaves are like ivy leaves, only thicker and more glossy. The flowers contain some of the most beautiful and delicate shades and markings of any flowering house plants, and the vines do great when given a place where they can spread out or hang down.

The Pelargoniums (Pansy Geraniums) Pelargoniums are propagated by cuttings, and cared for as the ordinary geraniums, except that they should be kept very cold and dry during their winter resting spell. Cut back after blooming.

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