Got that window that shines with bright sunlight? Well, if the answer is yes then the sun is not the only thing that can shine. The five plats below add foliage interest along with colorful blooms. The key though is to make sure that the sun shines as bright as possible and when needed can be filtered.
The desert rose is an easy indoor flowering plant to grow if you are a forgetful gardener. What do I mean by that? Well, if you forget to water this plant, do not worry about its death. This plant is a succulent that cannot stand a moist soil or be have “wet feet.” In doing so, not watering enough is not a problem especially during the winter months.
This succulent has a unique look. As the plant ages, the stems become swollen, and topped with thick cluster of leaves covered in a waxy coating. The flower is typically a deep red but there are hybrids that are topped with blooms that can be orange, white, and even striped.
In the USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 11 to 12, this plant is deciduous but with a little care you can keep the leaves on indoors. To begin this process, first make sure that your desert rose is getting enough sunlight and the right type. It needs at least six hours of direct sunlight. Second, you need to water it more often in the spring and summer. Back off on this watering during the fall and winter but do not stop. Simply not watering will cause the leaves to fall off. Finally, make sure to turn the pot around so that each part of the desert rose has a chance of getting sunlight. If you find that part of your plant is dying, put a pair of gloves on and prune away. Why the gloves? Well, the sap from the desert rose is poisonous and a skin irritant. Wearing gloves is just a simple way of protecting yourself.
Rose of China
Rose of China is a type of hibiscus. It loves the light but not direct. In doing so, you will need to display your plant in front of a window that receives indirect sunlight or create your own with light curtains.
The beauty of this plant goes beyond the bloom. The Rose of China is covered in shiny, heart-shaped leaves. This plant will grow in height without much branching unless encouraged to do so. When it comes to pruning, this should be done in early spring before the blooms are set on new growth. Pruning the plant will encourage side branching, which will increase the number of blooms.
Another requirement that this plant has is high humidity. This can be done in several ways. One is to mist the plant with water or place the Rose of China around other plants.
Finally, you can sit your hibiscus on a humidity tray. When using this latter approach, make sure the plant is not sitting in water.
Blue Rain Bromeliad
The bromeliad is one of the most popular houseplants and the blue rain is no exception. The care for this plant is the same for any bromeliad. First, this houseplant loves light but it needs to be indirect. If you do not have this, create it with the tips mentioned in the Rose of China.
When it comes to watering this plant, do not water the soil. Instead, add water to the “cup” that is formed by the leaves. Do not let the water go stagnant. Change the water often to prevent foul smells and plant disease.
A reason this plant is so popular as a houseplant is the fact that the flower can last for months. Once the flower is spent, cut it off at the base. This will encourage the “mother” plant to start producing offshoots or plantlets. Eventually, the “mother” plant will die and leave the plantlets to take its place. While a mature bromeliad should not be transplanted, the plantlets can be moved to individual pots or left to create a clump of bromeliads.
When potting your plantlets, keep in mind that once they bloom they can become top heavy. In doing so, you may want to consider using a terra cotta pot verses plastic. Also, due to the height of the blue rain, you may need to look around your home to find a suitable location that can handle a plant that can reach 2 feet in height and width.
The flame lily is also known as the Gloriosa climbing lily. It requires six to eight hours of direct sunlight. As the name applies, the climbing lily grows up something with specialized leaves that aids the plant into grabbing hold of something. In doing so plan on using a tall trellis when growing this plant since it can reach a height of eight feet. While the leaves help the plant secure it, this only works after the “leaves” have had contact with the trellis for awhile. To speed this up, consider loosely tying the flame lily to the trellis until the leaves take hold. Once that has occurred, remove the ties.
To encourage more blooms, fertilize the flame lily with a diluted, water soluble fertilizer formulated for flowering plants every two weeks during the growing season.
While this plant requires one inch of water a week, make sure to check the soil moisture before reaching for the watering can. To do this, just stick your finger in the soil up to the first knuckle. Next, pull your finger straight up out of the soil. If it is covered in soil then do not water. On the other hand, if your finger comes out clean then water until you see moisture come out the bottom of the pot.
Bird of Paradise
As the name applies, the plant resembles a bird or in this case the bloom looks like a bird. It requires five to six hours of direct sunlight. If the plant is not receiving enough light, it will tell you. How does it do that? Well, you will see a decrease in bloom production and the leaves will curl upon itself while remaining green.
This plant is one of those plants that have two set seasons. When the weather is warm, it is actively growing but once the weather begins to cools growth slows down. In doing so, your care will change according to the season. During the spring and summer, keep the soil evenly moist and mist the plant every day. On the other hand, fall and winter care requires one to let the soil dry out between watering and only mist with water every few days.