For A Colorful Living: 7 Flowering Indoor Plants

You love the hints of green that indoor plants bring into your home but you would love it even more if the plants surprised you with the occasional flowers? Then it is time for you to read this post!

Short Sum-Up: Certain ancient plant taxa, like ferns and mosses, propagate via spores or seeds, devoid of flowering even in native habitats. Flowering, a botanical advancement, emerged later in Earth’s history. Indoor cultivation of flowering plants necessitates ample light, appropriate watering, and fertilization.

Not all plants will bloom indoors. Find out why and get to know 7 common plant types that do flower inside the house along with hands-on advice about how to get them to bloom more easily.

Do All Indoor Plants Flower?

When, how, and how often plants bloom depends on how they evolved in their natural habitat and what type of reproduction a plant species uses.

Quick fact: Plants can reproduce by several means: The so-called ‘sexual’ reproduction happens with pollination through flowers, dispersion of seeds, or spores. The ‘asexual’ reproduction happens through new plants growing out of parts of the old plants such as when plants create offshoots that grow into a new mature plant.

Our planet has seen an evolution from mainly non-flowering plants that ruled the Earth more than 400 million years ago, to flowering plants taking over. Today, both non-flowering and flowering plants still exist. Flowers in a way can be regarded as a huge innovation in the plant world that changed the way they can distribute their species over a given territory.

A big non-flowering plant family that is also common as indoor plants is ferns. Ferns are among the oldest plants on this planet. They don’t reproduce by flowering but by producing spores. If you have a fern in your household, don’t wait for it to flower – it never will! As much love and care you give your fern, it is simply not made to bloom.

Furthermore, some houseplants bloom more easily and more frequently than others, depending on what flowering pattern they evolved with.

An example: A Hoya Plant produces several inflorescences on its many vines. In a bright spot, your Hoya might flower almost all year round. Hoyas come from tropical climates with no harsh changes of seasons, hence they are made to bloom whenever conditions are suitable. A cactus instead evolved in a very arid region and has to time its blooming to that short period of rainfall its natural habitat gets. Hence, even as a houseplant, a cactus may only occasionally produce one inflorescence on its head.

Also, some plants have never really been shown to bloom indoors at all such as Monsteras or Philodendrons. It is not entirely clear why but it probably has to do with the small amount of space they get indoors compared to the big trees they climb in their natural habitat, as well as other factors such as light, soil conditions, and humidity.

Why Isn’t My Indoor Plant Flowering?

Indoor plants bloom when situated in suitable locations that fulfill their light requirements and when plant care practices such as watering or fertilizing meet their needs. Sounds easier than it is sometimes!

A plant only blooms when it thrives. If any inconsistent or inadequate care practices cause the plant stress, then it will be busy dealing with what causes it stress and hence won’t bloom.

Various reasons can hinder your indoor plants from blooming:

  • Not enough light: This is probably the main reason why indoor plants don’t flower. If a plant doesn’t get enough light, they won’t bloom.
  • Too much or too little water: Inconsistent watering that doesn’t suit the plant’s needs will cause it stress.
  • Too much or too little fertilizer: The same goes for fertilizing your plant. Find an adequate level of fertilizer that suits your plants.
  • Constant relocation: Plants have evolved to be immobile creatures. If you move them all the time, they have to constantly readjust to new light conditions.
  • Temperature changes: Sudden and drastic temperature changes can shock to plants. If a plant is placed near a window or above a radiator, the temperature changes when opening windows in winter or also when heating is turned on and off are not ideal to get a plant to bloom.
  • Draft: Plants placed in a zone with a lot of draft or ventilation might struggle with that. Anything that causes your plant stress will prevent it from blooming.
  • Maturity: Just as with animals, it takes plants time to mature and reach ‘adulthood’. If you have a new houseplant and it doesn’t bloom, it may just still be too young to bloom.
  • Constant trimming: If you trim your plants a lot to keep them bushier, then that will mainly spur the growth of new foliage and branches but it will keep your plants busy with growing instead of producing flowers.

What Makes Indoor Plants Flower?

For indoor plants to flower, it is essential to get the light conditions right and to keep from overwatering your plant. Low light conditions hinder blooming and overwatering is the main cause of stress (and even death) of indoor plants.

The best light for indoor plants is generally very bright indirect light. Harsh direct midday sun can cause leaves to burn, especially as indoor plants are sitting behind windows – the glass amplifies the strength of the sun.

What counts as direct and indirect light? Any sunlight that is diverted through a medium is considered to be indirect light. Find out how that translates into specific spots in your household in my post covering this topic!

If you want a certain indoor plant to bloom, choose the brightest spot with indirect light you have in your home. To figure out which spot that is, using a light meter from a plant care app can be super helpful. Most plant care apps have such a light meter integrated these days. Check out the 7 best free plant care apps through this link to find one that suits you!

Here is my top advice for you to get your indoor plants to flower:

  • Choose a plant type that blooms: First of all, you need to make sure that you actually have a plant type that will bloom. For recommendations on blooming indoor plants, keep reading this post!
  • Choose the brightest indirect light in your home: Give the plant all the love you’ve got but also all the light!
  • Do not move it: Once in its bright spot, let the plant be there for a long while. Moving plants around causes them the stress of readjusting constantly to new environments.
  • Do not overwater: Overwatering is the number one houseplant killer, I can’t stress that enough. Only water your plant when it needs water. Do the finger test to find out how moist the soil still is. Here’s a link to my complete watering guide for houseplants if you don’t already know what the finger test is about.
  • Fertilize in summer: For proper plant nutrition, fertilize your plant about every month in spring and summer with the dosage indicated on your fertilizer.
  • Have patience: Give your plant some time to bloom. It may take half a year for it to bloom.
  • Consider the season: Chances that your plant will bloom in spring and summer are much higher than in winter. Do not expect your new blooming indoor plants to grant you the first flowers in the middle of the dark and cold winter. That would just be unfair to the plant.

As for the fertilizer you use for your plants, I recommend using an organic fertilizer. Less harsh chemicals are better for your plant and for the environment.

Plants That Bloom Indoors: 7 Flowering Houseplants

To make your start into blooming plants easier, here are 7 types of houseplants that bloom well indoors:

Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera truncata)

The Christmas Cactus does what its name already suggests: It surprises you with beautiful flowers around Christmas time in the middle of winter.

The fragile rose or red-colored flowers last for only a couple of days but they produce a true burst of color in your home. Schlumbergera’s are generally quite easy to maintain and they will regularly bloom for you in the colder months of the year.

Find out more about the Christmas Cactus and what care it needs in my plant sheet linked here!

Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa)

The Way Plant is my personal flower favorite among houseplants. The inflorescences of the Hoya plant form a perfect half-dome and twinkle in the light with their drops of nectar. At night, the flower buds exude a lovely sweet smell.

Hoya’s are easy to care for and grow quite fast. They look great in a hanging basket or on an upper shelf, with their vines dangling down.

The only thing to really make sure of here is to give the Wax Plant a bright spot – without bright light, no flowers. This Hoya can also do with direct light of the morning and late afternoon sun.

Check out where the Hoya carnosa comes from and what care it requires in my plant sheet.

Care tip: Do not cut off the old inflorescences. Once the flowers fall off, the bud remains and the plant will reuse old buds to create new inflorescences.

Lipstick Plant (Aeschynanthus radicans)

The Lipstick Plant is an all-time favorite among blooming houseplants.

It produces bright red flowers, like lipstick, that protrude from among their vines. If kept in a bright spot, it will constantly carry some flowers and brighten up your space with some hints of red.

Madagascar Jewel (Euphorbia leuconeura)

This jewel among indoor plants might not be the typical blooming plant people suggest. However, I find it one of the most entertaining houseplants I’ve ever had.

As a mature plant, the Madagascar Jewel produces small white inflorescences on its leaf crown. Now, this does not sound that spectacular yet. Though out of the seed capsules below the flowers, the plant propels its seeds meters-wide through the room. Isn’t that spectacular? This reproduction method gave this plant its common name of the ‘Spitting Palm’. No wonder why!

If you happen to be in the room when it ‘spits’ its seeds, you can even hear the pop when it goes off. In my home, the seeds would often land in another plant pot and after a while, you have a whole garden of small little jewels growing.

The Madagascar Jewel is said to be a sociable plant that likes to be around other plant fellows, and I think it makes a great addition to any indoor jungle!

Read more about how easy it is to care for the Madagascar Jewel and what to keep in mind to keep this houseplant happy!

Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis)

Many people seem to find Orchids a bit boring or they don’t know what to do with them. Orchids, such as the popular Moth Orchid, may have a whole branch of flowers for a couple of months but then they do just nothing for a couple of months.

I found that when caring for Orchids well, they bloom quite regularly, leaving them without flowers only few months per year. This makes them one of the best indoor flowering plants.

With their beautifully shaped flowers, Moth Orchids look stunning and add a sense of calm to any space you put them in.

My main care tip for Orchids: Bathe them instead of watering. Every one or two weeks, bathe their pots in water for 2-3 hours, then let all excess water flow out and put them back in their place. Nothing more to do. They thrive with bathing!

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

If you are looking for more subtle flowers, then the Spider Plant can be for you. This plant grows lots of flowering stems with small, very fine white flowers. From the flower stems, it will grow its so-called ‘spiderettes’, the abundant offshoots any mature plant produces.

The Spider Plant is a great beginner plant and will produce some flowers for you even in only a medium bright spot. Also, the offshoots propagate really well and make for great presents to friends and family.

Check out where the Spider Plant comes from and how you make it happy by clicking through to my plant sheet about it!

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum kochii or wallisii)

Another great indoor plant with very unique flower stems is the Peacy Lily. It is one of the most common houseplants, at home as well as in office space, because it does rather well with medium light or even some shade.

It is very easy to care for and its flowers last for a good while which makes it interesting to look at. The white, fleshy flowers provide a nice contrast to the green foliage and make it look almost like a bouquet ready to be plucked.

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