What Flowering Plants Do for Your Home
Why Flowering Plants?
As Consultants, we have lived and worked in over 40 countries. Yes, it is a life full of wonderful adventure and change, but also of spare hotel rooms and very basic apartments. How do you give a lift to this pallid and insipid space when you may only be in there for a month or so?
For us, flowering plants are the best way to go. With an injection of colour and perfume, it makes even a sepulchral hotel room or a bland furnished flat feel more like a real home. Not the plastic or paper ones. That just replicates the dead feel of borrowed space.
Hibiscus in a Pot
Flowering Plants Bring Life to the House
When we creep home each year for a holiday, we have learned to bring this flower therapy with us. Other than your pets and visiting family and house flies, the rest of the house inside is often static. Some houses are stuffy or too self conscious. Some look like Uncle Herb or Aunt May and feel like churches on Monday morning.
Flowering plants change all that. They bring in life, color, the energy of new growth. Not cut flowers either, which are just at the beginning of the death cycle but small potted plants that are living and filled with vitality. As you watch them breaking out with their explosion of buds or burst into bloom, these flowers make you sense growth and change and being part of life. What a lift every morning to see all that colour waiting or to walk in on a cold fall or winter day and see Spring all around you.
Flowering Plants in the House - Bring Life to the HouseClick thumbnail to view full-size
Other Things Flowering Plants Do to your Home
Aside from that, flowers also clean up the air in the house, making it more healthy. If you are in the great white north with central heating, flowering plants can add some much needed moisture to the air. While paintings and rugs bring color to the house, they are often static and lifeless. They stay the same year after year.
Flowers are dynamic and every week you can add another plant as a replacement or upgrade so your home world is always changing. They make your house more inviting to people. Often, having flowers in the house kicks off the conversation when people drop in. Somehow, they bring out the best in people.
They can also bring out the best in you. As you care for them, they give back so much more than you give them. They engage you in growth and new life, in the future.
My Favourite Flowers in the SpringClick thumbnail to view full-size
11 Flowering Plants for your Home
There are many flowering plants for your home. Some are easy to grow and take care of. Others may take more care. Here are some of my favourites:
- Orchids. Most of the time I live in Asia where orchids are easy to grow and are cheap to buy. They last longer inside and they look very elegant. You have a variety of colours to choose from depending on your colour scheme. They are easy to care for and the flowers can stay on for months. Just water them when they are dry and once they had shed their flowers, get a new one but don't throw the plant. With care, it will flower again.
- African Violets. These are easy and fun to grow. There is joy in you watching roots emerge from a single leaf. There are many colours to choose from as well. the healthy leaves are very decorative.
- Begonias. Just bring in your begonias in the Fall and they will continue to grow and flower indoors. Even if the flowers will be minimal in the winter, their leaves are beautiful.
- Amaryllis. This bulb is easy to grow indoors. Because they have bigger blooms, they are very dramatic.
- Bromeliads. I was surprised at how long the bloom of this plant lasts. I find them very beautiful and distinct.
- Desert Cacti. This is another plant with blooms that last long. It may take longer to make them bloom though.
- Christmas Cactus. Another beautiful flowering plant that does not require much care but gives you some beautiful blooms.
- Poinsettias. These are great for Christmas. You can grow them outside after Christmas for use next year.
- Jasmine. I love the smell of Jasmine so I bring in a pot each time and its subtle smell fill the house.
- Gardenia. Once in a while, I bring in a pot for the bathroom. It has a strong smell so don't overdo.
- Hibiscus. This is hard to grow inside in a temperate climate but this doesn't mean, you can't. So last summer, my sister in law had a flowering hibiscus and before leaving for home, she left this with me and it continued to flower. When I left, I gave it to a friend to keep for the winter and the last time I checked it, it is still there. As long as you place your Hibiscus close to the window that gets enough light, it will continue to give you flowers.
Flowering plants bring a sense of growth - An anticipation of new life
Flowering Plants Provide Privacy Better than Curtains
Sometimes I use flowers to give us privacy rather than curtains. Curtains gather dust and retain food smell especially in kitchens. It is even better when the flowers you place in your kitchen window are those that smell sweet like jasmine, narcissus, lavender and lily of the valley.
You can rotate the flower pots so they get enough sun and exposure outside. But if your window provides your flowers enough sun, they will thank you with more and more blooms. You will, too, as you watch them bud and flower and fill your kitchen with that delicate smell that can only come from live flowering plants constantly budding and giving blooms.
Plants Give a Sense of Space
Yes, when you place flowering plants inside, you feel that you are outside and so it eases cabin feaver, the feeling of stuffiness. What you feel is a garden like airiness.
A sense of space
Flowering plants entertain you
Do you ever watch the growth in your indoor flowering plants? How often do you check them? If you are like me, I check every day for new buds and seeing the buds slowly opening each day gives me such delight that I have lighter feet the whole day.
Know Your Indoor Flowering Plants
Jasmine is my favourite. Orchids, too. Of course, this is easy for us to grow beautiful plants in the tropical climate. But most of the real beauties are available now in the North and many cities have fantastic greenhouses where you can go on explorations every weekend.
Just remember to place them where they are exposed to sunlight and they will continue to grow and give you flowers. I love putting them in the bathroom. Then, I don't have to spray those artificial scents or buy those expensive jasmine scented candles. If you don't get enough sun in your bathroom, you can plant them in several smaller pots so you can place them in your bathroom in rotation.
And don't forget flowering cactus. These are easy to care for, take only tiny bits of space, and can be as riotous in colour as any other plant. If you have a hay fever sneezer in the house, this is the way to go.
Caring for Flowering House Plants
Caring for your house plants and make them flower is one task you should take seriously if you want flowering plants in your home. Each of the plants you have will tell you exactly what it needs as you get to know them better. Its leaves will tell you what it lacks, be it water or sunshine. So, look at your plants and let them speak to you. Pay attention.
Flowering plants bring life to an empty space
Plants are living décor for a boring space
I like using flowering plants to enliven portions of the house where there is dead wall space. I find that flowering plants, more than paintings, bring life to these spaces and cut the boredom as well. I like using orchids for they last longer so it does not become very expensive. You can take care of them afterwards and they will continue giving you the blooms you need for your house. I often use transparent bowls to put them in so the roots still get some light and continue growing.
Orchids, for me, are the most cost effective indoor flowers when you live in tropical climates as they are cheaper. In cold climates, they are harder to maintain but they still last longer. They also add elegance to an otherwise boring room. However, check your local greenhouse for the varieties of flowering plants that work best for you. You'll also get all kinds of free advice.
Rotate your indoor flowering plants
My husband takes care of our plants. He likes to rotate it to give the plants sunlight regularly. I think just the extra attention make them bloom.
Flowering plants make it easy for your house guests to bring gifts for you
When people know you love flowers, they find it easy to get gifts for you. Rather, than give you yet another bottle of bad wine, a mystery plant appears and together you can find the perfect place for it.
Grow Your Own Flowering Plants
When you live in tropical climates, this is not a problem as flowers are available the whole year. But in a cold climate, it is hard to have flowering plants in the winter. And this is the time when you most need the lift that flowers often give.
There are many ways of ensuring you have flowers even during winter. You can grow bulbs. You can pot tubers wrapped up in a cool place in the autumn and let them grow later inside.
Grow lots of them so you can rotate them the whole year. Of course, you can always buy flowering plants from florists and greenhouses, but growing them yourself gives you more satisfaction. And who knows, you may find plants so engaging that you build a small greenhouse onto the back of your home. From hobby to a passion, I've seen it happen.
The following videos are helpful in growing your own flowering plants.
© 2010 Mary Norton