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7 Cheery Blooming Houseplants to Help You Beat the Winter Blues

The winter doldrums have settled in and as we count down the days to spring, why not brighten up your interior spaces with houseplants? Blooming plants cheer up a room with pops of color. Popular as gifts, their big advantage over cut flowers is that they are longer-lasting. And sometimes, given proper care, they can even bloom again.

Easy Blooming Houseplants

Anthurium Photo: D. Ricigliano

Anthurium (Anthurium andraeanum)
The striking long-lasting flowers of this houseplant provide the color while the dark green, leathery, arrow-shaped leaves are attractive on their own. Botanically speaking, the flowers consist of a hood-like spathe surrounding a twisted spadix. They come in shades of white, red, pink, and, occasionally, orange. Easy care anthuriums bloom in medium light locations. During active growth periods, keep the soil moist and fertilize with a standard houseplant fertilizer in spring and summer.

Moth orchids Photo: D. Ricigliano

Moth orchid (Phalaenopsis)
Moth orchid flowers can last for months. These plants will grow well and bloom in a bright window (east, west, or a filtered southern location) or with supplemental lighting. Roots should not sit in water, but never allow them to completely dry out. Water thoroughly and let them dry a bit before watering again. Moth orchids should be fertilized during periods of active growth (late winter-early fall) with a commercial orchid fertilizer. Read more about care of Phalaenopsis orchids on the the Home & Garden Information Center website.

African violets Photo. D. Ricigliano

African violets (Saintpaulia)
Perhaps the all-time most popular houseplant, African violets are prized for flowering year-round. Blooms are sometimes ruffled or two-toned and unfurl from a rosette of fleshy leaves. Give them bright but not direct sunlight, normal room temperatures, and well-drained soil. Keep the pot width no more than 1/3 rd that of the plant. Blooming requires fertilizer year-round, diluted to 1/4 strength. Water when the top half of soil is dry. Check out our African violet video for extra tips.

Kalanchoe Photo: D. Ricigliano

Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)
Kalanchoes make excellent houseplants. This succulent has fleshy leaves that can tolerate the dry air inside of winter homes. They come in an array of cheery colors and bloom over a long period of time. A sunny window and normal room temperatures are preferred. Getting them to re-bloom can be difficult and plants are often discarded after they finish blooming. Water only when the top half of the potting mixture dries out. Fertilize actively growing plants every two or three weeks and while flowering.

Gerbera daisy Photo: D. Ricigliano

Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
This is not the ‘easiest’ of the blooming houseplants, but the flowers’ appealing colors make this a popular indoor plant. Gerbera daisies need bright, indirect sunlight. Water them when the top half inch of potting media feels dry. The leaves are paper thin and can be damaged easily, so handle them gently and avoid getting water on the foliage. Prune off any damaged leaves and spent blooms to keep plants looking their best. Fertilize with a standard houseplant fertilizer from late winter through the summer.

Primrose Photo: D. Ricigliano

Primrose (Primula)
Several species of primrose are sold as houseplants in late winter and early spring. Their circular flowers come in many colors to fit any décor and taste. Locate them in bright light and, when flowering, keep them in a cool room where temperatures do not get over 60⁰ F. Warmer temperatures shorten the bloom period. The soil should be kept moist but do not let them sit in water. Soil shouldn’t dry out completely as primroses do not recover very well if wilting occurs. They like high humidity indoors. Primrose is considered a short-term houseplant, as it is difficult to get them to bloom again.

Cyclamens are also a seasonal favorite and were featured in a recent blog post.

Tips for Keeping Blooming Plants Happy Indoors

Additional Resource

By Debra Ricigliano, Extension Program Assistant and Certified Professional Horticulturist, Home & Garden Information Center

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