Flowering houseplants to put on your list
Clivias (Clivia miniata)
Guaranteed to flower year-on-year. They tend to perform in autumn and must then be removed to a cool spot in order to set flower buds for the following year. Cut off stem at the base after flowering. Then ease off watering and lower the temperature for winter. Bring back into growth and feed from late spring through the summer.
African violet (Saintpaulia)
Related to gloxinias, too much heat and water will kill them. They flower all year but like a period of dormancy in winter. Give them a cool spot, ease back on the watering and repot plants before bringing back into growth. Avoid watering the leaves.
The Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
Keep it damp in organic, fibrous compost, away from direct sunlight and not too hot.
If you hark back to the Victorian era when evergreens filled every corner then the aspidistras fit the bill on account of their tolerance of low light and dry conditions. ‘Snow Peaks’ is a popular variety with white dappled leaves.
Ivy (Hedera helix)
Ivy does not like it too hot and is tolerant of shade. Keep damp and give it a frame to climb over.
Aeonium arboreum ‘Schwarzkopf’
This succulent that you see growing everywhere on the Isles of Scilly functions brilliantly as a houseplant in a gritty compost. Impossible to kill but don’t overwater. Any temperature.
- Staverton Bridge Nursery
- McBean’s Orchids
- Hill House Nursery
Hot tips for handy houseplants
- Buy dormant tubers in spring.
- Place these in shallow seed trays half-filled with fibrous potting compost. Bury them to half way and keep moist at 50-60F. Water only to keep moist.
- After a couple of weeks, as they begin to shoot, pot them up into two-litre pots of John Innes No 3, again buried to halfway up the tuber.
- Water sparingly but increase as they grow and while they flower. Feed fortnightly with Maxicrop Organic Flower fertiliser.
- Once flowers are finished the foliage will die back. Stop watering. Cut the remains of the flower and foliage away from the tuber.
- Remove the tuber from compost. Cut off old roots (the gloxy is now dormant) and store part-dried tuber in a box of dry compost, half buried for the winter in a frost-free place, dark or light.