All Posts   Posted:   November 19, 2019 by Nicole Forbes - Dennis' 7 Dees Education Director

When it comes to decorating your home or grabbing a quick gift, flowering indoor plants provide long-lasting color and convenience with a wide enough selection to suit virtually any style. Poinsettias are the most common plant used as decoration during the holidays and are available in traditional colors of red, burgundy, and white, but can also be found in shades of pink and some multicolored varieties. For a more modern look, the sleek flower stalk and giant blossom of an Amaryllis or the shiny, artificial-looking Anthurium flower add just the right pop of color and drama for a festive look. If it's fragrance you are looking for, the powerful aroma of Paperwhite flowers will fill a room with their scent! For more information on flowering indoor plant care and selection, see below.

paperwhitesPaperwhites

Paperwhites, a type of narcissus, are easy-to-grow, indoor bulbs that can either be purchased pre-planted or potted as bulbs in soil, sand, or rocks, and water for DIY. It generally takes 4-6 weeks from bulb to flower, with flowers lasting a few weeks before fading. Bulbs can be planted every 2 weeks to have batches in bloom throughout the winter months. They are best grown in bright, indirect sunlight and prefer to be rotated every few days to prevent leaning. Paperwhites are native to the Mediterranean and do not thrive outdoors in our climate; forced bulbs can be composted or added to yard debris after they have finished flowering.

amaryllisAmaryllis

Amaryllis bulbs are in the Hippeastrum genus and are native to South America. With flowers available in red, burgundy, pink, white, pale green, and even stripes, Amaryllis can be purchased already potted or potted as bulbs for DIY. Although they are typically available during the holidays, they can be planted anytime between October and late April and take about 6-8 weeks to bloom; the larger the bulb, the more flower stalks it contains (small bulbs often have 1-2 flower stalks; larger bulbs may have 3 or more). With proper after-bloom care, amaryllis bulbs can flower year after year. Keep plants indoors during cold, winter months in bright, indirect light; water sparingly until bulb begins to grow, then keep evenly moist, but do not allow bulb to sit in soggy water/soil or it will rot. If potting, a small pot is best—just an inch or two larger than the bulb, use well-draining soil such as a cactus mix, or add pumice or pearlite to regular potting soil; keep the tip of the bulb above the soil line; do not bury the entire bulb. If you are interested in keeping your bulb from year to year, ask one of our experts about after care. Amaryllis plants are considered poisonous and should be kept away from pets and children.

florist's cyclamenFlorist’s cyclamen

Florist’s cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) is related to our hardy, outdoor varieties (C. coum and C. hederifolium), but has larger flowers in shades of red, white, pink, or lavender, and lovely, heart-shaped leaves with intricate silver veining. They are compact, table-top plants for bright, indirect light. Allow the top 50% of the soil to dry out before watering, and bottom-watering is best (place pot into a deep saucer of water for 10 minutes to absorb water from the holes in the bottom of the container—avoid getting the leaves or corm/bulb wet). When given a resting period, indoor cyclamen can re-bloom for several years.

poinsettiasPoinsettias

Poinsettias are native to Mexico and are the most popular indoor flowering plant sold in the United States. They need very bright indirect light, but no direct sun; north-facing windows do not provide enough light for them to thrive. If you place your plant close to a window, make sure none of the leaves touch the glass, as they are very sensitive to cold. If you have recently moved here from a warmer climate (Bay Area folks, I’m talking to you), please do not make the mistake of putting your poinsettia outdoors on your front porch; not only are they averse to cold, their colorful foliage tends to spot when it comes in contact with rain! Finding the right watering balance can be a challenge. Always allow the top 50% of the soil to dry out before watering. Over-watering causes green leaves to turn yellow and curl or fall off. Keep plants away from drafts from doors or windows and also away from fireplaces, heaters, and wood stoves. Poinsettias are mildly toxic; broken stems or leaves may produce a milky sap that is known to be bitter and can cause irritations to skin and mouth.

kalanchoesKalanchoes

Kalanchoes are native to Madagascar and are a relative to the Jade plant. They are easy-to-care-for, flowering succulents that thrive indoors on compact plants perfect for any size room or tabletop. Blossom colors range from red, orange, and yellow to lavender, white, and pink; some even have bi-colored flowers. These are great indoor plants to perk up your home during the long winter months, and flowers can last up to 8 weeks in bloom! Be sure to allow the top 50% of the soil to dry out before watering and water from the bottom to help keep the foliage dry—a good practice for most succulents. Kalanchoes do best in bright indirect light and can even tolerate some direct sun in winter. For something slightly unusual, look for a recent introduction called Kalsettia, which is a potted arrangement of both Kalanchoes and Ponsettias; usually white Kalanchoes surrounding red poinsettias.

christmas cactusChristmas Cactus

Zygocactus, also known as Christmas cactus, is native to central and South America and is one of the most popular flowering houseplants sold during the holidays. In addition to the Christmas cactus, there is also an Easter cactus and a Thanksgiving cactus—each species tends to flower around those holidays. Not actually true cacti, these plants are epyphites (plants that grow on trees or other plants). They produce tubular flowers in white, pink, red, yellow, salmon, and fuchsia on a low-spreading plant that can be extremely long-lived and easy to care for. Place in bright, indirect light for best flowering and allow the top 50% of the soil to dry out between watering. They prefer to be slightly root-bound in small containers and often thrive when put outdoors for the summer; be sure to bring inside before it gets too cold. Ask our friendly experts for advice on getting your Zygocactus to rebloom.

Christmas cacti are a non-toxic indoor plants, however, many of the plants listed above have varying degrees of toxicity if ingested by children or pets. If you are concerned, be sure to ask for advice on non-poisonous plants.

This holiday, skip the same old grocery store bouquet and bring flowering indoor plants home or to your next party as a great way to liven things up!

When it comes to decorating your home or grabbing a quick gift, flowering indoor plants provide long-lasting color and convenience with a wide enough selection to suit virtually any style. Poinsettias are the most common plant used as decoration during the holidays and are available in traditional colors of red, burgundy, and white, but can also be found in shades of pink and some multicolored varieties. For a more modern look, the sleek flower stalk and giant blossom of an Amaryllis or the shiny, artificial-looking Anthurium flower add just the right pop of color and drama for a festive look. If it's fragrance you are looking for, the powerful aroma of Paperwhite flowers will fill a room with their scent! For more information on flowering indoor plant care and selection, see below.

paperwhitesPaperwhites

Paperwhites, a type of narcissus, are easy-to-grow, indoor bulbs that can either be purchased pre-planted or potted as bulbs in soil, sand, or rocks, and water for DIY. It generally takes 4-6 weeks from bulb to flower, with flowers lasting a few weeks before fading. Bulbs can be planted every 2 weeks to have batches in bloom throughout the winter months. They are best grown in bright, indirect sunlight and prefer to be rotated every few days to prevent leaning. Paperwhites are native to the Mediterranean and do not thrive outdoors in our climate; forced bulbs can be composted or added to yard debris after they have finished flowering.

amaryllisAmaryllis

Amaryllis bulbs are in the Hippeastrum genus and are native to South America. With flowers available in red, burgundy, pink, white, pale green, and even stripes, Amaryllis can be purchased already potted or potted as bulbs for DIY. Although they are typically available during the holidays, they can be planted anytime between October and late April and take about 6-8 weeks to bloom; the larger the bulb, the more flower stalks it contains (small bulbs often have 1-2 flower stalks; larger bulbs may have 3 or more). With proper after-bloom care, amaryllis bulbs can flower year after year. Keep plants indoors during cold, winter months in bright, indirect light; water sparingly until bulb begins to grow, then keep evenly moist, but do not allow bulb to sit in soggy water/soil or it will rot. If potting, a small pot is best—just an inch or two larger than the bulb, use well-draining soil such as a cactus mix, or add pumice or pearlite to regular potting soil; keep the tip of the bulb above the soil line; do not bury the entire bulb. If you are interested in keeping your bulb from year to year, ask one of our experts about after care. Amaryllis plants are considered poisonous and should be kept away from pets and children.

florist's cyclamenFlorist’s cyclamen

Florist’s cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) is related to our hardy, outdoor varieties (C. coum and C. hederifolium), but has larger flowers in shades of red, white, pink, or lavender, and lovely, heart-shaped leaves with intricate silver veining. They are compact, table-top plants for bright, indirect light. Allow the top 50% of the soil to dry out before watering, and bottom-watering is best (place pot into a deep saucer of water for 10 minutes to absorb water from the holes in the bottom of the container—avoid getting the leaves or corm/bulb wet). When given a resting period, indoor cyclamen can re-bloom for several years.

poinsettiasPoinsettias

Poinsettias are native to Mexico and are the most popular indoor flowering plant sold in the United States. They need very bright indirect light, but no direct sun; north-facing windows do not provide enough light for them to thrive. If you place your plant close to a window, make sure none of the leaves touch the glass, as they are very sensitive to cold. If you have recently moved here from a warmer climate (Bay Area folks, I’m talking to you), please do not make the mistake of putting your poinsettia outdoors on your front porch; not only are they averse to cold, their colorful foliage tends to spot when it comes in contact with rain! Finding the right watering balance can be a challenge. Always allow the top 50% of the soil to dry out before watering. Over-watering causes green leaves to turn yellow and curl or fall off. Keep plants away from drafts from doors or windows and also away from fireplaces, heaters, and wood stoves. Poinsettias are mildly toxic; broken stems or leaves may produce a milky sap that is known to be bitter and can cause irritations to skin and mouth.

kalanchoesKalanchoes

Kalanchoes are native to Madagascar and are a relative to the Jade plant. They are easy-to-care-for, flowering succulents that thrive indoors on compact plants perfect for any size room or tabletop. Blossom colors range from red, orange, and yellow to lavender, white, and pink; some even have bi-colored flowers. These are great indoor plants to perk up your home during the long winter months, and flowers can last up to 8 weeks in bloom! Be sure to allow the top 50% of the soil to dry out before watering and water from the bottom to help keep the foliage dry—a good practice for most succulents. Kalanchoes do best in bright indirect light and can even tolerate some direct sun in winter. For something slightly unusual, look for a recent introduction called Kalsettia, which is a potted arrangement of both Kalanchoes and Ponsettias; usually white Kalanchoes surrounding red poinsettias.

christmas cactusChristmas Cactus

Zygocactus, also known as Christmas cactus, is native to central and South America and is one of the most popular flowering houseplants sold during the holidays. In addition to the Christmas cactus, there is also an Easter cactus and a Thanksgiving cactus—each species tends to flower around those holidays. Not actually true cacti, these plants are epyphites (plants that grow on trees or other plants). They produce tubular flowers in white, pink, red, yellow, salmon, and fuchsia on a low-spreading plant that can be extremely long-lived and easy to care for. Place in bright, indirect light for best flowering and allow the top 50% of the soil to dry out between watering. They prefer to be slightly root-bound in small containers and often thrive when put outdoors for the summer; be sure to bring inside before it gets too cold. Ask our friendly experts for advice on getting your Zygocactus to rebloom.

Christmas cacti are a non-toxic indoor plants, however, many of the plants listed above have varying degrees of toxicity if ingested by children or pets. If you are concerned, be sure to ask for advice on non-poisonous plants.

This holiday, skip the same old grocery store bouquet and bring flowering indoor plants home or to your next party as a great way to liven things up!