Not everyone has a green thumb from the get-go, but fear not, some plants will thrive even under the care of a novice gardener. All that’s needed is some sunlight, regular waterings, and a little TLC to make these easy-to-grow plants mature into beautiful blooms.
This plant produces beautiful deep purple flowers and is among the easiest houseplants to maintain. The African Violet will bloom year round if given proper care. Just make sure to keep the soil evenly moist and water only when the top layer feels dry to the touch – most African Violets die from over-watering. Try to keep water off the leaves as this will cause brown spots. These plants do best in an east-facing window with bright but filtered light. For best results pot them with soilless potting mix, and turn them about a quarter of the way around once a week.
This hardy plant grows attractive red, green or pink heart-shaped blooms. It thrives in medium to bright light, but keep out of direct sun to avoid burning (if the leaves begin to feel crispy, it is getting too much light). Keep soil evenly moist, limiting watering to about once a week. Reduce waterings in winter and fall.
Popularly kept as outdoor plants, some varieties of begonia actually make great houseplants. Look for types with fibrous roots, such as hairy or wax-leafed begonias. They will do well under fluorescent lighting or in most window locations, with the exclusion of north-facing windows. As with African Violets, use a soilless potting mix for best results and be careful not to overpot (avoid filling the pot with too much soil); these plants are actually very tolerant of underpotting. Allow the top layer of soil to dry out between waterings, then water thoroughly until it drips from the bottom of the pot.
These cacti will produce beautiful show red or orange blooms in mid to late December, and make relatively few demands on the caretaker. They like bright but indirect light and do well placed near a window with indirect sun. Keep them away from heating vents, as they may tend to dry out. For indoor cacti, water about once a week, only when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. These plants like humidity, so give the leaves a good misting or keep a saucer of water next to the plant to provide it with moisture as the water evaporates.
Native to the tropics, the hibiscus is perfect for high light-level environments, so provide it with as much sunlight as possible by placing near a bright window. With proper care, the hibiscus plant will produce beautiful blooms from late spring all the way through fall. About every 3 to 4 days, water your hibiscus thoroughly until the water runs out of the bottom of the pot. Be careful not to let it sit in standing water as this may cause root rot. Reduce waterings dramatically during cold weather.
The Kaffir Lily is a cousin of the amaryllis, and is also grown from a bulb. It will bloom sometime in winter or early spring after undergoing a dormant period in late fall. These plants require medium light during the day, and near total darkness at night during their dormant phase. Expose them to cool temperatures and let the soil dry out almost completely in winter to ensure blooming. The spectacular orange-yellow flower will reward your patience through the fall.
This flowering succulent enjoys bright light, so keep in a well-lit location, moving to a south-facing window in winter for best results. Be sure to let the soil dry out between waterings; the easiest way to kill a Kalanchoe is through over-watering. During the winter, water very sparingly. Plant in ordinary potting mix and remove withered blooms where appropriate. The plant will produce flowers in bright shades of orange, pink, red or yellow in spring.
The Peace Lily may be the easiest plant to care for on our list. It prefers medium to bright light but is tolerant of low light levels. If the leaves appear yellow, the plant is getting too much light. It thrives in indoor temperatures, but avoid cold drafts to keep it at the peak of health. They enjoy a good misting with distilled or soft water although this is not absolutely necessary. Watering is a no-brainer with this plant, as it sags noticeably when in need of moisture. In general, water about once weekly or every 5-6 days, allowing the top layer of soil to dry out somewhat in between. Reduce watering in the winter. A healthy plant will produce striking white blooms (these are actually modified leaves called spathes rather than true petals) with a prominent yellow stalk, or spadix, in the spring.