Tips For Growing Flowering Plants

Growing flowering plants is a marvellous way of bringing beauty, colour and fragrance into your home. There are flowers in all colours of the rainbow, and many of them bloom for months on end, sometimes all year if allowed to.

Busy Lizzie (Impatiens) and Hot Water Plant (Achimenes) are both very easy to grow, and the African Violet (Saintpaulia) is famous for being a nonstop flowerer. Many plants, such as Citrofortunella, Calamondin or Stephanotis, are also deliciously fragrant.

As with all house plants, it’s important to choose the right position for them: if your plant is happy, then it will thrive and flower. Geraniums (Pelargonium) for instance must have full sun, while Cape Primrose (Streptocarpus) prefers a north- or east-facing room.

Outdoors as wellCape Primrose

If you have a balcony or patio — and therefore more light — there’s an even greater selection of flowering plants to grow. You can use bigger pots, too, and grow larger plants such as Camellias (Camellia) and Flowering Maple (Abutilon).

Care of flowering plants

Caring for a flowering plant is very much the same as for any potted plant. A good proprietary compost is vital, and subsequent watering, humidity, light and warmth should all be supplied in the right quantities, depending on the individual plant.

There are, however, two points about care which are peculiar to flowering plants. These are feeding and the removal of dead and fading flowers.

Feeding

Flowering plants need potash (potassium) in the compost to help them bloom. You should give them a liquid or dry fertilizer that has more potash in it than the other nutrients. The container will list the contents and percentage of each nutrient.

Deadheading

Regular and frequent removal of dead or fading flowers is essential. It not only makes your plants look tidier, but also it encourages the plant to produce more flowers, for far longer. Deadheading also prevents fading flowers falling into the compost, starting to rot, and so causing disease.

Display ideas

Flowering plants are such a lovely feature in any room that it’s worth giving a little thought to their display.

Indoor hanging baskets are always eye-catching, and peat-based liners and basket saucers mean no more drips. Watering is much easier, too, with a pump-can, which has a long spout so you no longer need to disturb the hanging basket.

Or, why not make a miniature garden by filling a planter with different flowering plants. Or try a seasonal window-box – one with spring-flowering bulbs, one with summer annuals, and so on.

Plants for hanging basketsWax Plant

Flowering plants for all occasions

Plants for shade

  • Cape Primrose (Streptocarpus)
  • Camellia (Camellia)
  • Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
  • Begonia (particularly B. semperflorens, also known as Wax Begonia)

An indoor ensemble:

African Violets, Cyclamen and Hyacinth.

Tip-top growing

  • Deadhead, i.e. remove faded flowers, regularly.
  • Support heavy blooms by tying stems to stakes.
  • Remove tips of stems in late spring to encourage more shoots to sprout lower down and so carry more flowers.
  • Give high potash feeds.
  • Make flowering plants rest by withholding water and lowering temperature.

Flowering plants bring instant beauty and fragrance into your home. With some planning it’s possible to have flowers in every room throughout the year.

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