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                How to Select Flowering Houseplants
                           Flowering houseplants can            Glossary
                           make wonderful additions to
                           the indoor landscape. If you      Pot bound-- A condition used to determine when to
                           are lucky enough to live in the   repot plants. Some plants, however, prefer to be
                           warmer climates, chances are      potbound to induce flowering.
                           many of these 'houseplants' are
                           part of your outdoor landscape    Spent flowers-- Flowers that have finished blooming.
                           year 'round. When selecting a
                           plant for the home, consider        vKeep the reservoir at the base of the leaves filled
                           first where it will be growing.     with water, but allow the soil mix to stay just
                           Are the light requirements          slightly moist. Avoid overwatering! Change the
                           right for the plant? Remember       water in the reservoir weekly.
fit the plant to the location, not the location to the
plant. Consider the following flowering plants for             vBest used as an accent plant in a container or
your home. This list is just a starting point. A visit to      basket.
your local garden center should open up a world of
possibilities. Find a knowledgeable sales associate to Achimenes
answer your questions before making your purchase.         Common names for this member of the Gesneriad
                                                           family include Hot Water Plant or Cupid's Bower.
Great choices for your home                                Achimenes bloom from spring to early summer and
                                                           through the fall.
Vriesia, Cryptanthus,                                                                               vAfter they bloom, give them
Billbergia, Aechmea                                                                                 reduced light and water so tops
and Neoreglia are                                                                                   will dieback to the ground.
just a few of the Latin
names that belong to                                                                                vStore dormant rhizomes at
this family of plants.                                                                              60 F over the winter (can be left
The pineapple,                                                                                      in pots).
Ananas comosus, is a
bromeliad.                                                                                          vIn spring, start to grow and/or
Bromeliads make                                                                                     propagate by dividing tiny
wonderful indoor                                                                                    rhizomes and gradually
plants for bright to                                                                                increasing water and light.
medium light areas.
Their flowers can last                                                                              vDuring growing season, give
for many weeks.                                                                                     care similar to that for African
    vPot in a well
    drained, light                                 Bromeliad                                        vDisplay as you would an
    potting mix                                                                                     African violet.
    containing bark or
    coarse peat.
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Vol.2 Issue 2             Professional gardening advice by Donna Moramarco, PlantAmerica Horticulturist. a.k.a.                  Page 1
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                How to Select Flowering Houseplants
Zebra Plant                                                             vRequires bright light
Aphelandra squarrosa is a very popular but difficult                    and be sure to keep the
plant to grow indoors. No matter how adequate the                       soil barely moist but
growing conditions, lower leaves will always fall,                      not soggy.                                          Flowering
especially after bloom.                                                                                                     ‘Abutilon’
                                                                        vPrefers ample
    vHigh humidity and variable requirements for soil                   humidity.
    moisture, depending on the time of year, make this
    a tough one to keep healthy-looking.                                vCool night
                                                                        temperatures are preferred (55-60° F.)
    vBetter to replace tired plants with new or start
    new plants from tip cuttings that develop soon after                vSink pot in outdoor containers during the warm
    the faded flower spike is cut off.                                  growing season for continued bloom.

    vMakes a good tabletop plant.                                       vGreat for use as an accent plant.

Glory Bower                                                        Kaffir Lily
Clerodendrum thomsoniae is known for its beautiful                 Clivia miniata produces long, leather-like leaves with
displays of creamy white, bell-shaped calyxes with                 beautiful, showy orange-red flowers, followed by
crimson flowers at the tips.                                       ornamental red berries. Propagated by seed or
    vBest grown in a bright sunny window during the
    growing months (March-September).                                   vGrow outdoors in the summer in the light shade;
                                                                        water and fertilize regularly.
    vPrefers soil that is well drained and kept barely
    moist.                                                              vBring the plant in the first of September and let it
                                                                        rest in a cool (45-55° F.) area until mid-January.
    vGlory Bower does best with temperatures around                     Water very little. Then move into a sunny, warm
    65° F with average humidity.                                        location (65° F.). Begin watering and fertilizing
    vMake sure it has a support to climb as it grows.
                                                                        vA yellow form, 'Aurea', is harder to find but
    vCan be used as a floor plant with support or as a                  worth the trouble.
    hanging basket.
                                                                        vBest used as an accent plant on a table, larger
                                                                        plants on the floor.
Flowering Maple
Abutilon species are known for their trailing and bushy            Cape Primrose
habit, with maple-shaped leaves; some varieties have               Streptocarpus sp., a member of the gesneriad family,
yellow and green variegated foliage. Beautiful                     produces beautiful flowers in pinks, whites, purples
flowers, some shaped like a single or double hollyhock             and blues. Cape primrose grows best in an East or
blossoms.                                                          West window that filters the hot sun.

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Vol.2 Issue 2            Professional gardening advice by Donna Moramarco, PlantAmerica Horticulturist. a.k.a.                  Page 2
 Your PocketGardenGuide

                                                                                                            exclusive content

                How to Select Flowering Houseplants
    vKeep soil barely moist and provide average                    Flame Violet
    humidity.                                                      Episcia species. Members of this genus produce
                                                                   trailing tropical plants with brilliant foliage and
    vTemperatures should be between 55-70° F.                      colorful flowers.
    vPrefers a loose organic potting soil. Check each                   vGrows best in an East-West exposure with
    spring for repotting needs.                                         temperatures between 65-70°F.
    vCulture is similar to African violets, except                      vEpiscia thrive on high humidity; be sure to keep
    Streptocarpus can tolerate cooler temperatures.                     soil barely moist.
    vRemove spent flowers and stalks to keep the                        vOther cultural requirements are similar to
    plant from going to seed.                                           African violets.
    vDisplay as you would an African Violet.                            vDisplay as you would a potted African violet.

Flame-of-the-Woods                                                 It's hard to deny that the fragrance of gardenia is
Ixora coccinea is an evergreen shrub that produces                 intoxicating, perhaps too much so for some. The fact
dense clusters of tubular flowers with some varieties              remains, for most people, it can be extremely difficult
being scented. Colors of white, orange, yellow and                 to get this plant to rebloom. Here are the rules:
salmon are available.
                                                                                                             vIt requires plenty of
    vFor best growth,                                                                                        light and humidity.
    temperatures between 65-
    75° F. in an East-West                                                                                   vNight temperature
    exposure are preferred.                                                                                  must be 62-65° F for
                                                                                                             the plant to initiate
    vNeeds average                                                                                           buds.
    humidity and keep the
    soil moist.                                                                                              vDaytime temperatures
                                                                                                             should be 70-75° F.
    vAvoid drafts.                                                                                           Night temperatures
                                                                                                             above 65° F increases
    vDwarf form also                                                                                         the possibility of bud
    available.                                                                                               drop. Avoid drafts!

    vSmall plants suitable                                                                                   vKeep your gardenia
    for tabletop, larger                                                                                     happy by providing a
    specimens make good                                                                                      slightly acid soil.
    floor plants.

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Vol.2 Issue 2            Professional gardening advice by Donna Moramarco, PlantAmerica Horticulturist. a.k.a.                  Page 3
 Your PocketGardenGuide

                                                                                                             exclusive content

                How to Select Flowering Houseplants
                                                                    Frequently asked questions
    vFertilize during the growing months with an
    appropriate fertilizer.                                         Q. I was given a coffee plant. I can't find any
                                                                    information on how to care for it. Can you help?
    vBest used as a table top plant, when too large,
    floor specimen.
                                                                    A. Coffee plant, Coffea arabica, is grown as a
                                                                    houseplant in all but tropical areas of the world. This is
                                                                    the species of Coffea that produces the coffee bean.
African violet                                                      Coffee plants need a minimum of 4 hours a day of
                                                                    bright light, more is preferred. Keep the soil barely
                                                                    moist and fertilize during the growing season--March
                                                                    through October.

                                                                    Always follow the label directions for rates of
                                                                    application. This unusual houseplant produces fragrant
                                                                    white flowers, followed by red berries. Young plants
                                                                    will not flower and bear fruit until they are at least 3
                                                                    plus years old.

                                                                    Q. My gardenia is dropping flower buds. What am I
                                                                    doing wrong?
Saintpaulia ionantha. People have been growing this
ever-so-popular houseplant for years and there are                  A. Gardenias do best under constant conditions of
hundreds of varieties from which to choose.                         good light and even soil moisture. Drafts, fluctuating
                                                                    temperatures and erratic watering can cause the
    vAfrican violets prefer a night temperature range               flowers to drop before they open.
    of 65-70 , increasing during the day.

    vSoil should be kept evenly moist but not
    saturated. Best to apply water to the soil and not
    the foliage.

    vInsufficient light may cause plant not to bloom.
                                                                     About Your Expert
                                                                     Donna Moramarco,
    vDuring the winter months, locate African violets                Horticulturist, a.k.a.
    in a west or south window. At the other times,
    locate where bright indirect light is available.
                                                                      PlantAmerica Horticulturist Donna Moramarco (a.k.a. “Donna
                                                                      in the Garden”) has been helping gardeners solve problems and
    vBest for table top display.                                      achieve their dreams for over two decades. Donna has degrees
                                                                      in horticulture and education plus over 20 years as a Cornell
    vIf this group of plants is of special interest to                University extension horticulturist.
    you, there's bound to be an African Violet Society
    in your area.
Vol.2 Issue 2             Professional gardening advice by Donna Moramarco, PlantAmerica Horticulturist. a.k.a.                  Page 4