The best flowering plants for Indian homes
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “The earth laughs in flowers” and it can’t get any truer than that. Flowers area perfect blend of beauty with function, one of nature’s true masterstrokes. While they serve their own, very important, function in nature from the point of view of reproduction, our affinity and attraction to flowers cannot be overlooked.
Our hunter-gatherer ancestors noticed that flowers gave rise to fruits that could be eaten. This led them to believe that flowers signalled an anticipated harvest and made flowers instantly attractive to them and spoke to them on the level of survival, an instinct that we seem to have inherited. Many modern cultures consider flowers to be attractive and it is known that scholars have been fascinated with flowers for millennia, either for their beauty or their function. Flowers not only form the crux of our food cycle and lend beauty to our arts, but they are also a major part of all social and religious celebrations across the cycle of societal evolution. From joyous celebrations to festivals, to death – flowers find a place everywhere, and trust me there is one for every occasion.
With the boom in number of people involved in home gardening in the past decade, the foliage plants have ruled the plant world, while the flowering plant has trailed behind slightly. This trend can also be due to the fact that we city dwellers have very little outside space for flower beds or gardens. This is where we step in, to give you a comprehensive list of the best flowers for Indian homes.
Before diving into the list of flowers and their specific characteristics, let’s take a look at the general care tips for flowering plants.
- Flowering plants require comparatively more sunlight than their counterparts. While there are both sun and shade loving flowering plants, the sun loving ones need longer or brighter light than their sun-loving foliage counterparts and so on.
- Since, the plants need more light, it directly translates to the fact that they need more water too. More light means a higher rate of photosynthesis and evaporation, that increases the frequency of watering, especially in the flowering season.
- Once the flower has withered away on the stem (if you have not cut the flowers for use), always prune away the spent flower to the next leaf node (deadheading). This boosts both branching and flowering.
- Always fertilise your flowers with a well-balanced fertiliser like the Ugaoo Plant Tonic for healthy blooms through the season. Fertilise before the flowering season starts and through it every 2 to 3 weeks but avoid fertilising as frequently in the dormant season.
Indoor flowering plants
While all flowers need a good amount of light to flower, so me do exceedingly well in bright-indirect light that can be found on windowsill and in south or west facing corners of indoor spaces. Here is a list of indoor flowering plants
The elegant queen of indoor flowering plants. They are famous for their lush foliage in lower light conditions but need bright indirect light (or a few hours of direct light) to flower from the end of winter through summer. They are excellent air purifiers, which like their topsoil to dry out in between waterings, but not too much. Fertilise them regularly every three weeks both with direct root application and foliar spray.
Also known as the flamingo plant, named after is blooms that are as flamboyant as the flamingo dancers. This plant loves bright indirect light and does great on windowsills with bright indirect or direct light. The anthurium flowers for more than 250 days a year with each bloom lasting for months. Keep the soil moist but not soggy and fertilize once every 2-3 weeks through the year.
A true indoor flowering plant that loves bright indirect light to flower but can’t stand the direct sun. Keep them in your well-lit rooms with south or west-facing windows. Keep the soil moist and strictly avoid wetting the foliage, wet leaves cause brown spots. If allowed to dry out after their blooming season the plants go dormant in cold temperatures only to pop up again when the weather gets warmer.
Another true indoor plant that thrives in indirect light is found indoors. These velvety plants are a treat for sore eyes. Keep them indoors in well-lit rooms out of the direct sun to avoid burn on north or east-facing windowsills. Let the soil dry out completely in between waterings and fertilise every three weeks and also spray it with neem oil once a month. Avoid wetting the velvety foliage.
The oriental queens are dreaded and loved by home gardeners in equal measures. They love bright indirect light and a potting mix that is kept evenly moist. The trick to keep your orchids happy is to give them a fixed spot that is well-lit and well-ventilated. Always use an orchid potting mix and fertilise when the plant is not in bloom to help with leaf and root development.
One of the ‘IT’ plants of this year; they are steadily climbing the popularity chart globally. With its curious-looking foliage that resembles a ribbon that has twisted on itself, it is also known as the Hindu Rope Hoya or the waxflower plant. It gives beautiful blooms that grow in clusters and have a mild fragrance. Keep it in a brightly lit room and water when the top inches of the soil are dry to touch. Fertilize the plant once every 2 weeks for good growth.
The true plant of the shade, they love partial to deep shade to flower. The flowers are richly pigmented and grow low on equally stunning leaves. Plant them in a well-draining potting mix that is kept moist at all times, drooping leaves are a sign of dehydration. Fertilise every two weeks and avoid wetting the foliage when watering.
Outdoor flowering plant
There are so many flowering plants that bloom in sunlight that all the time in the world is less to talk about them. Even famously foliage plants like the monstera or the snake plant spout flowers in their natural environment. While there are a number of flowering plants that you can keep in your sunny window boxes and balconies, here are a few of the most loved ones.
For all intents and purposes, kalanchoes are flowering succulents. They love the full sun, hate being overwatered, and thrive in well-draining potting mixes. With proper light in west or a south-facing sunny corner. Kalanchoes will bloom for the most part of the year. Prune away dead and spent flower heads to promote bushier growth and water only when the soil is completely dry. Fertilise the plants every 3 weeks through the year with a generic houseplant fertiliser.
Black Eyed Susan:
With their cheery yellow blooms, highlighted further with almost black centres, the Black Eyed Susan grows profusely in the warm Indian climate. This vining plant needs full sun to grow to its full glory. Water regularly till the plant is established and then water only when the topsoil is dry to touch. Always deadhead the flowers to keep the plant shapely and encourage more flowers. Feed regularly post-winter through the warmer months.
These exotic big, clustered flowers are still not that common but everyone who knows them loves them. They are not that dependent on full sun and can do well in morning sun or dappled sun through the day. Plant them in loose soil with a good amount of compost but keep them well ventilated. These cool-season plants might reward you with blooms even in summers if you keep them out of the scorching sun and feed them every 3 weeks with a generic house plant fertiliser and augment the soil with compost.
There is nothing more tropical than a hibiscus plant. A permanent fixture for Hindu rituals, the hibiscus is an easy plant to grow if you can control the love mealy bugs have for it. Hibiscus or the shoe flowers loves full sun and a loose well-draining soil to grow in. Let the soil dry out in between waterings and avoid wetting the foliage to keep the bugs away, Quarantine and clean with soap solution and spray it down with neem oil at the first sign of mealy bugs.
Adeniums or desert roses are just as famous for their delicate blooms as they are for their bulbous stems. This miniature tree-looking plant loves the full sun and in true desert plant, fashion needs water only when the soil is completely dry. Plant it in a loose well-draining potting mix resembling its native growing condition and fertilise it every 3 weeks in the warmer growing months.
The sun lovers, the mere presence of sunlight makes them thrive like nobody is watching. With their citrus-smelling leaves and bright colorful flowers that grow on tall arching stems, they are your best choice for the scorching afternoon sun. They flower throughout the year in sun and can be grown in almost all kinds of soil, provided it is kept moist and not soggy. Make sure to deadhead spent blooms to promote bushy growth and more flowers.
If someone could bottle the fragrance of gardenia, they could make a fortune. But nothing smells like a gardenia in full bloom. Considered finicky for their bud-dropping habit, having a happy gardenia is simply a balance of light and moisture. Give the plant a good 4-5 hours of sun and keep the soil moist at all times. A little bit of misting early morning also helps. Make sure to fertilize gardenias every few weeks and prune well or a bushy plants with plenty of flowers.
The mogra plant family has so many variants that you can take your pick. The care remains fairly simple for all of them. Jasmines love the full sun and like staying moist. Deadhead the flowers once they have withered away and prune happily to promote more rapid growth and more flowers. Fertilize every couple of weeks and water when the topsoil is dry, but don’t let it dry out entirely.
What is a flower garden without a rose plant? Whether you like the whimsical Indian roses, the sturdy Dutch roses, the button roses, or the creeping roses, there is one rose for every home. The rose plant loves partial to full sunlight and rich but well-draining soil. Make sure to not wet the foliage while watering and pruning well for a bushy plant with plenty of blooms. Fertilize regularly every 2 weeks with a good balanced fertilisers. Ground-up onion peels also make for good fertilizer for rose plants.
The true summer flowers, that can lend Tuscan countryside feels to any home. Extremely easy to grow for, just give them all the sun and very little water. Fertilise it every month with a basic fertiliser and the plant is in general pest free, the only major plant issue is overwatering.
The sadaabahar or the nityakalyani as it is famously known in India is a quintessential Indian plant. Its famous for its ease of growing and how profusely it flowers through the year. The periwinkle can grow in partial to full sun with ease and also does well in north facing balconies. Water the plant when the topsoil is dry to touch and prune regularly for a bushy plant with a lot of flowers. Fertilize every few weeks and keep the foliage dry.
Morning glory loves the full sun but can live well in the partial sun too with ease. Famous as a tough vining plant that booms with ease in stunning blue flowers in any kind of soil and growing conditions. Give them a trellis or window grill to climb and water when the topsoil is dry to touch.
Bengal clock vine:
The thunbergia, much like the morning glory is a tough vining plant that can thrive in blistering sun when other plants tend to burn. Famous for its habit of twining only clockwise, the thunbergia needs a trellis or growing support to climb on. Keep the soil moist and foliage dry. Fertilise every 2-3 weeks for plenty of blooms.
Bleeding heart vine:
Flowering vines for your north or east-facing balconies or windows where they get plenty of bright light but are also shaded from the harsh afternoon sun. Plant them in a rich and well-draining soil mix and water only when the topsoil is dry to touch but don’t let it dry out completely. Fertilize every 2 weeks in the flowering season.
They need full sun of south or west-facing balconies to grow to their full glory. These hardy vining plants flower profusely in the hot summer months when planted in a rich and well-draining potting medium. Fertilize it with a phosphorous-rich fertilizer for more flowers. Water the plant only when the soil is completely dry as the plant likes being on the drier side.
There are many more flowering plants that can brighten up your garden from the majestic and tall frangipani to the commonly beautiful marigolds, take your pick. They are easy to care for and instantly make your home happier by leaps and bounds.
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