Best Flowering Houseplants for Beginners and Why!


Flowering indoor plant cactus close up

No-muss, no-fuss are typically not words you would use when describing flowering plants. Yet what if I told you there is indeed a subset of indoor flowering plants that are a little more hands-off than the norm? What are these beautiful plants that bloom and are resilient enough to withstand being grown and cared for by beginners? What are the best indoor flowering plants, specifically for beginners?

Here are the best indoor flowering plants for beginners:

  • Peace lily
  • Flowering maple
  • Kalanchoe
  • Cape primrose
  • Clivia
  • Gloxinia
  • Amaryllis
  • Christmas cactus
  • Hibiscus
  • Chenille plant
  • Poinsettia
  • Bromeliad
  • Cyclamen

Ahead, I’ll discuss why each of these 13 indoor flowering beauties are considered so simple to grow. This will help you create a care routine that’s doable in your day-to-day life, so make sure you keep reading.

The 13 Best Indoor Flowering Plants for Beginners

Peace Lily

What Is It?

The peace lily or Spathiphyllum is absolutely no stranger to the readers of Indoor Plants for Beginners. I’ve written about this houseplant extensively, including why a peace lily won’t bloom, what to do when your peace lily flower turns black or brown, how to handle an oversized peace lily, and whether you should give peace lilies coffee grounds.

If you’re completely new to the peace lily, let me provide some basic information here. The white “flower” the peace lily grows is not a flower at all, but rather, a bract. In other words, its flower is a modified leaf. Peace lilies mainly bloom in spring and but with some care and the right lighting and temperature conditions you can get your peace lily to bloom again in the fall.

Why I Recommend the Peace Lily Plant for Beginners

The peace lily’s growth requirements make it easy for even beginner indoor gardeners to figure out. Provide medium, indirect light, ensuring its lighting is ample. If the peace lily gets too little light, its leaf bract will stay green rather than turn luminous white.

If the bract or the leaves begin to look burnt or brown I recommend just scooting the peace lily back about 18 to 24 inches from its light source. That should be just enough of a change to put it in the sweet spot or “Goldilocks” zone.

If the bract stays green and doesn’t bloom, then consider reversing the above instructions. Move the peace lily about 18 inches closer to the light source and wait a day or two before continuing to move it closer towards its light source.

When it comes to watering a peace lily, after an initial good watering it will go roughly 3 to 5 days before it’s leaves begin to droop and look like they’re going to lay down. This is ok, your peace lily is not dying.

This is just a peace lili’s way of saying ” it’s time to water me again”. You’ll need to pay attention to the leaves and plant to learn how to predict when the leaves are about a day from lying down.

That’s when it’s time to water your peace lily again. The peace lily plant will clearly let you know when it’s ready to be watered again. That’s one of the main reasons I think the peace lily is a wonderful plant for beginners.

Flowering Maple

What Is It?

The Abutilon or flowering maple looks like a rather unremarkable shrub…until it starts blooming. Its flowers are typically a brilliant red tinged with orange but come in other color variations such as pale yellow, pastel orange, or pink.

If your Flowering Maple’s flowers are drooping downward, similar to the peace lily, that’s normal behavior for this plant species. I told you this plant is interesting!

Outdoors, flowering maple plants can regularly grow to sizes as large as 10 feet, but indoors, expect growth somewhere in the ballpark of 2 to 3 feet. You’re allowed to vigorously prune the maple with few ill effects, just don’t get too used to that. Most other houseplants are quite sensitive to over-pruning!

Why I Recommend the Flowering Maple Plant for Beginners

Its pleasant ease of pruning aside, other aspects of caring for this flowering houseplant aren’t too stressful either. The Abutilon will need full sun so its flowers’ depth of color can come roaring to life.

Make sure to use well-draining soil, a must with many indoor plants. Water your flowering maple when its soil completely dries out but make sure you’re not overdoing it.

If you grow rather fond of the flowering maple, you can propagate it with ease. Use its pruned cuttings, take care of them until the spring, and then plant them again.

As I’ve stated before, being able to over prune and it being easy to propagate makes the Flowering Maple an indoor flowering plant that is a fantastic choice for beginners.

Kalanchoe

What Is It?

I’ve discussed the kalanchoe a few times on Indoor Plants for Beginners, as it’s a great addition to any indoor garden. The kalanchoe is part of a species with more than 120 tropical flowering plants that come from tropical Africa and Madagascar. Its tidy flowers bloom in an assortment of colors, including ruby red, neon pink, pale pink, white, and yellow.

Fun fact: In 1979, a kalanchoe was on a Soviet Salyut 1 flight. Yes, the plant went into space, and it was among the first to do so!

Why I Recommend the Kalanchoe Plant for Beginners

Although you wouldn’t guess it at first glance, the kalanchoe is a succulent. I always recommend succulents for new indoor gardeners since they often thrive on being left alone.

Forget to water your plant for a while? No big deal for a succulent. Left your plant out in the sun a little longer than you planned? Succulents can handle it.

The kalanchoe prefers bright, indirect sun if possible. Well-draining soil is a must, as the kalanchoe prefers not to sit in a moist soil pool. Soggy bottom or root rot is just about the only thing you have to be worried about so water sparsely and enjoy this beautiful plant

Let the soil get very dry, before you reach for your watering can again. Consider boosting the humidity above 50 percent relative humidity if possible around your Kalanchoe plant, they love humidity. Do your best to not get water on its leaves when you’re watering your plant and other than that you’re good to go.

Those minor requirements are what makes the Kalanchoe another perfect pick for an indoor plant that flowers, for so many beginners.

Cape Primrose

What Is It?

The Streptocarpus or cape primrose also hails from Madagascar. Other places where you may natively find this flowering plant include the Comoro Islands as well as southern, eastern, and central Africa.

If you hate the dim months of autumn and winter, an indoor plant like the cape primrose will put a smile on your face often. Why? When it comes to plants that bloom often, the cape primrose puts many others to shame.

The Cape Primrose plant will bloom almost the entire year, 10 out of 12 months if it’s happy enough.

Why I Recommend the Cape Primrose Plant for Beginners

Okay, so how do you make the cape primrose happy? It’s not very hard or it wouldn’t be on this list. Position the plant in an easterly or northerly-facing window so it can get some light but not too much. If you can’t do that, don’t sweat it. This pretty plant grows natively in low-light conditions in the forests of Africa, so it can live and even bloom in shady conditions!

Watering your new plant will be a breeze too, as you won’t have to do it too often. When you do water the cape primrose, avoid getting its leaves wet and focus solely on the soil so the plant can drink in the level of H2O it needs.

Use lukewarm water over cold water whenever possible, as cold water can lead to leaf discoloration in the Cape Primrose!

Clivia

What Is It?

Nicknamed the kaffir lily, the Clivia is a southern African flowering plant that’s known for its electric orange flowers. Like the peace lily, the clivia isn’t a true lily either, but it’s part of a long list of plants nicknamed lilies due to the shape of their flowers.

The leaves of a clivia are not to be ignored either. Depending on the variety you choose, some clivia cultivars come with leaf variegation that will make this appealing houseplant your new favorite.

Why I Recommend the Clivia Plant for Beginners

You can literally put your clivia in a closet for about a quarter of the year, and that’s how you’re supposed to take care of this indoor plant. Yes, seriously!

The clivia needs darkness to go dormant in the late spring, and a rarely-used closet is pretty dark. Just make sure you remember to begin acclimating the Clivia plant to more light around April or so as it gears up to start growing.

When it’s out in the open, give your clivia some light but mainly shade. Never provide direct sun, as the light is too harsh. As for watering this plant, water your Clivia roughly once per week beginning in April, but not in the winter when your clivia is in hibernation. 

Gloxinia

What Is It?

Even if the gloxinia needed a bit more care than average, you might not mind once you set your gaze upon this pretty houseplant. It’s a stunner for sure!

The gloxinia from South America and the Andes grows flowers that usually feature thick white borders filled in with colors like dark purple, neon pink, or red. Some gloxinia flowers are all white or two-toned depending on the variety you buy.

Why I Recommend the Gloxinia Plant for Beginners

Gloxinias are known as a plant that lives forever. Each year, if your plant is happy, it may produce more flowers than the year prior.

That can lead to a lot of gloxinia flowers over the years. When the gloxinia begins blooming, it’ll do so for weeks, so keep up its care to make the most of this exciting period!

An average room temperature of up to 75 degrees Fahrenheit suits this plant just fine, as does bright, indirect lighting. Maintain soil moisture by watering the gloxinia when the first few inches of soil have dried out.  

Amaryllis

What Is It?

If your office cubicle or apartment lacks color, grow some amaryllis. This plant with its funnel-like flowers includes only two species: the Amaryllis paradisicola from the west Cape Provinces and the much more better-known Amaryllis belladonna from the southwest Cape Provinces.

The latter has proliferated all over the world, including Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, California, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico, New Zealand, and the Canary Islands.

Mostly springtime bloomers, amaryllis flowers sometimes reemerge in the autumn to show their pretty pastel petals one more time. Some amaryllis flowers last more than 70 years and will bloom annually!

Why I Recommend the Amaryllis Plant for Beginners

The amaryllis needs a little more care than the gloxinia, but it can handle temperatures as low as 60 degrees. And being that all of the plants on this list are chosen for being grown indoors, I don’t think too many people will have to worry about the 60 degree temperature restriction.

Water this indoor plant with a light hand, but make sure you avoid the bulbs, especially if they’re growing or blooming. Too much water could impact bulb development.

Bright, indirect light is a friend of the amaryllis. The most you’ll have to do with this flowering plant is trim it at the stems after the blooming season wraps for the year. Cut an inch or so down at the bulb’s neck when you’re sure your amaryllis won’t bloom again for a while.

Christmas Cactus

What Is It?

The Christmas cactus and holiday cactus alike have been a regular topic of discussion on this blog, the Schlumbergera or Christmas cactus redefines what you envision when you think of a cactus.

Its stems aren’t tall and thick, but thin and droopy. This southeastern Brazilian plant can grow on a rock or tree in its native environment. In your indoor garden, it’s just as happy in a pot or container.

The stunning flowers that sprout from each dangling cactus arm make the Christmas cactus a must in your indoor garden. The two cultivars of Christmas cactus both bloom. These are the Buckleyi Group and the Truncata Group.

The former has the trademark pink flowers but are late bloomers. Truncata Group Christmas cacti are referred to as the crab cactus or Thanksgiving cactus since they bloom first and have sharper spikes on the arms.  

Why I Recommend the Christmas cactus Plant for Beginners

Well, for starters, the Christmas cactus is a succulent, so depriving it of water is much harder than it is for other indoor plants. This doesn’t mean you can forget to water it altogether, but you’ll usually go weeks without pouring a drop.

The true Christmas cactus, aka not those in the Truncata Group, isn’t painful to touch. Even still, this plant doesn’t require much handling, as it can live for years in the same pot, sometimes its entire life. Give this cactus low light to round out its care and you’ll see those beautiful pinkish red flowers in no time.

The Christmas cactus is one of the hardest-to-kill plants I’ve personally ever owned. Combine that with being the easiest plant on this list to take care of and you’ll know why I recommend it to beginners.

I think it’s also worth mentioning that the Christmas Cactus is the most reliable blooming plant I’ve ever grown. Every year, since it was about 2 years old, it has bloomed every year at the same time without having to do anything special to make it happen.

As you can probably tell, there’s a lot to love about the Christmas Cactus.

Hibiscus

What Is It?

Speaking of pink flowers, pink is one of many colors you may behold when your hibiscus plant blooms. This mallow plant family member also showcases flowers in dazzling hues like white, red, yellow, or red-orange.

When you begin growing your own hibiscus, you may even feel inclined to make homemade hibiscus tea, a beverage that’s rich in vitamin C and has a distinct red color. Do be forewarned that the taste is somewhat tart.

Why I Recommend the Hibiscus Plant for Beginners

You will have to water the hibiscus frequently as its growing season gets underway and during summer when the temperatures begin heating up. Then scale way back in the cooler months, letting the soil dry out before watering again.

Bright light in those cooler periods for at least six hours is fine for the hibiscus, but in the summer, direct sun may be too harsh. Introduce some shade at this point, which shouldn’t affect the coloration of the flowers.

The tropical feel of hibiscus, especially while it’s blooming, makes for a beautiful indoor plant. As long as your indoor temps stay between 60 and 80 degrees at home or the office your hibiscus should be fine.

The general resilience of the Hibiscus combined with its ability to be overwatered from time to time and still thrive makes it a great flowering plant for beginners. I also think it’s nice to have a few tropical plants in your houseplant collection to keep things interesting.

Chenille Plant

What Is It?

Flowers come in all shapes and sizes, and the chenille plant proves that. Also known as the Acalypha hispida, the chenille plant produces tail-like brush flowers that have earned this plant nicknames like the fox tail or red hot cat’s tail.

In an indoor garden full of flowers, the chenille plant will make an impact every time. Its flowers are always red and have a texture like cattails, not like I’d recommend you touch them, as you can disturb them.

Have you accidentally overwatered too many plants? Then the chenille plant is perfect for you. It prefers soil that stays moist almost all the time, so there’s practically no such thing as too much water for this plant species.

Why I Recommend the Chenille Plant for Beginners

Since the chenille plant can live outdoors or indoors, replicating outdoor conditions as best you can in your home or office is a good rule of thumb for this houseplant. Maintain bright light through sunlight or a grow light. Periods of shade are a-okay for this flowering plant as well, just not too often.

The chenille plant is a great flowering indoor plant for beginners who want a “statement” plant but are working with smaller spaces. I say that because the chenille plant won’t grow out of control, as it may only reach 3 feet tall and a foot wide when grown indoors.

Poinsettia

What Is It?

Everybody wants a poinsettia for Christmas, but caring for this plant during the rest of the year can be very satisfactory too. The Euphorbia pulcherrima hails from Central America and Mexico. Its flowers are always that deep, rich red so reminiscent of Christmas.

Pollinating bugs don’t care much for the poinsettia, which means your indoor garden will have fewer insects roaming around.

By the way, I do want to say that poinsettias are not deadly like you might have heard. That was an old urban legend from the early 1900s that’s since been disproven. You still shouldn’t eat the flowers, nor should you let your pets, but the poinsettia won’t kill anyone.

Why I Recommend the Poinsettia Plant for Beginners

Besides the fact that it won’t murder you, I’d suggest growing a poinsettia as a beginner indoor gardener for a handful of reasons. They flower or bloom easily and do well with going an extra day or two past their ideal watering day.

The poinsettia plant likes bright light like most of the houseplants on this list and doesn’t need watering on any set schedule. As I’ll show you in a moment, when it comes to watering the poinsettia, it’s more about the feel of the soil than a regimented watering schedule.

Having at least one plant that can teach you how to check the soil dampness to determine if it needs watering can be a great asset to a beginner.

Try to keep the soil slightly moist but not soaking wet. You can use the fingertip test, that I’ll explain below, to gauge when it’s time to water your poinsettia. As I’ve mentioned it’s better to let the soil dry out a little rather than water it while it’s still damp.

Is it damp or wet from the previous watering? If so, hold off, it’s not time to water your poinsettia plant yet. Depending on your particular light, temperature & plant conditions, the time can range from a day to couple more days before it will need water.
Is the soil sort of dry but not entirely? It’s close to watering time. Watering a day or so late is better than a day or so early with poinsettias.
Is the soil completely dry?get your plant some water, it’s time to water your poinsettia plant.

If there’s one thing you can do that will kill your poinsettia fast, that’s leaving it near a draft. It doesn’t matter if it’s hot air or cold air. Put plainly, your poinsettia despises being put in the air flow of an A.C. or a heater, so please watch where you put it!

Bromeliad

What Is It?

What do the flowers of the bromeliad remind you of? If you said the crown of a pineapple, that’s because the bromeliad shares a lineage with the tasty tropical fruit.

The bromeliad in the Bromeliaceae family includes nearly 4,000 species that come from tropical west Africa, the American subtopics, and the tropical Americas. Its rosette flowers are sometimes pale in hue but can have rich, vibrant colors in shades of yellow, orange, neon pink, and red.

Similar to the hibiscus, you’ll feel like you’re on vacation every day by growing some bromeliad indoors or at least like you have some of the outdoors inside with you and that can be very relaxing. Especially if you have the light and space for a bromeliad plant in your bedroom.

Why I Recommend the Bromeliad Plant for Beginners

Put your bromeliad in a spot where it can get bright, indirect light. Use well-draining soil and water the bromeliad as often as it takes to maintain soil moisture. I highly recommend using a pot or container with a drainage hole when it comes to planting or repotting a bromeliad.

For a complete list of plants that don’t need a drainage hole in their pots or containers I recommend reading: Indoor Plants That Don’t Need Drainage

Moist soil, by the way, is not the same as soggy soil and certainly not the same as soaking wet soil. The soil should feel a little damp or moist, not wet.

When watering the bromeliad, focus the stream at the leaf base rather than the flowers or the rest of the plant. In the spring when its growing season begins, fertilize your plant about monthly using a fertilizer at half-strength.

I tend to recommend the Bromeliad to beginners who have a habit of overwatering plants.

Cyclamen

What Is It?

The last indoor flowering plant for beginners that I want to talk about is the cyclamen. A European plant species that has spread to Somalia, Iran, and the Mediterranean Basin, cyclamen have become so popular because of their beauty and simplicity.

The flowers of cyclamen are five-petaled and may grow straight but could also be twisted or bent based on the variety you choose. Also dependent on the variety is when this indoor plant will bloom.

The Cyclamen repandum is a typical spring grower while the Cyclamen coum does best in winter and the Cyclamen purpurascens grows in the autumn. As you can see, there’s a variety for everyone.

Why I Recommend the Cyclamen Plant for Beginners

As I’ve mentioned before, when it comes to the the care of the cyclamen it’s pretty simple, as the cyclamen needs well-draining soil and should be watered when its soil gets relatively dry.

You do have to tread a fine line of not overwatering or underwatering it, but that’s about the hardest part of growing cyclamen.

Remember to not water your cyclamen when it stops blooming, as it’s entered a dormancy stage and its leaves could die if you keep pouring on the water. Like you did with the clivia, consider putting your cyclamen somewhere dark and cool for a few months, maybe even your closet! 

Being able to grow cyclamen anytime of the year, its flowers are two of the main reasons I recommend beginner indoor gardeners get their hands on this flowering houseplant. That and it’s low maintenance when it comes to its light requirements.

Fred Zimmer

I'm a lover of plants, animals, photography, & people, not necessarily in that order. Currently, I'm focused on photographing indoor plants & chachkies. I write & rewrite articles about creating an environment where indoor plants can thrive. I'm good at listening to music but bad at shopping to muzak.

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