7 Houseplants That Scream Spring

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Usher a feeling of spring into your home with plants that celebrate this festive, promising season. We all could use some sunny hues, fresh flowers, and gorgeous greenery to our home right now, yes? These picks surely scream "spring is here!"

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1. Golden Daffodils

If there is a flower that speaks spring better than any others, it's got to be daffodils (​Nascissus spp.​), those golden, nodding beauties on tall, green stems. They appear in the wild in springtime on roadsides, mountain slopes, and garden beds. Inviting these bulb plants into your home means you are inviting spring as well.

You can often find potted daffodil bulbs in garden stores, but it's also an enjoyable DIY project. Plant six, high-quality bulbs in good potting soil in a 6-inch pot, leaving the tips peeking out. Water thoroughly, and then put somewhere dark and chilly like a cold garage for 12 to 16 weeks. Move the pot to a spot with low light for a week, then place it in an indoor, brightly lit location. Keep watering regularly and you'll have blooms in about a month.

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2. Scented Geranium

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Scented geraniums (​Pelargonium​ ​spp.​) invite that spring feeling with their brilliant red and pink flowers. Yes, these plants are frequently grown outdoors, but they make excellent indoor plants, too. It's easy to find container geraniums for sale in March and April in the garden store. Bring some home, give them a site with good light and enjoy their bright, happy flowers and lovely fragrance.

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For the largest, showiest blooms, look for Martha Washington geranium, but common garden geranium (​Pelegorium​ x ​hortorum​) and ivy geranium (​Pelegonium peltatum​) are also showy and less demanding. The Martha Washington prefers cooler temperatures but the others like the same indoor temps that you do, 60 to 70 degrees F. and moderately dry soil.

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3. Kaffir Lily

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The Kaffir lily (​​Clivia miniata​​) is not your grandma's spring lily. A Kaffir houseplant will light up your springtime with up to 20 trumpet flowers per stem. Blossoms are a lively, fiery orange with glowing yellow centers. They are held above the arching, forest-green foliage atop a tall stem. The plant can get to 18 inches tall and wide when it reaches maturity in some five years.

Kaffir lilies are easy to grow inside, thriving in the normal indoor range of 60 to 70 degrees. Keep the soil uniformly moist and remove fading flowers to allow others to replace them. Their winter requirements include a cooler location and less water.

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4. Pink Star Earth Star

Pink Star earth star (​Cryptanthus 'Pink Star'​) is a small, striking indoor bromeliad plant native to Brazil that will wake up any room. It has no spring flowers but still manages to hit your senses like a cool breeze, with its starry, rosette-shaped arrangement of the leaves and low growth habit. Pink star has beautiful green and ivory succulent leaves with eye-catching pink stripes.

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These unusual houseplants won't take much maintenance as long as you place them in a bright spot. Don't fudge this since the brighter the light, the more colorful the plants. Water earth stars whenever the soil starts to dry out. They don't mind moist soil and won't wilt if you neglect them for a while. Placed on a sunny table, they're sure to add a dash of color and texture to your space.

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5. Brazilian Fireworks

Celebrate spring with Brazilian fireworks(Porphyrocoma pohliana​ 'Maracas') offering an explosion of tubular deep red flower bracts graced with lavender flowers in springtime. The leaves themselves are magnificent, deep green, with an unusual shape and bright silver veins.

Brazilian fireworks loves to grow indoors where it's warm and prefers bright, indirect light. It must have good drainage and moist soil.

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6. Florist's Gloxinia

Florist's gloxinia (​Sinningia speciosa​) is related to the African violet, but offers more wow-power for spring. In fact, showy gloxinias are among the best plants that are grown for spring because of their large, velvety, bell-shaped flowers over three inches in diameter, each displayed on a long petiole. We love the deep purple double flowering types, but you can get varieties that flower in white, pink, red or blue. The leaves are oval, graceful and velvety like the flowers.

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Place gloxinia plants in a bright location in your home and keep the soil evenly moist. A plant can bloom for several weeks. Let them rest after blooming and stop watering. As the foliage dies, cut it back and put the container in a cool, dark location for a few months. When new growth appears, remove the tuber from the old potting soil, repot it in new material, bring it back to its indoor location and start watering again.

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7. Flowering Maple

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A flowering maple (​​Abutilon x hybridum​​) is not a maple at all, but a small tree with maple-like leaves. Why is it perfect for spring? Because the flowers appear in March or April, gorgeous, colorful bells that ring in the season. They are delightful in every way, from the bright shades of orange or yellow, to the papery, poppy-like texture of the petals and the charming way they dangle. Some varieties have variegated or splotched foliage.

This easy-care shrub can grow to 10 feet or more outside but remains smaller and narrower indoors in a container. But you can prune it back to keep it shrubby. Position the maple by a window in bright light and provide regular irrigation to maintain even moisture.

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references

From Alaska to California, from France's Basque Country to Mexico's Pacific Coast, Teo Spengler has dug the soil, planted seeds and helped trees, flowers and veggies thrive. A professional writer and consummate gardener, Spengler has written about home and garden for Gardening Know How, San Francisco Chronicle, Gardening Guide and Go Banking Rates. She earned a BA from U.C. Santa Cruz, a law degree from U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall, and an MA and MFA from San Francisco State. She currently divides her life between San Francisco and southwestern France.

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