Answer: African violets have long been a favorite houseplant. Also, several relatives of the African violet make excellent flowering houseplants. For example, Episcia are fibrous-rooted trailers grown for metallic-toned and delicately veined foliage. "Cyznet" has unique fringed white flowers with purple spots, and "Acajou" has bright red flowers. They do not require as much light as African violets and make attractive hanging baskets. The miniature Sinningia are charming in terrariums or in 2- to 3-inch pots. Flower colors include red, lavendar, and white. Streptocarpus or Cape primrose provides an outstanding show of flowers. Hybrids are available in white, purple, and pink. They do well in a semi-shaded window or under lights, growing to about 10 inches tall.
A wide selection of other plants provides exotic flowers in the home. Bromeliads have increased in popularity in recent years. The most widely known Bromeliad is the pineapple. The Aechmea and Billbergia are two Bromeliads that reward their owners with such color combinations as pink bracts and blue flowers which last for weeks.
Abutilon (flowering maple) has hollyhock-like blooms of orange, pink, white, red, or salmon. A shrub-like plant, it is not a true maple, but gets its name from its maple-like leaves. It needs a sunny window to do well.
Aphelandra (zebra plant) has shiny, deep-green leaves prominently veined white and a spectacular yellow inflorescence. It requires filtered or diffused sunlight.
Many common patio plants will continue to grow and bloom indoors if given sufficient light and nutrients. Fuchsia, impatiens, begonia, geranium, lantana, and browalia are among these that do well.
Good luck with your new houseplants!
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