Friendship is often best expressed, and sustained, with little gifts. And there are, after all, many occasion when a large houseplants or elaborate trough would be out of place. Moreover, children sometimes like to buy a small house plants with their pocket-money. So it is nice to know that they, too, are well catered for. Most flower shops have a wide choice of small plants suited to the most modest pocket. The varieties mentioned below (inexpensive houseplants) are small, cheap, and longer lasting than a bunch of flowers.
- Begonia semperflorens hybrids. These well-known, long-flowering begonias show masses of small single flowers in a variety of colors in April-May if they are sown from seed in January-February. Tip cuttings can also be rooted in water.
- Campanula isophylla ‘Alba’ (Italian Bellflower o Star of Bethlehem). Well-known trailing houseplants which produces a wealth of white, star shaped flowers, ideal for hanging baskets.
- Catharanthus roseus (Madagaskar Periwinkle). Low-growing little house plants, showing clusters of flat, five-lobed flowers. It has small, oval, dark-green leaves with a light central vein. Flowers March-October. Although a perennial. It is best propagated from stem cuttings.
- Chrysanthemum vestitum hybrids (syn. C. Morifolium). The compact indoor chrysanthemum. Flowers for a remarkably long period in an enormous variety of colors. After flowering in can be planted out in the garden where it will give pleasure for many years as a high, cluster- chrysanthemum.
- Kalanchoe blossfeldiana. A succulent with a wealth of red, white or pink flowers umbels rising above spoon-shaped leaves, which is available practically throughout the entire year. Coarser-leaved strains have more color variations; their flowers are also larger and the stems usually longer.
- Pelargonium zonale hybrid. The Dwarf Geranium ‘Black Vesuvius’, a low-growing plant with dark purple-brown leaves and single flowers in a every shade of orange.
- Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri (Easter Cactus). Related to the link-leaf-cacti, with rectangular, leaf-like branching stems. Scarlet tubular flowers, which open in a wide star shaped, appears on the tips of house plants in spring.
- Saxifraga stolonifera (Saxifraga, Mother of Thousands or Strawberry Geranium). The triple-colored cultivar ‘tricolor’ is a particular favorite. The rosette-shaped house plants grow young plant-lets at the end of trailing thin stems. The mother plant itself, which has dark-green leaves with red under-sides, often produces small white flower plumes in the summer.
Authors: A. C. Muller-Idzerda, Elisabeth de Lestrieux, Jonneke Krans