Ready to pep up those fall neutrals with a bit of organic color and shape? Today we’re bringing the outdoors in with Annie’s guide to the best indoor, fall-blooming plants—many of which are easy-peasy to care for, requiring little more than a sunny windowsill and regular watering. While we’ve included some basic fall care instructions here, don’t forget to read the planting information on the growers’ tags or ask your local nursery for more detailed, year-round care tips.
Why we love them: In classic hues of red, white, pink, and sometimes even green, the amaryllis is a go-to flower for seasons when the trees outside are naked and gardens have wilted to nothing more than skeletal shoots and branches. Because they come in both their traditional medium and an adorable mini size, it’s easy to arrange several pots of different amaryllis flowers into pretty tabletop vignettes. Bonus: they make terrific holiday gifts.
Basic fall care: Buy amaryllis bulbs and pot them yourself. Keep them in a warm, sunny spot and water sparingly with warm water to encourage speedier blooming. Once the stem starts to poke up out of the soil, gradually water more frequently, keeping the soil evenly damp but not wet. They’ll bloom in six to eight weeks from the time they’re planted.
Why we love them: This sweet little plant has long, tongue-shaped leaves and profuse, velvety blooms in an array of colors—including blue, purple, pink, red, and white—so you can easily find one to complement your room’s color palette. The Cape primrose’s compact size makes it ideal for apartments and small windowsills.
Basic fall care: Put this pretty plant in partial sun for best blooming. Water regularly, allowing the soil to remain damp, but not soggy, between waterings. Cape primroses actually prefer slightly cooler (but not cold) temperatures, so even those of us in the chilly Northeast can enjoy them indoors year round.
Why we love them: Another bright red- or pink-flowered plant, the Christmas cactus is a no-brainer. Its uniquely shaped, thick foliage and its blooms that go from cone-shaped to exotic open flowers in the space of a few days make it a tabletop stunner.
Basic fall care: Keep your Christmas cactus potted it in soil mixed with some sand for drainage, and set it in a sunny yet cool corner. Allow the soil to dry completely between waterings. Because the Christmas cactus is prompted to bloom by cooler temperatures and shorter amounts of sun, don’t be surprised if it starts showing off in early to mid-November.
Why we love them: The goldfish plant, or guppy plant, named for its flowers’ fishlike bodies and puckered “mouths,” is a lesser-known relative of the African violet. While it’s showiest in the summer, with a little love and sunlight, it will keep offering those bright orange blooms well into fall and winter. The curved shape of its stems make the goldfish plant a natural for hanging pots.
Basic fall care: Like the African violet, the goldfish plant thrives in bright, but not direct, sunlight and a little humidity; place it a few feet away from bright windows, or beside windows that have sheer curtains. Water the goldfish plant until the soil is moist but not soggy, pouring out anything that drains out of the pot. Don’t allow the soil to dry completely between waterings! If the leaves begin to curl, cut back on watering for a few weeks, and then go back to your regular watering schedule.
Why we love them: Though it’s sometimes called shamrock plant because of its large, clover-shaped leaves, oxalis is actually a member of the wood sorrel family. The rich purple leaves and consistent white or pink flowers are a cheery, colorful addition to most rooms, and especially to rustic designs. You can buy a full-grown plant, or grow it yourself from tiny bulbs. It’s also an easy plant to divide, should it outgrow its pot.
Basic fall care: This is one of the easiest houseplants to grow. Oxalis thrives in mild temperatures and get a bit wilty on cold nights, but don’t despair; it’ll perk up again once it warms up. Oxalis doesn’t like a lot of direct sun, so if your chosen window faces more toward the south, set the plant back from the window by 10 to 12 inches. Because the bulbs are prone to rotting from overwatering, allow the top of the soil to dry out between waterings.