12 Tropical Plants for Growing Indoors

Tropical Plants for Growing Indoors

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    12 Tropical Plants to Grow Indoors

    Tropical houseplants can add color and an exotic flair to your home, even if you live in a colder climate. While some tropical houseplants are best known for their open flowers, others are prized for their large leaves, with unusual or variegated patterns.

    The tropical plants on this list can be grown indoors in any climate, but many can also overwinter indoors in colder climates and then be brought back outdoors in the summer.

    The following tropical plants can be grown indoors to bring the jungle or rainforest into your living room, bathroom, or bedroom.

    Amazon Elephant's Ear (Alocasia x amazonica)

    The Amazonian elephant ear is common but distinct and almost majestic. The large green arrow-shaped leaves are streaked with silver.

    They are much easier to grow indoors than most species of alocasia and offer seasonal displays of beautiful foliage. They prefer rich, well-drained soil and require regular feeding.

    This plant is native to Southeast Asia.

    • Light: Shade or filtered sun
    • Water: Keep moist but avoid wet roots

    Anthurium (Anthurium andraeanum)

    Anthurium andraeanum is a tropical plant prized for its majestic and brilliant flowers. There are many anthurium cultivars available and although they are difficult to grow, they are very rewarding plants.

    Plant them in rich, loose soil to transplant and make sure the roots aren't too wet. If you are specifically looking for plants with pink flowers or leaves, consider adding a Mexican shrimp plant to your collection.

    • Light: Bright indirect light, avoid full sun
    • Water: Keep moist
    • Color varieties: Red blooms with a yellow spadix

    Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae)

    The bird of paradise is one of the most tropical flowers in the world, with large and distinct flowers that, according to some, resemble the head and beak of a bird.

    They are also surprisingly easy to grow indoors. Although it is a vigorous and fast-growing houseplant, it should be fertilized weekly and kept in pots.

    Birds of paradise can grow up to 6 feet tall and need 3 to 5 years of growth before blooming.

    • Light: Bright light with some direct sun
    • Water: Keep moist
    • Color varieties: Blue and orange

    Bromeliad (Bromeliaceae)

    Bromeliads are probably the easiest tropical plants to grow. These tropical epiphytes (air plants) are easily adapted to growing in pots and are much more tolerant than many of their lush, leafy pairs.

    They are available in a wide variety of colors and textures. Bromeliads can be grown in fast-draining potting soil consisting of peat-based soil and sand.

    Bromeliads can also be grown on boards or logs and hung on the wall.

    • Light: Bright, indirect light
    • Water: Water weekly but avoid standing water
    • Color varieties: Red, green, purple, orange, yellow, banded, stripes, spots, or other combinations

    Cordyline (C. terminalis)

    Ask anyone who has been to Hawaii: cordyline is practically synonymous with the tropics.

    These bold and colorful foliage plants come in a wide variety of leaf colors and, with proper care, can provide a dramatic accent. It is also known as a Ti tree or HawaiianTi tree.

    Cordyline needs a warm, draft-free location, rich, well-drained, high-quality potting soil with a pH between 6 and 6.5, and weekly feeding.

    • Light: Bright, indirect light
    • Water: Keep continually moist except in winter
    • Color varieties: Green, red, yellow, white, purple, and purplish-red

    Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia seguine)

    Mute canna is ubiquitous as a houseplant, so it's easy to forget that it's a true tropical foliage plant too.

    To grow this popular plant, use a fast-draining potting mix and fertilize with a 20-20-20 mix. Place it in a warm place (above 60 degrees Fahrenheit) without drafts.

    • Light: Bright light in winter; dappled shade or indirect light during growing months
    • Water: Water twice a week; reduce water in winter
    • Color varieties: Green and white

    The sap on this plant can be caustic so wear gloves when handling it.

    Ficus (Ficus benjamina)

    Ficus plants are restless, but a well-developed ficus is near the top of houseplants. Big, shiny, and impressive ficus are worth the effort.

    Ficus plants lose their leaves in cold, cold conditions and do not like to be moved. In fact, they absolutely need the right light, heat, and humidity.

    Not on the water. Watch out for pests like mites, mealybugs, whiteflies, and aphids.

    • Light: Bright indirect light
    • Water: Water regularly during the growing season, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Reduce water in fall through late winter.
    • Color varieties: Small yellow or white blossoms

    Kentia Palm (Howea)

    Palms are the enduring symbol of everything tropical, and many palm trees are easy to grow indoors. You can enjoy it in the entryway or in the corner of a sunny room and be transported to your tropical vacation.

    He's in good company too: Queen Victoria has ensured that Kentia palms are used in all of her residences.

    Plant your palm in a fast-draining mix, fertilize monthly, and keep the plant warm (above 55 degrees Fahrenheit).

    • Light: Filtered bright sun
    • Water: Water weekly in summer letting the soil dry between waterings

    Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

    Peace lilies are lovely, especially when they are clustered and in bloom. This plant is easy to grow and maintain and the flowers last for months.

    Although they are a bit difficult to winterize, they are still worth it. Avoid direct sunlight and keep the temperature above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

    • Light: Medium, indirect light
    • Water: Evenly moist soil and mist frequently in summer; reduce water in winter
    • Color varieties: White, creamy white

    Peace lilies are toxic so practice caution around pets and children.

    Philodendron (philodendron)

    For indoor use, there are self-tested climbing varieties and philodendron types (not scalable).

    Newer hybrids have been selected that combine the vigor and ease of climbing varieties with the convenience of self-tested varieties. It's easier than ever to grow them.

    • Light: Medium, indirect light
    • Water: Water and mist frequently in summer; reduce water in winter

    Schefflera (Schefflera arboricola)

    Sometimes called an umbrella plant, the leaves of Schefflera are broad, shiny, and abundant. Use them as background plants or place a large one in a warm, clear corner for a beautiful canopy effect.

    Light, heat, and humidity are the keys to successful Schefflera growth. Plant them in rich, loose potting soil with moist potting soil and fertilize them twice a month.

    • Light: Bright indirect light
    • Water: Water and mist weekly in summer; reduce water in winter
    • Color varieties: Red bur rarely flowers indoors

    Orchids (Orchidaceae)

    Orchids are the most diverse of all plant groups - they come from all over the world, from deserts to forests to rainforests, but the orchids that most people love come from tropical and subtropical climates.

    A blooming orchid is the quintessential tropical plant. Avoid dry air, direct heat or drafts, and direct sunlight. Instead, provide a warm and humid environment.

    • Light: Bright indirect light
    • Water: In general, once per week; allow to dry between waterings; do not overwater
    • Color varieties: White, yellow, pink, purple, red, orange, variegated

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