Grow Tropical Indoor Plants


Few things bring more life to our home’s interiors than plants, and using tropical plants indoors creates your own little paradise. For us gardeners, it’s an opportunity to grow plants we might otherwise not be able to grow in our regions. Tropical plants are pretty easy to grow indoors, and just require attention to a few details to make sure they do well. Here are some popular tropical plants to grow indoors, and the little tricks to make sure you are successful with them. Remember if you have kids or pets to always check with your poison control to see if the plants you wish to use in your home are toxic.


There are many types of palms available as house plants, but most of them require the same basic care.

1. Palms generally like warm air. Keep palms away from cold drafts, air vents, or open doors.

2. Palms like to be moist, but most don’t like to sit in water. Make sure that you have a good drainage pan under your palm, and empty any excess about a half hour after watering. If you notice brown tips to the fronds, improve your drainage. Some palms like to be sprayed with a mister for humidity, and others, especially fan palms, prefer drier conditions. Check your specific type of palm.

3. Don’t overwater. This kills more palms than any other thing. Water when the soil is dry a half inch down.

4. Light, light, light! While palms will tolerate some low light, it’s not ideal and it will not help them grow into a healthy looking plant. Give them the brightest light you can provide. Palms with tender, transparent fronds will appreciate being shielded from direct sun.

Kentia Palm

Bird of Paradise

Birds of Paradise (Giant or White) may be the most dramatic tropical plant  you can grow indoors! Luckily, given the right conditions, they aren’t hard to grow. Here are the basics…

1. Light, light, light! Are you sensing a theme here? Bright light is the secret to this beautiful plant doing well.

2. Space. Repot every year and make sure they have growing room, because they grow quickly. The variety grown as a house plant can easily reach a height of 6 to 7 feet. After about 4 or 5 years, a Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia) may flower on rare occasions. The Strelizia Nicolai or White Bird of Paradise will produce a blue/white flower. Flower production is much more frequent when a Bird of Paradise is used as an outdoor plant.

3. Water. Keep this plant moist, as it does not like to dry out.

4. Fertilize regularly.

5. Don’t chill it out. This plant does not like to get below 60 degrees, and prefers it warm.

Philodendron (Split Leaf)

Another tropical and lush plant that can be grown indoors, the split leaf Philodendron can grow to a large plant both in height and circumference. Here’s how to grow it to it’s best.
1. Place in warm room without drafts, 5-10 feet away from a bright window. Trun a quarter turn every 4 or 5 days to keep the plant growing evenly.

2. Water when the soil is dry 1-2 inches below the surface. Water less often in winter, but never let it dry out to the point of wilting. Do not let it sit in water.

3. Mist with water every couple of days. Philodendron like high humidity.

4. Clean the leaves when necessary with a cloth dipped in warm water. Check for mites and flies often, and spray with an indoor spray if necessary.

5. Transplant every other year into a slightly larger pot.

For those of you with a larger bathroom and a nice bright window, you have the perfect place for tropical plants to thrive!

Tropical plants add a sense of luxury and drama to any home.

It’s not difficult to grow tropical plants indoors, and worth the little bit of extra effort for what they offer.
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