Indoor Tropical House Plants
We all have a wild side to us which draws us to the untamed wild out there, one of those wilds is the tropical rain-forest. These forests hold within themselves the largest and richest diversity of flora and fauna. And for those of us who can’t reside close to them can still pot them and keep them in our homes in the form of indoor tropical house plants.
What is a Tropical Plant?
A tropical plant as the name suggests is native to tropical areas and climate. These plants are exclusive and exotic and their looks can totally mesmerize you. Stained with colors from the outer world, leaves shapes mimicking everything from cheese to birds to stars and what not.
Keep them in your pots as indoor tropical house plants, and along with the goodness and benefits of plants, you get to cherish the beauty of nature in its finest and wildest form.
Pre-requisite knowledge: Firstly all these plants are perennial and evergreen. Secondly, the size of the plants and their leaves, or even their ability to bloom depends on their environment. For example, you put them in small pots, they remain small, and you plant them in an open field with all requirements fulfilled, they will grow to their full size.
From the care point of view, they all basically need the same (tropical conditions):
- Soil: well-draining, nutrient-rich
- Watering: soil should always be moist, never soaking wet
- Sunlight: shade, filtered sun, artificial grow lights
- Fertilizing: needed regularly
- Propagation: almost all species given below can be propagated easily through cuttings.
NOTE for the plant parent:
- Given above are very basic and general care tips for indoor tropical houseplants and plants may differ in terms of needs. So, it is always a great idea to consult the seller of the plants for a detailed and plant-specific care routine.
- Some of these species might be poisonous (you surely need defense mechanism in tropical forests) to pets or humans or both and can irritate skin and eyes. So people with curious kids and animals are required to take extra precautions while keeping these. And never forget to wear gloves while working with these types of plant babies.
So here is a list of some of the best indoor tropical house plants: (Beware: they are oozing with the oomph factor and can mesmerize you deeply)
1. Fatsia japonica or Japanese Aralia: (Spider’s web-speckled Japanese Aralia or variegated Fatsia)
Native: Southern Japan, southern Korea, Taiwan
Description: It has white and green, glossy textured leaves that can grow up to 12-16 inches. It blooms in fall (autumn). It also bears black colored berries which birds love to munch on.
2. Alocasia Polly: (African mask plant or Polly elephant ears or amazon elephants ear or Alocasia Amazonica)
Native: Southeast Asia
Description: It can grow up to 2 feet tall and wide. It has dark green wavy-edged leaves with white veins, and different shades of yellow and green appear on the foliage when hit by sunlight. It can bear very rare green and white bloom.
3. Codiaeum Variegatum: (Croton or rushfoil)
Native: Southeast Asia and Oceania
Description: It’s signature foliage colors are-scarlet, red, yellow, and purple. In wild it can reach up to 10 feet of height. It typically requires 8-10 hours of direct sunlight to produce the signature colors and without enough sun, the leaves will turn green.
4. Monstera Adansonii: (Swiss cheese vine or monkey mask)
Native: Central and South America
Description: Are you a cheese lover and a plant lover, then this plant is perfect for you, large leaves with well-known Swiss cheese holes yummy! (Don’t eat the plant though). It is a climbing and trailing vine.
5. Calathea Roseopicta Medallion: (Prayer plant)
Description: It has pretty round petals with bold white and green pattern on top and deep burgundy underneath. The leaves of this plant curls slightly upward to expose the underneath pretty pink.
6. Philodendron Squamiferum
Native: French Guiana, Suriname, and northern Brazil
Description: It has long red stems with soft fuzz and the leaves are oak shaped. It is believed that this plant has the hairiest arms out of all philodendrons. It is a climber plant.
7. Stromanthe Triostar
Description: It has pretty glossy leaves. The face of the leaf is variegation of creamy white and dark green, and the back of the leaves is different tones of dark pink and red (too glamorous?). This plant has a short stem with 6-12 inches long leaves. It bears spring flowers.
8. Syngonium/Nephthytis Erythrophyllum ‘llano carti road’: (Arrowhead plant or Red arrow plant)
Native: Latin America, Mexico, Bolivia, West Indies, Florida, Texas, Hawaii
Description: It gets its ‘road’ factor because it was collected on roads in Panama. It has a dark purple leaf surface and maroon underside. It is a gorgeous trailing plant.
9. Peperomia Argyreia: (Watermelon Peperomia or watermelon begonia) (It is not even remotely related to either watermelons or begonias)
Native: Southern and Central America, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Venezuela.
Description: Mistaken as succulents this plant has thick succulent like leaves, but the pattern on leaves mimic green and white stripes like a watermelon (chameleon plant alert?). With pinkish-purple stem it has roundish-oval leaves. It is a compact little plant, 6-12 inches tall, good as ground cover. It bears small and unnoticeable bloom in summer.
10. Strelitzia Nicolai: (Giant white bird of paradise or wild banana)
Native: South Africa
Description: The last on the list is this heavenly sounding and looking plant. It has a woody erect stem like a banana tree. It can grow up to 6m tall and 3.5m wide and is really fast-growing (take some notes, patience-less gardeners). Its leaves look like a banana leaf and it comes with a bloom that looks like a bird of paradise.
Plants can bring life (literally) to any corner of the world. Let’s nourish them back as they nourish us. Brighten up your life with these amazing tropical indoor/house plants and keep cheering for Mother Nature. Go green, go wild. Also share this article with all the plant parents around you.
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