Tropical Houseplants

Tropical houseplants which include monstera, orchids, bromeliads and crotonsBring Home the Tropics with These 15 Great Tropical Houseplants:

Sansevieria or Snake plant houseplant large in white container next to bright window1. Sansevieria

This modern looking plant is available in all sizes from a cute table top to a large floor plant. If you are a first time plant owner, this is the plant for you because they are highly adaptable to various light conditions.


Orchids2. Orchids

Poperly selected and cared for, orchids can be among the showiest and most exotic of all garden or patio plants. There are many areas throughout the southern and central United States where temperatures for a good portion of the year are compatible with the needs of many orchids. Some coastal areas are nearly frost-free year round. In these areas, with some protection from excessive sun, wind and rain, lovely orchid plants can be successfully cultivated on the patio or as a part of the landscape. In frost-free areas, the plants can be left in place all year. Where frost or temperatures below 40 F threaten, plants can be brought into the home to be grown on windowsills, under lights or on an unheated patio where the coldest temperatures are avoided. The trick is in selecting plants that are already adapted to your particular area. First, though, consider some basic cultural needs of the plants.

  • LIGHT - No flowering plant will do well in deepest shade, and orchids are no exception. Orchids generally come from environments where dappled light is the norm. The hotter the sun, the more midday shade is required. In humid or coastal areas, more sun can be given. The required amount of light will also dictate your selection of plants. If you can offer only one light situation, select only plants that can do well under those conditions.
  • HUMIDITY - Most areas with satisfactory temperatures will have adequate humidity. Anywhere from 40 percent and up will do. Only in the deserts will it be unsatisfac tory. In such areas, grouping orchids with other plants can create a microclimate that will suit them.
  • WATERING - This will depend greatly on your plant selection, and whether the plants are grown under cover. In general: Most orchids require at least some air circulation around their roots yet are intolerant of excessive moisture at the roots.
  • TEMPERATURE - In most cases, you will be limited to whatever Mother Nature provides, eased only by the amount of shade you supply. Generally, there are many lovely orchids that will do well in the temperature range from 40 to 90 F. Your particular temperature conditions will influence your choice of plants.
  • FERTILIZER - Fertilize regularly, at a low dosage of approximately one-half strength, with a fertilizer appropriate to the potting mix in which the plants are grown.


potted assorted varieties of peperomia houseplants3. Peperomia

A baby rubber plant that is available in more than 1,000 species. This plant has thick, fleshy leaves that like succulents hold water and contribute to their drought tolerance. Leaves of Peperomia are available in many colors and variations. They are low maintenance and prefer medium to bright light.


4. Croton

Croton plants offer incredible tropical color and typically are grown outside but can be grown indoors and if you find the bright sunny spot, you will have a happy croton plant.


5. Calathea

Available in a variety of colors, Calathea's prefer medium to low light.



6. Ferns

Bird’s nest ferns (Asplenium nidus) are epiphytic ferns, which mean they typically grow on other things, like tree trunks which means they are easy to affix to planks of wood. Named after their appearance, the bird’s nest ferns grow well in medium to low and indirect light. The amount of light will directly affect how crinkly their leaves will become. More light, more crinkle, less light the flatter the leaves. Careful not to allow too much light or your bird’s nest fern’s leaves will yellow and ultimately die. They prefer moist but not wet soil. Overall, they are not as picky as some of their counterparts and will make a nice tropical addition to your home.


7. Dracaena

If you pay attention, Dracaena’s will tell you exactly what they need. Start them out by placing them in window that receives bright but filtered light. They also prefer moist soil but never soggy. Now just pay attention. If the leaves are yellowing or drooping, you are most likely over watering or your container has poor drainage.

Split Leaf Philodendron

8. Split-Leaf Philodendron

Split-leaf philodendron (Monstera deliciosa), also known as Swiss cheese plant, produces large, glossy green leaves. These trendy plants make excellent container-specimens for decorating a summer deck or indoor room. Select a spot for your split-leaf philodendron that will receive bright but indirect or filtered sunlight. Water when the top half of the soil in its container feels dry. Water slowly, refilling the pot one to two more times to ensure the soil is thoroughly moist, allowing the water to drain each time. Be sure to remove the excess water when done and - never allow the plant to stand in water.


9. Schefflera

Schefflera species are wonderful tropical plants. The larger schefflera (sometimes called the umbrella plant) features long, shiny, oval green leaves that droop gracefully from a central stalk resembling an umbrella.


10. Ficus

Most ficus trees enjoy bright indirect or filtered light with variegated varieties happily able to take medium light. Bright, direct light may result in scalding of the leaves and leaf loss. 


11. Philodendron

The Philodendron genus contains some of the most beautiful foliage plants in the plant kingdom. Their glossy leaves add a touch of indoor jungle to your home, reminiscent of the tropical areas of the Americas to which they are native. For indoor use, there are two basic types of philodendrons: the climbing varieties and the self-heading (non-climbing) types.

Source: The Spruce:


12. Alocasia

Tropical plants in the Alocasia genus feature stunning foliage that can become the centerpiece of a garden or room. In the right conditions, they can grow very fast, but they are also sensitive plants. Alocasia grows well in big pots; they can thrive in the summertime and then be brought indoors in the winter. Some species are considered invasive, especially along the Gulf Coast in the U.S. Check with your local municipality if you have concerns prior to planting this species outdoors. If you have children or pets, you may want to avoid these plants as the leaves are toxic to humans and animals.

Kentia Palm

13. Kentia Palm

The kentia palm (Howeia) is one of the world's most popular indoor palms. In fact, it's sometimes called the sentry palm, presumably because of the entryways it guards. The kentia palm is perhaps not the most beautiful or graceful of all palm trees, but it has everything you could ask for in an indoor palm. It's shade tolerant, cold tolerant, and doesn't grow too alarmingly large. Under the right conditions, a kentia palm will eventually grow into a magnificent specimen plant, up to 10 feet tall.

Light: Kentia palms prefer indirect sunlight. Do not expose the plant to direct sun unless it is acclimated as a seedling to direct sun. While they can grow in low light conditions, you will get more foliage if they get more light.

Rubber Tree

14. Rubber Tree

Sunlight Thrives in medium to bright indirect light, and can tolerate bright direct light. Water Water every 1-2 weeks, and adjust frequency depending on the light levels provided. Allow potting mix to dry out before watering. Soil about 1-2” down should be dry to touch. Water more frequently during warmer months and fertilize during growth. Generally, the plant will droop to show that it needs more water. Do not overwater or keep the soil wet for too long, as this will encourage root rot.


15. Pothos

The pothos plant is considered by many to be a great way to get started caring for houseplants. Because pothos care in easy and undemanding, this lovely plant is an easy way to add some green in your home. Basic pothos care is very easy. These plants enjoy a wide range of environments. They do well in bright indirect light as well as low light and can be grown in dry soil or in vases of water. They will thrive in nutrient rich soil, but do almost as well in nutrient poor soil.