Tropical indoor plants: How to grow tropical plants indoors and keep them lush
Many of those indoor plants that are so popular at the moment hail from tropical and subtropical climates. Their care needs reflect these origins. Want to know how to grow tropical plants indoors? Here's how you can help them flourish.
Popular tropical indoor plants
These plants would naturally be found in shaded, sheltered and often-moist positions in rainforests or growing in other protected locations such as against a rocky outcrop.
With this in mind, there are a few considerations. Ensure that you position these plants indoors in a brightly lit spot, but out of hot, direct sunlight. This may just mean moving them slightly back from a north-facing window. You should also keep them away from cold or hot draughts such as those emitted by an air-conditioner.
Indoor environments can also be a lot drier than their rainforest homes. To increase the humidity in our homes, group plants together and from time to time gently mist their leaves. Get extra humidity by standing plants in a saucer filled with pebbles and water. The pebbles stop the plants from actually resting in water, which is inadvisable as the root zone could become waterlogged. As the water evaporates it adds moisture to the air. Top up the water regularly. For more advice and top tips on upping the humidity in your home, check out this article.
Top tips for lush tropical indoor plants
Want to know more about how to grow tropical plants indoors? Here are our favourite tips to keep your indoor tropical plants in tip-top condition.
The ideal potting mix
Start by planting into the best quality potting mix and using a pot size that matches the size of the plant’s root ball. We recommend Supersoil Professional Indoor, Balcony & Hanging Basket Potting & Planting Mix.
The pot should have drainage holes in its base. A good tip is to keep the plant growing in a basic plastic pot that stands inside an ornamental cover pot, which may not have any drainage holes. Make sure that water doesn’t pool in the bottom of the cover pot. One way to do this is to lift the plant out of the cover pot to water it, allow it to drain then return it once it's no longer dripping.
Keep it humid
As mentioned above, keeping humidity levels up around the plants is very important for tropical plants. Here’s how.
Watch like a hawk
Make it a habit to regularly inspect plants checking for any signs of pests or diseases and removing any dead or damaged leaves or stems that have died back. Removing dead bits helps promote healthier growth and also keeps plants looking good. If you notice signs of pests or diseases, remove the plant to a separate location, remove the affected leaves or stems and treat that plant with an appropriate pesticide or fungicide (using the least toxic product that’s suitable and following the instructions on the container). Also regularly dust foliage with a soft cloth or wash down foliage with a gentle hose
The water works
Water when the potting mix feels dry, and once a week add a seaweed solution to the watering can. Flower Power recommends Amgrow Seaweed Concentrate. Don’t overwater as this may lead to rot, however don’t allow plants to totally dry out as the potting mix may become hard to rewet, causing the plant to become stressed. If the potting mix is hard to wet, try soaking the pot in a bucket of water or watering with a soil wetting solution. If the pot is hard to wet as the plant is root bound, repot the plant into a slightly larger pot with fresh potting mix. For more advice on how to repot plants, check out this article.
Unless indoor plants are actively growing, they don’t need to be fertilised. They may be actively growing if they are in a bright, well-lit location, when the temperatures are warm (through spring and summer) or if they are rested outside in a sheltered location for several weeks. When applying fertiliser, use a liquid plant food for indoor plants. For more on how and when to feed your indoor plants, click here.
Now that you know all about how to grow tropical plants indoors, we'd love to see photos of yours thriving in their new homes! Tag or message us at @flowerpowergardencentres on Facebook and Instagram.