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Indoor Tropical Plants for Sale - Buying & Growing Guide

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Indoor Tropical Plants – Buying & Growing Guide

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by John Haryasz | Horticulture Writer and Landscape Designer – last update on December 2, 2021

If you live in an area of the world that experiences cold winters, you probably believe that you can't own tropical plants. However, this could not be further from the truth. While you likely cannot grow tropical plants outdoors where you live, there is an alternative approach. Growing indoor tropical plants is not too difficult and will give your home an enticing jungle feel. Many of the tropical plants you can grow are nothing more than miniature versions of species that grow in the wild. This makes it easy to raise these plants healthily in an indoor container.

Types of Indoor Tropical Plants

Type  Growing Zones Mature Height Sun Features
Bird of paradise 9-11 3 to 5 feet Full sun: 5 to 6 hours Unique, bird-shaped flowers.
Ficus, Ficus benjamina 10-11 8 to 10 feet Full sun: 5 to 6 hours Tree-like form with fan-like leaves.
Elephant ear, Colocasia 9-11 1 to 2 feet Partial shade: 2 to 4 hours Some of the largest leaves you’ll find.
Peace lily, Spathiphyllum 10-12 1 to 4 feet Partial shade: 2 to 4 hours Tall stems hold pure white flowers.
Orchid, Orchidaceae 6-11 1 to 3 feet Full sun: 5 to 6 hours Broad, glossy leaves and multiple large flowers.
Dragon tree, Dracaena draco 9-11 7 to 8 feet Full sun to part shade: 4 to 6 hours Long, slender leaves and stems.
Money tree, Pachira aquatica  10-11 6 to 8 feet Full sun to part shade: 4 to 6 hours Long, ovate leaves, trainable stems.
Chinese fan palm, Livistona chinensis 9-11 6 to 8 feet Full sun to part shade: 4 to 6 hours Broad, fan-shaped leaves.

How to Care for Tropical Plants Indoors

Caring for tropical plants indoors is an ongoing process, and there are several ways it can go wrong. To avoid harming your plants, you need to prepare yourself to give them the care they need. The first step to take is recognizing the differences between your home and the setting in which your plant would normally grow. 

In most cases, your home will be significantly dryer than the forests that tropical plants come from. To accommodate your plants, you may need to introduce a humidifier into their growing area or mist them occasionally to mimic the correct humidity level. 

Tropical plants need plenty of moisture in the air. But the same is not always true for their soil. What may come as a surprise is that many indoor tropical plants die because they receive more water than they need. It can be a delicate balance to avoid giving your tropical plant too much or too little water. 

Lighting can be another hurdle to overcome when caring for tropical plants indoors. As mentioned earlier, there are some tropical plants that will do well in a low-light setting. However, there are many that will only grow well when they get a lot of sunlight. If you have a sun-loving plant, it may be nearly impossible to provide enough light from your windows alone. In some cases, you may need to supplement that sunlight by buying a grow light for your tropical plant.