There’s no better way to incorporate nature into your space and get a decor piece than to get a lush rainforest plant. Though they come from a different climate, many tropical plants are great as indoor plants and are an excellent option for creating your personal paradise in your home.
Here’s our list of some tropical house plants you can choose from and all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
Peace lilies are wonderful plants with long waxy green leaves and tiny flowers shielded by a large white leaf. They’re excellent for living spaces since they’re known for purifying the air by neutralizing toxic gasses like carbon monoxide, benzene, and formaldehyde.
Best of all — they practically require almost no maintenance.
Peace lilies don’t like water and will suffer if you overwater them. In fact, they’re more resistant to underwatering than overwatering. Just like most tropical plants kept indoors, they don’t like too much direct sunlight either.
Low to medium exposure to sunlight is enough for their proper growth and development, but bear in mind they’ll produce fewer flowers and spathes in low-light environments.
Opting for bromeliads is a great start if you’re new to growing tropical plants. They’re one of the easiest indoor tropical plants to take care of, as they aren’t too demanding.
Bromeliads only need to be watered only about once a week (you have to ensure that they have enough moisture, or their leaves will start turning brown).
Furthermore, they don’t need a large pot or thick soil, and many varieties (e.g., Guzmania, Vriesea, etc.) can grow even in low-light environments.
At the end of their lives, they might reward you with bright-colored flowers. So, with just a bit of care, you’ll get a plant with beautiful rosette-like foliage that can enrich any space.
Their only drawback is that they aren’t long-living (bromeliads‘ lifespan is only around 2–5 years). Still, you can use their offsets to get a new plant.
Orchid is one of the most popular tropical house plants, and for a reason. With their lush and colorful flowers, orchids are some of the most decorative plants.
They’re infamous for being high-maintenance, but taking care of them gets easy once you get a hold of it. Orchids need a lot of light but don’t like direct sunlight, so position them with care (a south-facing room or window would be ideal for this plant).
To get the best results, keep the air in the room humid, water your orchids once a week, and keep them away from excess sunlight.
Umbrella Plant (Schefflera)
Schefflera are tropical leafy plants with large dark green (or green and white) shiny leaves. There are many varieties of Schefflera, the most popular being umbrella trees and miniature umbrella trees.
Schefflera is a plant that doesn’t need much to stay alive and prosper. It needs water only when the soil completely dries out (once or twice a week). But, like most tropical plants, they require increased humidity.
Although umbrella trees look great even when they get droopy and start resembling actual umbrellas, this is usually a sign there’s something wrong with your plant. Droopiness usually signifies the lack of sunlight.
So to avoid this, place your umbrella plant in a sunny place but avoid direct sunlight.
Philodendrons are low-maintenance plants excellent for inexperienced houseplant owners. They’re highly adaptable and can thrive in different conditions.
However, philodendron might not be the best choice for pet owners since it’s toxic for pets.
Like most indoor tropical house plants, philodendrons love the sun but don’t like to be exposed directly to sun rays. So, keep them in a bright place with no direct sunlight.
They also don’t need much water, so it’s easy to overwater them. To avoid this, water your philodendrons only when the first inch of soil gets dry.
Just be careful not to confuse philodendron with pothos. They look similar (they’re both large tropical house plants with similar-looking leaves) but require different care regimens, especially when it comes to watering requirements.
Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera Deliciosa)
Monstera is a vining tropical plant characterized by beautiful large green leaves with holes resembling Swiss cheese. This exotic plant isn’t incredibly demanding but still requires some love and special attention.
Monstera deliciosa loves the sunlight and thrives best in sunny places but can also live in the shade (not total). Therefore, it’s best to locate it in a place with enough sunlight but no direct contact between sun rays and the leaves.
This plant also loves humidity and water, so you should frequently mist it and water it moderately. Let the soil dry a bit (wait until the top 2–4 inches of soil are dry) before watering it again to avoid overwatering.
And don’t forget that, since it grows quickly, you should cut any excess to keep this houseplant under control.
Dragon Tree (Dracaena Marginata)
Dracaena marginata is another one of the gorgeous tropical indoor plants you can use to brighten up your home. They look like mini palms with sharp bicolor (green and red) leaves, and they can definitely give your living space a hint of exoticism.
The dragon tree doesn’t need much care. You should water it approximately once or twice a week (once the top one or two inches of soil get dry). They’ll thrive in environments that allow them to get enough sunlight, provided it isn’t direct.
This tropical plant can reach a height of up to six feet indoors, so only get it if you have enough space.
Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia Reginae)
Bird of paradise is one of the rare tropical house plants. But it’s also one of the most stunning ones, and it’ll enchant you the moment it blooms.
It’s got long leathery leaves and a striking flower resembling a bird-of-paradise mid-flight. Unfortunately, the plant rarely blooms indoors, and this is usually due to insufficient light exposure.
A bird of paradise loves the sunlight and thrives in well-lit spaces where it can get at least six hours of it (both direct and indirect) a day. Without adequate lighting conditions, this tropical plant won’t be able to grow and develop properly.
Otherwise, it’s not too difficult to maintain and doesn’t require too frequent watering. It prefers consistently moist soil during spring and summer, so you should water it once or twice a week. Use filtered water or leave the water overnight before watering. It will also benefit from misting.
In dormant months, a bird of paradise requires much less water, so watering it about once a month should be enough (wait for the top two inches to dry out completely before rewatering).
Flamingo Flower (Anthurium)
Anthurium, a tropical plant with flowers reminiscent of flamingos, is one of the most attractive flowering tropical house plants. But, growing anthurium can prove to be quite a challenge.
Anthuriums like water, but their roots will rot if exposed to excessive moisture. So, Water your flamingo flowers only when the soil is completely dry to the touch and not with too much water at once.
You should also provide this plant with the right amount of sunlight. Anthurium can’t stand direct sunlight (this could burn its leaves) but can’t live without enough sun either (anthuriums in low-light environments typically grow slower and produce fewer flowers).
So, a place with plenty of bright indirect sunlight is ideal for this plant.
Although you’ll have to spend some time to find the perfect conditions for your anthurium, it’ll be worth it, as healthy, brightly-colored anthuriums can give your living room a touch of tropics and lighten it up.
Poinsettia (Euphorbia Pulcherrima)
Poinsettia is one of the most common tropical house plants widely used as decor around Christmas. But, not many people know how to take proper care of them.
Poinsettias are slightly more demanding than other tropical plants, so you’ll have to invest more effort if you want to keep it up after Christmas.
There are certain watering guidelines you should adhere to. In short, you should water them about once a week, ensure adequate drainage, and prevent them from sitting in water-filled saucers to prevent root rot.
You should decrease watering once flower brackets fall off.
Its light requirements also vary according to the season. They’re one of the types of tropical house plants that generally need at least six hours of indirect light to thrive. However, in the fall (from September to November), poinsettias require lots of darkness at night (about 12 hours) to encourage blooming.
All in all, caring for poinsettia might sound like too much for new house plant owners, but we promise you that all the hard work pays off once it blooms again.
There are many plants out there that can introduce the air of the tropics into your home. You just have to pick the right one for you according to your skills and the time you’re willing to invest in their maintenance.
Do tropical plants need a lot of water?
Most tropical plants require watering once or twice a week in the summer and every one to two weeks in the winter.
They like their soil evenly moist (but not wet), so make sure not to overwater them.
To find out whether your plant needs more water, perform the finger test — stick a finger into the pot, and if the soil still feels wet, there’s no need for you to rewater your tropical houseplant.
Do tropical plants need grow lights?
Some tropical plants will need grow lights during the wintertime (usually those with higher light requirements), while most do well in natural light on their own.
However, if the rooms where you keep your tropical plants have particularly low light, you should definitely consider investing in grow lights.
What is the easiest tropical plant to grow?
Bromeliads, peace lilies, and philodendrons are some of the easiest tropical plants to grow. They don’t need much care and are an excellent choice for new plant owners.
What is the easiest indoor tree to grow?
Dracaena marginata (dragon tree) and Schefflera (the umbrella tree) are some of the easiest indoor trees to grow. Some water, enough sunlight, and yearly replanting will do the trick and keep your plant happy and healthy for years to come.
What tropical plants are good for indoors?
Orchids, anthuriums, and bromeliads are only some of the tropical plants that can flourish indoors.
Check out our list of the best tropical house plants above for more examples.