Tropical plants are renowned for their lush, vibrant foliage and exotic flowers. Their striking forms, colors, and textures can transform any indoor space into a lush jungle or transport you to a faraway paradise. If you’re looking to add an exotic, tropical flair to your home, these stunning tropical plants are sure to provide plenty of visual inspiration.
Why Choose Tropical Plants for Your Home?
Tropical plants offer many benefits beyond their stunning visual appeal:
Unrivaled Visual Impact
With their oversized, architectural leaves and brightly colored blooms, tropical plants make a bold statement in any space. Their exotic forms lend drama and intrigue, unlike more subdued houseplants.
Purify Indoor Air
Many popular tropical houseplants are highly effective at removing pollutants from indoor air. Species like peace lilies, spider plants, and philodendrons help keep your home’s atmosphere clean and refreshed.
Highlight Your Personal Style
Tropical plants allow you to create an indoor jungle oasis and highlight your bold, adventurous style. Their exotic look communicates your love of travel and interest in diverse, global cultures.
While tropical plants require consistent moisture and humidity, most adapt readily to normal indoor environments. Basic care is quite straightforward for many favorite tropical houseplant species.
Best Tropical Plants for Home Décor
Here are some of the most stunning and popular tropical plants for sprucing up your indoor décor:
Dramatic Foliage Plants
Tropical foliage plants are universally prized for their statuesque leaves. Add bold, architectural forms with these statement-making beauties:
Fiddle Leaf Fig
With iconic, violin-shaped leaves, the fiddle leaf fig makes a dramatic living sculpture. This plant looks gorgeous as a floor plant or focal point against minimalist interiors. Avoid direct sun exposure.
Nicknamed the “Swiss cheese plant” for its holes and fenestrations, monsteras feature delicately cut leaves that contrast beautifully with their sturdy stems. Let them climb walls or trail from hanging baskets.
Bird of Paradise
Recognizable by its vivid orange and blue blooms, the bird of paradise boasts huge, paddle-shaped leaves reminiscent of banana plants. Place this eye catcher in a bright spot for best flowering. Give it ample room to spread.
Elephant ears live up to their name with oversized, heart-shaped leaves on long petioles. Tuck these low-maintenance statement plants into bright, humid spots for a bold pop of greenery.
With leaves up to 12 inches long, the rubber plant makes an easy, sculptural houseplant. Its glossy leaves add rich texture and a tropical look to clean-lined, contemporary spaces.
Cascading & Trailing Plants
Let these vining tropical beauties spill from containers and hanging baskets to create a jungle effect:
A quintessential houseplant, pothos thrives in any indoor condition. Let its long tendrils and variegated leaves trail freely or train them over supports to add organic structure.
From vining heartleaf philodendrons to upright, tree-like varieties, philodendrons offer diverse leaf shapes and easy growth. Tuck them anywhere from desks to walls as an easy green accent.
A purple-leafed wandering jew provides vivid pops of color when allowed to trail from pots and baskets. Keep it pruned to maintain its compact, mounding form.
Spider plants send out many long, arching shoots with leaves organized in whorls. Allow them to cascade naturally or bind the stems to supports to train their growth.
String of Pearls
One of the quirkiest vining plants, string of pearls features teardrop-shaped leaves on threadlike stems. Let this succulent houseplant spill from hanging pots or over the edges of shelves.
Many tropical understory plants thrive in low light spots indoors. Add lush greenery in shady rooms with:
Crotons flaunt wildly colorful, patterned leaves in shades of yellow, orange, red, pink, and copper. Place these bright beauties in medium light to low light areas.
Delicate-looking yet very hardy, ferns like Boston ferns and bird’s nest ferns provide feathery texture. Tuck them in corners or display them on plant stands in bright, indirect light.
Sometimes called prayer plants, calatheas have elaborately patterned leaves that move up and down with day/night cycles. Give them consistent moisture and filtered sunlight.
Slow-growing with intricate variegation, Chinese evergreens tolerate very low light levels. Show off their cut-leaf or speckled varieties on dim tabletops and shelves.
Flowering Tropical Plants
Tropical bloomers add a burst of color and bring the vibrancy of the tropics indoors. Some top picks include:
Available in every color of the rainbow, orchids produce long-lasting, delicate blooms. Provide plenty of indirect sunlight and consistent humidity for the best flowering.
With colorful bracts and flowers clustered in their urn-shaped centers, bromeliads are sure to draw attention. Look for low-maintenance varieties like the flaming sword bromeliad.
Beloved for their fuzzy, brightly colored blooms, African violets thrive on sunny windowsills with frequent watering. Pinch off spent flowers to encourage reblooming.
Anthurium’s heart-shaped red, orange, pink or white flowers stand out dramatically against the dark green foliage. Place in bright, indirect light and keep soil slightly moist.
Unmistakable orange and red blooms resembling goldfish give this plant its name. Provide very bright light to initiate flowering on this easygoing houseplant.
Caring for Tropical Plants Indoors
While tropical plants lend drama to indoor spaces, they do require some specific care to thrive as houseplants. Follow these tips:
- Light: Most tropicals need very bright, filtered light to mimic their native jungle habitat. South or west facing windows are ideal. Rotate plants periodically to prevent one-sided growth.
- Heat: Daytime temps between 70-85°F and 60-70°F at night suit most tropicals. Avoid drafty spots.
- Humidity: High humidity is a must, ideally 40-60%. Set plants on pebble trays, mist leaves, or use a humidifier.
- Water: Allow soil to partially dry out between waterings, then soak thoroughly. Proper drainage is key to prevent root rot.
- Fertilizer: Feed monthly during the growing season with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength.
- Potting: Re-pot when roots fill the container. Use rich, well-draining potting mix. Add perlite to commercial mixes to improve drainage.
Decorating with Tropical Plants
When used thoughtfully, tropical plants can enhance indoor spaces year round. Some inspirational ways to incorporate them into your home’s design include:
Turn a blank wall into a lush living backdrop for artwork and decor by training vining tropicals over a trellis or wire frame. Philodendrons, pothos, and monstera work beautifully.
High humidity makes bathrooms ideal for many tropicals. Add visual interest with a potted palm, orchid, or colorful bromeliad. Ferns and ivies also help soften hard surfaces.
Modern Office Plants
Clean-lined, architectural tropicals complement professional spaces. Fiddle leaf figs, snake plants, and zig-zag cacti give minimalist desks a touch of nature.
Tropical Table Centerpieces
For drama at your next dinner party, use large-leafed elephant ears or bird of paradise as tropical centerpieces. Surround with complementary flowers and decor.
Line your favorite bookcase or display shelf with an array of small tropicals like nerve plants, polka dot plants, or Rex begonias. This creates a living gallery of twisting stems and colorful leaves.
Suspend flowering orchids, trailing spider plants, or vine-like pothos from hooks or hanging planters to create a lush vertical garden. Greenery framing windows adds privacy and softness.
Window Sill Jungles
Group an assortment of tropicals along a bright, sunny window for an instant indoor jungle. Combine trailing ivy with upright dracaena and broad-leafed potted palms.
Tropical Poolside Planters
Make your pool area feel exotic and lush with tropical container plants. Try cane palms, banana trees, elephant ears, or colorful crotons poolside for drama.
10 Inspiring Tropical Plants for Beginners
Want to incorporate tropicals into your home or office, but don’t know where to start? Here are 10 stunning yet easy-care tropical plants recommended for beginners:
1. Snake Plant (Sansevieria)
Nearly impossible to kill, snake plants tolerate any light level. Just avoid overwatering. Their upright, sword-like leaves addbold structure.
2. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
Chinese evergreens handle very low light and inconsistent watering quite well. Their patterned leaves come in striking colors like silver, pink, and red.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a foolproof succulent that thrives on neglect. Use the gel from its fleshy leaves to soothe minor burns and cuts. A classic houseplant.
4. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
A superb air purifier, peace lilies enjoy moderate light and moisture. Brush or wipe their leaves often to keep them looking pristine.
5. Rex Begonia (Begonia rex)
Rex begonias display intricately patterned, colorful leaves. Water regularly and provide bright indirect light or partial sun for best results.
6. Urn Plant (Aechmea fasciata)
The signature pink “bloom” on this popular bromeliad is actually a bract that lasts for months. Striking and simple to grow.
7. Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)
Cast iron plants earn their name from their ability to survive neglect. Use these undemanding greens in difficult, dark rooms.
8. Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)
Dragon trees have a prehistoric appearance, with spiky, spear-shaped leaves atop woody stems. A hardy and architectural indoor plant.
9. Rubber Tree (Ficus elastica)
With its glossy, leathery leaves, the rubber tree adds rich texture and classic good looks to indoor spaces. Does well in lower light.
10. Satin Pothos (Scindapsus pictus)
A pothos relative, scindapsus boasts silvery, metallic-looking leaves. Trails beautifully from baskets and mixed containers.
Addressing Common Problems with Tropical Plants
While tropicals appreciate consistent, warm conditions, they can still encounter issues when grown as houseplants. Some common problems and solutions include:
Problem: Brown, crispy leaf edges
Cause: Low humidity
Solution: Mist leaves, use pebble trays, place near humidifiers
Problem: Leaf drop
Cause: Underwatering, overwatering, or dramatic temperature changes
Solution: Maintain even moisture and temperatures
Problem: Wilting, drooping leaves
Cause: Underwatering or overwatering
Solution: Allow soil to partly dry out between waterings. Water thoroughly until it drains from the bottom.
Problem: Few or no flowers
Cause: Insufficient light
Solution: Move plant to brighter location, add grow lights
Problem: Leggy growth
Cause: Insufficient light
Solution: Provide brighter light conditions, prune leggy stems
Problem: Brown leaf tips
Cause: Irregular watering, fluoride in water, or salt accumulation
Solution: Consistent moisture, filtered water, and occasional flushing can help
Bringing the Tropics Home
With the right care, tropical plants can lend an exotic, jungle-like ambience to indoor spaces year round. Their lush forms, vibrant colors, and stunning blooms instantly create drama. If you’re seeking to add bold texture and visual excitement to your home or office, tropical plants are sure to inspire. Just be sure to provide the bright, humid conditions these beauties crave. With a little effort, you’ll enjoy a lush interior oasis brimming with tropical flair.