Tropical Plants for the Home

Bringing the tropics indoors is a fantastic way to brighten up your home during the long, cold months of winter. Tropical plants are those that are native to areas between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. Most tropical plants are low maintenance and require little attention to flourish. Select the flowers or plants that are right for your home, and you'll have a vibrant indoor tropical garden to enjoy all winter long.


Often called mother-in-law's tongue, the dieffenbachia plant is a tropical houseplant that is easy to maintain in your home. The large, eye-catching leaves of the dieffenbachia are often marked with different shades of green that create patterns of stripes, dots, sports or colored veins. The dieffenbachia thrives in bright light but will tolerate low-lit areas of your home. Water your dieffenbachia plants thoroughly and allow soil to become dry to the touch before the next watering. Keep dieffenbachia out of reach pets and children; the leaves and other parts of the plant are toxic if eaten.

Bird of Paradise

The dramatic-looking bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) is surprisingly easy to grow indoors.The large foliage is a bright green and almost leather-like to the touch. Flowers are orange and blue and should be removed once they dry out to allow for new growth. Place the bird of paradise near windows or in bright, well-lit rooms where it will receive the most natural sunlight possible. The plant will not bloom in low light conditions. Water weekly, allowing the soil to dry out between watering times. Leaving the tops of the root exposed is said to encourage the production of flowers.


The ability to survive in low-light conditions is one quality that makes bromeliads ideal houseplants. Although plants won't grow in a darker area of your home, they can endure weeks of little or no direct sunlight exposure. Bromeliads rarely have extensive roots, so they are able to thrive in small pots. The bromeliads that flourish indoors usually don't have stems, have dark green, leather-like, strap-shaped leaves that are arranged as a rosette and have a central flower spike. Flowers come in all shades of reds, pinks, purples and white. Water bromeliads twice a week by submerging the plant in water for a few minutes.


Native to the tropics of Brazil, the philodendron is considered an easy-to-grow house plant. Most philodendrons are vining plants and produce a heart-shaped, glossy green leaf. The philodendron thrives in areas of your home where sunlight is filtered by a blind or a curtain. Philodendrons can endure a great deal of neglect and will survive in darker, low lit rooms in your house. Water philodendrons often enough to keep the soil moist but not soggy. If cared for properly, your philodendron will continue to add beauty to your home for many years to come.

Keywords: tropical plants, indoor plants, tropical bromeliads, tropical diffenbachia

About this Author

Amy Deemer has been writing since 1992. Her articles on family life and pets have appeared in the family section of "The Herald Standard" newspaper. Deemer has an Associate of Arts degree in liberal studies from Westmoreland Community college.