Caring for Tropical Plants


Tropical plants are a wonderful addition to the landscape or to the inside of a home. Caring for a tropical plant requires knowing the amount of light it requires, the plants watering needs and when to fertilize. Special winter care is required for outdoor tropical plants in order to protect them from freezing temperatures.

Step 1

Place your tropical plants in an area with plenty of light. Indoor tropical plants do best in windows facing East, West or South.

Step 2

Slowly acclimate tropical plants to the outdoors in the summer by placing them outdoors at slowly longer intervals during the day. Tropical plants grown indoors need to adapt to new weather and sun conditions slowly.

Step 3

Fertilize your non-flowering tropical plant with 30-10-10 nutrients. Flowering tropical plants do better with 15-30-15 nutrients. Apply 30-10-10 fertilizer on every 4th or 5th watering or every 4 to 6 weeks. 15-30-15 requires application at the same rate. It is important to know the requirements of your exact plant however, as fertilizer requirements may vary between species.

Step 4

Dig up the bulbs of tropical plants that will not survive the winter; store bulbs into a dry container. Allow the bulbs to dry, then pack the bulb away in peat moss, small bark chips or sawdust. Replant the bulbs according to their natural active growing period.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer
  • Shovel
  • Milk crates


  • Texas A & M University: House Plants
  • Stauffers of Kissel Hill: Tropical Plant Care
  • University Of Illinois Extension: Overwintering Tropical Plants
Keywords: tropical plants, tropical plant care, home tropical plants

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.