How to Grow Tropical Plants Fast

Overview

The quickest way to grow tropical plants is to mimic their natural environment in temperatures, humidity, light, water and nutrients. Tropical plants can be grown almost anywhere, but in some climates, they are best grown indoors or in greenhouses with proper lighting and controlled temperatures. Tropicals perform well, are fast-growing and produce an array of colors and textures.

Step 1

Place each tropical plant where it will have room to grow. If planting in containers, plant it in a container that will accommodate it when it is full size. This varies per plant and is listed on the plant's identification tag. A plant that will grow to 12 inches wide should be in a pot no smaller than 6 inches in diameter.

Step 2

Plant in an area that receives the proper sunlight, again checking the tropical plant's identification tag. Plants that require full sunlight should receive sunlight at least eight hours a day. Place a full-sun plant indoors in a southern window, with low-light plants placed in northern windows. Supplement with fluorescent grow lights, if necessary.

Step 3

Mix one part potting soil with one part perlite and one part compost for best results, before planting. Soil is one of the most important factors in plant growth and health. Compost will help fertilize the plant, while the perlite will help with drainage.

Step 4

Push your finger into the dirt a few inches to check the soil's moisture. If the soil is drying out, add water. Tropicals should be in moist soil at all times, but should have good drainage to prevent saturation.

Step 5

Place the the pots in a shallow tray filled with water and pebbles to adjust the humidity. Place plants on the pebbles so the water can evaporate up and around the plants, creating a more humid environment.

Step 6

Spray the foliage with a spray bottle filled with water once a day to add humidity to the leaves. In their native areas, these plants would enjoy a daily rain shower during the spring and summer.

Step 7

Fertilize or spoon some compost onto the soil once every three months. Once per year, flush out the soil by allowing the plant to sit directly under running water for about five minutes. This will help flush out fertilizer salts and any toxins in the soil.

Things You'll Need

  • High-quality potting mix
  • Compost
  • Perlite
  • Spray bottle
  • Fluorescent lights (optional)
  • Tray
  • Pebbles

References

  • University of Georgia: Growing Indoor Plants with Success
  • University of Illinois: Overwintering Tropical Plants
  • Smithsonian Institution: Indoor Tropicals Fact Sheet
Keywords: growing tropical plants, grow tropicals fast, tropical plant care

About this Author

Robin Lewis Montanye is a freelance artist, designer and writer. Her articles have appeared in newspapers, national magazines and on several self-help areas of the web. Montanye specializes in gardening articles with information from several universities. She has Internet articles published on Gardenguides.com, eHow.com and Suite101.com.