Common Indoor Tropical Plants

Notable for their lush foliage and showy flowers, tropical plants are considered exotic and unusual despite their popularity in both indoor and outdoor gardening. There are a number of tropical indoor plants that have become a common sight homes across the globe because of their resilience and beauty.

Brazilian Vaseplant

A member of the pineapple family, Brazilian vaseplant (Aechmea distichantha) is a flowering perennial native to the tropics of Brazil and other parts of South America. The plant reaches a height of several feet tall, producing dusty blueish green leaves and a tall stalk of bright glossy pink flowers. Brazilian vaseplant has garnered popularity for its low-care requirements and tropical blooms. The plant does best in a well-drained orchid or bromeliad potting mix. The soil must be neutral or slightly acidic for the plant to thrive. Place the plant in indirect, bright sunlight, and move the plant outside during the summer if possible to give it a little boost of sunshine. Water it as needed, preferably with rainwater.

Flamingo Flower

A native of tropical Africa, flamingo flower (Anthurium andraeanum), also simply called anthurium, is a perennial plant that reaches an average height of about a 1-1/2 feet. The plant is notable for its broad, glossy leaves and waxy flowers, available in colors ranging from red to shades of pink and white. The plant is also called "painter's palette" because of the oval shape of the flowers. Flamingo plant does best in bright, indirect sunlight in a well-drained neutral or slightly acidic soil. The plant should be watered frequently, enough to keep the soil damp to the touch. Flamingo flower is poisonous if ingested, so use caution when cultivating in a house with children or pets.

Calla Lily

A native of tropical South Africa, the calla lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) is a flowering perennial popular both as an indoor and outdoor plant. Growing to be about 2 feet high, calla lily sports lush green foliage, which is sometimes speckled with light green or yellow. The flowers of the plant are showy and funnel shaped, and accented with a thick spadix. Colors of the plant range from a classic creamy white to pink or maroon. The plant does best in bright, indirect sunlight, in a rich soil that's enhanced with organic matter. Water the calla lily frequently, enough to keep the soil moist to the touch. Reduce the watering during the winter. Calla lilies are poisonous if ingested, so keep children and pets away from the flower.

Keywords: common plants, tropical plants, indoor plants

About this Author

Michelle Wishhart is a writer based out of Astoria, Ore. She has been writing professionally for five years, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for an alternative weekly paper in Santa Cruz. She has a B.A. in fine arts from the University of California in Santa Cruz and a minor in English literature.