Tropical plants require specialized growing conditions to ensure quality growth and optimum health. In their natural environments, these plants thrive in warm, humid conditions. Unless you live in an extremely warm climate, you must grow your tropical plant indoors to keep it from succumbing to the cold, outside temperatures. Not only do tropical plants require specialized climates, they must also grow in planters that fulfill their individual needs. Select a container that enhances your decor and ensures the health of your tropical plant.
Many types of tropical plants produce heavy canopies. Tropical plants, such as palm trees, become top-heavy when the upper weight becomes heavier than the lower trunks and roots. Many tropical plants grow from culms or bulbs, rather than large networks of roots. Use a heavy container to keep these plants from toppling over. A broad bottom also helps keep your potted tropical stable and balanced. Long, deep planters allow you to grow several varieties of tropical plants together.
Choose your container material based on the location you've chosen to display your tropical plant. A wooden planter enhances the appearance of an outdoor deck or adjacent wooden fence. Terra-cotta, marble and clay containers blend well with brick and concrete patios. Decorative and ornamental pots make nice accents for plants that remain indoors throughout the entire year.
Tropical plants require loamy soils with good drainage. Ensure adequate moisture by selecting pots and planters with several drainage holes in the bottom. While a single, center hole might become clogged, several holes remove excess water from the soil near the roots of your tropical varieties. A layer of gravel on the bottom of your planters also encourages good drainage. These types of containers require drip trays beneath them to catch excess water.
Like many types of potted plants, tropical varieties require transplanting when their roots outgrow their current containers. Check for roots that emerge through the drainage holes or grow upward from the soil. This condition often signals a need for a larger pot. Choose a pot one size larger for transplanting purposes.
Take advantage of your climate's warm seasons and provide adequate amounts of sunlight by moving your tropical plants outdoors during the heat of summer. Use a container that allows you to move your plant easily from one location to another. For large plants, choose a container with wheels or casters that glide across flooring and outdoor surfaces. Containers with rounded, sturdy lips allow you to grasp the pots firmly when moving them to a different location.