How to Plant Tropical Plants in Pots


Tropical plants improve the quality of life by removing and reducing building pollutants--they clean the air through their respiration process. Indoors, the humidity can drop down to 15 percent during the winter, which is too low for tropical plants. Group your tropical plants together in trays filled with pebbles and water. As the water evaporates, it raises the humidity. Tropical plants can be grown in pots indoors throughout all regions. Tropical plants need to be repotted once a year as they outgrow their existing container. This should occur in the spring when new growth is beginning.

Step 1

Choose a plant pot that is only 1 to 2 inches larger than the pot the tropical plant is growing in. Wash the plant pot out with soapy water and rinse with 1-part bleach and 9-parts water. This gets rid of any old compost, chemical or paint residues.

Step 2

Mix together equal parts of potting soil, peat moss and perlite. Straight potting soil does not create enough drainage for tropical plants.

Step 3

Mix slow-release fertilizer pellets into the soil. Follow the directions on the label for your choice of fertilizer.

Step 4

Place a couple of inches of soil in the bottom of the plant pot. Tip out your tropical plant from its existing container and move the plant into your plant pot.

Step 5

Fill in around the plant with more soil. Firm it in around the tropical plant. Leave 1 to 2 inches between the top of the soil and the rim of the plant pot.

Step 6

Flush water through the plant pot to settle the soil, activate the fertilizer and bring air down to the roots. Let the water run out the bottom of the plant pot.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not locate your tropical plant right next to a window. This makes your plant too hot during the summer and too cold during the winter. Keep all plants back away from the glass where temperature extremes occur.

Things You'll Need

  • Plant pot
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Bleach
  • Potting soil
  • Peat moss
  • Perlite
  • Slow-release fertilizer pellets
  • Tropical plant


  • Smithsonian Institution: Indoor Tropicals Fact Sheet
  • The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension: Gardening in Containers Using Tropical Plants
Keywords: tropical plants, planting in pots, container planting

About this Author

Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.