Names of Tropical House Plants

Not only do they help purify the air, tropical house plants also add warmth and beauty to your home or office. Although they come from true tropical climates, thriving in heat and humidity, they grow well indoors with the proper care. Some plants even tolerate low light and infrequent watering, including some of the most popular varieties.

Aspidistra Elator

Known for its ability to thrive in a wide variety of conditions, especially low light, Aspidistra elator, commonly known as cast iron plant, has long, wide blade-like leaves. It requires only infrequent watering, and can be grown outdoors or placed outside in a pot in warmer climates.

Anthurium Scherzeranum

With its showy flowers, there's a good reason Anthurium scherzeranum is also called flamingo flower. It has only medium light requirements and will grow well in a room with windows, even if it is far from the window. It is available in both white and red flowering varieties, and benefits from frequent misting.

Dieffenbachia Amoena

Affectionately known as mother-in-law's tongue, Dieffenbachia amoena has a spiky growing habit with wide long leaves. It is easy to care for and does not require a substantial amount of light. The most common type is variegated, but there are also spotted varieties. If eaten, Dieffenbachia amoena will numb the entire mouth, a characteristic that has earned it the additional name of Dumbcane.

Chamaedora Elegans

Chamaedora elegans, as its name suggests, is a tall and elegant tropical houseplant that resembles a small palm tree. It is also called parlor palm. Chamaedora elegans thrives in low to medium light and requires plenty of moisture. Growing up to 6 feet tall, it can spread up to 4 feet wide and is commonly used as a live accent piece.

Beaucarnea Recurvata

Called the elephant foot tree, Beaucarnea recurvata appears similar to a palm tree, but with drooping leaves that resemble fronds. It also has a large bulbous base, and grows to about 8 feet tall when potted, but can reach 30 feet outdoors. It requires substantial light and should be kept in a west or south-facing room that receives plenty of sunlight.

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About this Author

Carlye Jones is a journalist, freelance writer, photographer and novelist, with more than 15 years of experience. She enjoys sharing her expertise on home improvements, interior decorating, photography, gardening and traveling. Her work has appeared both in print and on numerous websites, such as Matador Travel. Carlye received her training at Northern Arizona University.