Exotic Plants Like Orchids

Many exotic plants, like orchids, offer spectacular delicate blooms sure to grab attention. While many species of exotic plants require greenhouse conditions with warm, steady temperatures, some may be planted in your garden or in outdoor containers. These plants will thrive during the summer, but need to be brought inside during colder months if you want to experience their beauty again the following year.

Black Bat Plant

Featuring large blooms up to 12 inches wide along with whiskers growing up to 28 inches long, this plant offers a spectacular addition to your garden. Grown in the tropical forests of the Yunnan Province of China, the bat plant requires well-drained soil and high humidity, much like orchids do. Best grown in a container at least 10 inches wide, this plant should be placed in indirect sunlight. You can grow the black bat in your garden in zones 10 and 11, as found on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s Plant Hardiness Zone Map from the United States National Arboretum. But you'll need to protect the plant if temperatures drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the leaves die, you can bring the bulb inside in its container and store it in a warm, dark location.

Egret Flower

These hardy plants, primarily grown in Japan in bogs, form gorgeous flowers that look like white egrets in flight. Growing on stems reaching only 12 to 15 inches in height, the plant comes from the orchid family, and requires much the same care as orchids. Keep the soil uniformly moist in humid conditions. You can also grow it outside as long as you mist the plants daily anytime the humidity drops. Egret flowers may also be grown in containers as long as the pot contains good drainage. In the winter, bring the container inside or dig up the bulbs and store them in your refrigerator to plant again in the spring.

Yellow Ginger Lily

This lily features large but delicate masses of fragrant yellow flowers with orange stamens atop tall greenish-blue leaves. Shooting up to a height of 72 inches, this plant grows well in hardy zones nine to 10 with full sun and moist soil, such as in Hawaii. This lily also grows well in a deep container. After the blooms fade, little oblong orange fruit forms containing bright red seeds.

Toad Lily Purple Beauty

Orchid lovers find this exotic plant's orchid-like blooms a perfect match for shady areas in a garden. Much easier to care for than orchids, tall graceful stems up to 32 inches tall support dozens of purple-speckled florets in July and August. Plant these lilies in the garden if you live in hardy zones five through nine, or plant them in containers and place them in the shade. In late fall, dig up this lily, divide the bulbs, and store them in a dry, dark location until planting the following spring.

Keywords: exotic plants, orchids, toad lilies, black bat plant, egret flower

About this Author

Nancy Wagner is a marketing strategist, speaker and writer whose articles have appeared in "Home Business Journal," "Nation’s Business," "Emerging Business," "The Mortgage Press," "Seattle: 150 Years of Progress," "Destination Issaquah," and "Northwest," among others. Wagner holds a Bachelor of Science in education from Eastern Illinois University.