Tropical Plant Questions

Tropical plants are plants native to areas between the Tropic of Cancer in the north and the Tropic of Capricorn in the south. Most tropical plants require a lot of water, but the proper amount will vary depending on the plant. Other factors, such as the amount of light required, can vary from shade, for many water lilies, to full sun, for many plants such as tropical trees.

What Common Houseplants Are Tropical?

Many common house plants are actually tropical plants that would not survive in local conditions. Tropical plants don't generally require a dormant period, as do many temperate or cold-weather plants such as small maple trees. By keeping tropical plants indoors as house plants, you are re-creating the conditions under which they would grow in nature: a hot summer with a cooler, but still warm, winter. Common tropical houseplants include calla lilies, African violets, many orchids, many varieties of ficus trees and many succulents.

What Bonsai Plants Are Tropical?

Traditionally, bonsai trees are grown outdoors. If you live in a temperate zone, you would traditionally grow only temperate trees. However, in modern times, people living in small apartments began growing tropical trees as bonsai. For example, in the past, jades, tropical trees native to South Africa, were not grown as bonsai. In modern times, this tree is ideal for indoor bonsai because it doesn't require outdoor dormant periods. Other trees that can do very well as bonsai are tropical ficus and sago palms.

How Do I Care for Tropical Plants Indoors?

The most important aspect of keeping tropical plants indoors in non-tropical climates is ensuring that the plants are not exposed to freezing conditions. Most tropical plants will die quickly if exposed to cold temperatures. By maintaining proper temperature, which will vary depending on the type of plant you are growing, and giving your plants proper light and water, you can keep a tropical plant as an indoor plant for many years.

Keywords: tropical plant care, questions about tropical plants, plant maintenance

About this Author

Christopher Earle is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colo. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for National Public Radio, the Associated Press, the Boeing Company, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, Active Voice, RAHCO International and Umax Data Systems. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota.