The Easiest Tropical Plants to Grow at Home

Give your home a touch of color by growing easy tropical plants.

Photo By: Costa Farms

Photo By: Logee’s Plants

Photo By: Costa Farms

Photo By: Logee’s Plants

Photo By: Costa Farms

Photo By: Logee's Plants

Photo By: Costa Farms

Photo By: Logee's Plants

Photo By: Logee’s Plants

Photo By: Costa Farms

Photo By: Logee's Plants

Photo By: Costa Farms

Photo By: Logee's Plants

Ponytail Palm

Quirky but elegant, ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata) blends effortlessly into any style décor, from contemporary to country. It’s a slow grower, but logs quickest progress when placed in bright light (although it tolerates low light just fine). Water only occasionally, because the bulbous base acts like a water reservoir.

Lifesaver Plant

Undemanding and spectacular in bloom, lifesaver plant (Huernia zebrina) opens five-pointed star shape flowers with a dark red lifesaver rim. This is a succulent, craving low water and full sun. Flowers, which measure 1.25 inches across, open intermittently throughout the year.

Chinese Evergreen

Sturdy but beautiful, Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema) tolerates just about any growing conditions indoors. Leaves offer a variety of eye-catching patterns, and when the light is bright enough, these tough plants send up calla lily-look-alike blooms.

‘Autumn Ember’ Begonia

Capture the beauty of fall with the glowing leaves of ‘Autumn Ember’ begonia. Rex begonias actually thrive in the dry air typical in homes and survive dry spells created by forgetful waterers. Provide bright light to help leaves retain their glowing hues.

Pothos

For tropical plant versatility, it’s tough to beat pothos. This vining plant grows equally well in a hanging basket, on a totem or trailing along a table. Leaves have pretty green and gold or white marbling that increases with bright light. Plants tolerate low light levels, too.

Tillandsia Xerographica

Tillandsias are known as air plants because they don’t grow in soil. This silvery beauty is often called the "King of the Air Plants" because it can grow to over 3 feet across. The leaves curl, taper and twist to form a living sculpture. Mist or soak the plant up to twice a week to keep it healthy.

Calathea

Add a calathea to your home for a spot of living color. Calathea leaves feature a blend of hues—burgundy underside topped with green that’s brushed with silver. The color combination is striking and develops best when plants receive low to medium light.

Meyer Lemon

Try your hand at growing potted citrus by planting a Meyer lemon (Citrus x meyeri). This plant rewards in multiple ways, with fragrant blooms, tasty fruit and glossy leaves. For best growth, keep plants in a too-small pot and water only when soil is dry.

‘Blushing Belle’ Flowering Maple

For year-round color, try your hand at growing ‘Blushing Belle’ flowering maple (Abutilon ‘Blushing Belle’). Expect these pretty plants to open flowers throughout the year when they receive bright light. ‘Blushing Belle’ has a compact form of 6 to 18 inches tall.

Purple Waffle Plant

Variety is the hallmark of the purple waffle plant (Hemigraphis alternata) family, which has members with broad, round, long or narrow leaves. Snow White (shown) is a small plant that unfurls light green leaves marked with white and pink. Purple waffle plant needs medium to high light to keep the pretty leaf coloring. Because of its small size, it’s a great choice for any room, fitting easily onto an end table, kitchen counter or nightstand.

Orange Jasmine

Fill your home with the sweet scent of orange blossoms year round by growing orange jasmine (Murraya paniculata). This bloomer opens its white waxy flowers throughout the year. Bright light coaxes best flowering. Place plants near a sunny southern window.

Ti Plant

Fabulously colorful, ti plant (Cordyline fruticosa) struts its stuff with very little care. Purple leaves unfurl with streaks of cream, hot pink, white or purple shades for a non-stop show. High light combined with high humidity is the secret to a healthy, multicolored plant.

‘Xanadu’ Philodendron

Make a bold statement with the can’t-miss leaves of 'Xanadu’. This beauty is tough as nails with long, narrow, glossy leaves that have sculpted and cut edges. It gives any room a tropical ambiance and thrives in medium to low light. Water when the soil is dry; fertilize plants grown in brighter light more frequently.

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