Sunlight is prized in Southern California, where many homes and apartments have floor-to-ceiling windows and French doors that allow us to enjoy indoor-outdoor living. But that sunlight can be brutal on tropical houseplants accustomed to shady tree canopies. A Mona Lisa lipstick plant may do well in bright light, but its leaves will burn in direct sun. The essential weekly guide to enjoying the outdoors in Southern California. Insider tips on the best of our beaches, trails, parks, deserts, forests and mountains.
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: How to Grow Tropical Plants Indoors - Ask This Old HouseContent:
- 15 Best Tropical Plants That Are Easy To Grow Indoors
- Tropical Plants
- 12 easy indoor plants for beginners
- 11 Tropical Houseplants You Can Grow for Their Fabulous Flowers
- From Al's Experts
- Grow & Care for Philodendrons
Recently, I've been collecting and propagating fruiting tropical shrubs and small trees on my four-acre property in Vieques, Puerto Rico, like a man with a mission. My ultimate goal is to supply my own table with a diverse mix of fresh produce year-round, grow enough surplus fruit to be able to vend to local restaurateurs, and establish a modest nursery and display garden.
In my former life as a New Yorker, I used to buy exotic fruits in the city's ethnic food markets and germinate their seeds as houseplants. This practice was nothing new; indeed, it's a popular hobby, with its own gardening club—the Rare Pit and Plant Council—or, less formally, "The Pits.
They were all very decorative as foliage plants, but none flowered and bore fruit in my urban loft. When I moved to the Caribbean a few years ago, I encountered a vast array of good-looking fruiting plants, some of them familiar to me only from books.
Many were endemic to the region. After careful observation—and tasting—I compiled from their ranks a list of species that will make marvelous additions to the indoor-plant pantheon.
What's more, with proper care and a little pollinator know-how see Indoor Pollinating Tips below , you can count on them to really fruit indoors. Not that you'll be filling Steuben crystal fruit bowls full of windowsill-grown goodies: The indoor harvest from these plants is small and intermittent, and the fruits themselves are not that large.
But this doesn't mean you'll be reduced to inconsequential nibbling. Let your freezer become your new best friend. When the fruit matures, pick and store it in freezer bags until there's enough to work with. Then let your imagination go wild! Bake them in pies and tarts.
Use them to make stewed compotes and Hungarian fruit soups. The possibilities are endless. Here are a few of my current favorites to consider growing indoors.
At least one species, Surinam cherry, has become invasive in tropical and subtropical areas around the world, but inside it is unlikely to do much harm and can be mighty tasty.
A familiar houseplant and indoor bonsai subject in cool climes, Carissa macrocarpa is indigenous to the coastal region of Natal, South Africa—hence the common name. A vigorous, spreading, woody shrub, it grows up to 18 feet tall, produces handsome, broad, evergreen foliage, and equips its branches with stout Y-shaped spines. Its two-inch-long tubular flowers are white and sweetly fragrant. As it ripens, the skin turns a bright magenta red. The flesh is tender, very juicy, strawberry-colored, and flavored with flecks of milky sap.
The small seeds are unobjectionable and are usually eaten. When fully ripe, the protein-rich fruit can be consumed out of hand or made into jellies, syrups, gelatin-based desserts, pies, and tarts. The Natal plum is generally drought-resistant, but don't allow the soil to dry out too much between waterings. Provide a sunny exposure and give your plant a summer vacation outdoors, if possible.
Fertilize it regularly with any all-purpose water-soluble plant food. Cuttings are terribly difficult to root, so starting from seed is the best method of propagation. Indigenous to Surinam and French Guiana, the Surinam cherry has become naturalized throughout the Caribbean.
It's also a very popular hedging plant in southern Florida. A slender shrub or tree, it grows up to 25 feet tall and produces spreading branches with aromatic foliage. The flowers are white and long-stalked, and look like powder puffs. Its flesh is tender, very juicy, and tartly sweet to taste.
It's also high in vitamin A. There may be one fairly large seed or three smaller ones. The seeds are extremely resinous and should not be eaten. The fruit ripens quickly, often three weeks after flowering. It is generally eaten out of hand or chilled and sprinkled with sugar. The Surinam cherry prefers a sunny location but is not particularly fussy about potting soil. Let the soil dry out between waterings. Fertilize it regularly during active growth, flowering, and fruiting—usually in late summer.
Native to the Lesser Antilles from St. Croix to Trinidad, the Barbados cherry is a handsome small tree that grows up to 20 feet tall.
It has an erect habit with waxy, oblong, dark green foliage. Its charming, delicate, highly decorative flowers are borne in twos and threes along the stem, and each one possesses five pink or lavender spoon-shaped, fringed petals. The plant produces three-lobed, inch-wide, tangy, bright-red berries that are wonderfully juicy and refreshing.
They are also extremely high in vitamin C, second only to the rose hips of Rosa rugosa. Each berry's three small hard seeds may be eaten or removed, depending on personal preference. One cultivar of the plant, 'Florida Sweet', was selected in for its larger-than-usual fruit and applelike, semisweet flavor. Give the Barbados cherry a sunny southern or southwestern exposure, away from drafts.
A fertile, well-drained potting mixture with a pH of 5. Let the soil dry out slightly between waterings, and do not let the plant sit in a saucer of excess runoff. Employ an acidifying fertilizer during growth and flowering, generally from late winter through late summer. Propagation is usually from half-ripe tip cuttings. In their natural habitat, tropical fruiting plants have their own pollinators. Hummingbirds, bananaquits, butterflies, bees, beetles, ants, moths, and bats all do their job to fertilize flowers that will subsequently develop into fruit.
Obviously, we lack this fauna in our urban high-rise apartments and suburban homes. Although all the plants profiled here have perfect flowers that is, they possess both male and female organs and are self-fertile , they need a little help in the pollination department.
Assist fruit set by employing a small camel's hair paintbrush to transfer pollen from the anthers to the stigmatic surface. You don't have to be too precise, simply jiggle the floral parts about a bit with the brush. The rumberry is native to the Caribbean and southern Mexico. An attractive large shrub or small tree, it can grow up to 50 feet tall outdoors but only gets up to around 6 feet indoors.
It sports reddish-brown, exfoliating bark on mature wood and glossy, dark green foliage. The flowers are small, white, powder puff-like, and borne in clusters. The dark red to near black fruit grows about half an inch in diameter and has a highly aromatic but somewhat bitter taste, reminiscent of elderberries. Generally, the fruit is enjoyed out of hand, but it's also used to make preserves for fruit tarts. In the Caribbean, it's a popular ingredient in numerous alcoholic beverages.
The rumberry prefers full sun and a moisture-retentive but well-drained soil. Allow the soil to remain barely moist but not soggy; a terra-cotta pot may help. The plant needs a sunny exposure and is very sensitive to winter drafts.
Named in honor of the French scholar Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, the genus Pereskia boasts the unique characteristic of being one of the few cactaceous genera to bear true leaves. Pereskia aculeata , the Barbados gooseberry, is indigenous to the West Indies, the northern coast of South America, and Panama.
A clambering shrub that becomes a loosely climbing vine with age, it produces spiny, fleshy stems and elliptical, semideciduous dark green leaves. Panicles of long-lasting, lemon-scented, creamy-white flowers appear in fall. Upon pollination, one- to two-inch-wide oval or pear-shaped yellow to red fruits develop. When fully ripe, the fruits are juicy, tart, and very tasty.
Their soft brown seeds are easily eaten. The fruits may be consumed fresh out of hand or stewed. They are very high in Vitamin A and calcium. The leaves and stems can also be cooked and eaten as greens. The Barbados gooseberry requires full sun.
Use a fertile, compost-enhanced but impeccably drained soil. Add plenty of coarse sand to improve drainage, and be sure to use a terra-cotta pot—the plant is very sensitive to overwatering. Feed it during active growth with your favorite water-soluble fertilizer. Propagation is easy from seeds or half-ripe stem cuttings. Steeped in history, mythology, folklore, and romance, the pomegranate needs little introduction.
Native from Iran to northern India, the small tree has been cultivated since ancient times throughout the Mediterranean regions of Asia, Africa, and Europe. Though the straight species can grow between 20 and 30 feet tall, the dwarf pomegranate, Punica granatum var. It's a wonderful container plant and is frequently used for indoor bonsai. The leaves are evergreen except under extreme drought conditions , lance-shaped, and leathery in texture. Showy red, white, or pinkish flowers are borne at the ends of new growth.
The rounded fruit of the dwarf pomegranate is about two inches wide and red when ripe. It contains transparent sacs of tart, flavorful, reddish pulp surrounding angular, hard seeds. Though these sacs are edible out of hand, I prefer to juice them and use the resulting liquid as a natural colorant for cream cheese and cake frosting, and as a mixer for sparkling water and cocktails. Pomegranates are high in potassium and have fair amounts of vitamin C and phosphorus.
The dwarf pomegranate is easy to cultivate indoors. It requires a semiarid climate, but keep it away from radiators and heating vents—arid is one thing, desiccating is another.
A few years back, my nephew told me how drab his office was, and I suggested to him that he try using a spider plant to make his office space look a little more verdant and he was amazed by the results. This is a plant that does not require a lot of light, but it does like humidity, which is why it grows best outdoors in zones 10 throughYou may need to water this plant often and mist the leaves if the humidity in your home is too low. Parlor Palms, which are one of the most popular types of palms grown indoors, are a great option for a space without a lot of sunlight. Though, if you want the little yellow blooms to appear, it will need at least partial sunlight.
1. Peace lily. Peace lily is the best choice for you when it comes to indoor plants. · 2. Kalanchoe. Kalanchoe is a flowering succulent. · 3.
Many houseplants are easy to grow indoors and bring a wonderful touch of nature and greenery to any room. Some of the coolest, most unusual, and unique indoor plants have a natural aesthetic appeal. Glossy green foliage, colorful leaves, weird and wonderful shapes, and funny growing habits all add to the beauty of many rare and uncommon aesthetic houseplants. What are some beautiful houseplants that are strange, unusual, and unique? Here are 10 of the coolest indoor plants that are easy to care for:. When it comes to caring for houseplants—even if they are unique, rare, unusual, or cool—there are a few general rules to follow. First of all, only water them when the soil is partly dry and allow water to drain completely. Keep houseplants in bright locations with indirect sunlight. With proper care, you can enjoy your beautiful, unique plants for many years to come.
Many flowering bulbs originate from tropical Africa: amaryllis, clivia and calla lilies are just a few dazzling flowers commonly grown indoors. Southeast Asia is rich in epiphytic orchids, and subtropical China and Japan have given us beautiful camellias and azaleas. You can order tropical flowers online. Flower delivery for orchid plants, anthurium, hibiscus and other Hawaiian tropical flowers is a fast and easy way to grow your collection.
Much of the scenic beauty of nature has been replaced by densely populated areas that sprawl for miles from urban centers.
Recently, I've been collecting and propagating fruiting tropical shrubs and small trees on my four-acre property in Vieques, Puerto Rico, like a man with a mission. My ultimate goal is to supply my own table with a diverse mix of fresh produce year-round, grow enough surplus fruit to be able to vend to local restaurateurs, and establish a modest nursery and display garden. In my former life as a New Yorker, I used to buy exotic fruits in the city's ethnic food markets and germinate their seeds as houseplants. This practice was nothing new; indeed, it's a popular hobby, with its own gardening club—the Rare Pit and Plant Council—or, less formally, "The Pits. They were all very decorative as foliage plants, but none flowered and bore fruit in my urban loft.
RevisedOverwintering Tropical Plants. Tropical hibiscus Hibiscus rosa-sinensis in full bloom. Updated: September 29,Key points Tropical plants such as bananas, caladiums, elephant ears, tropical hibiscus, mandevilla, palms, ficus, and s chefflera provide a summery ambiance to outdoor living spaces during the warmer months. Plants do well outdoors from late spring mid-May through early fall.
Getting a bonsai is basically an easy way of having a tree inside your Ficus trees are a common indoor plant, but something not that.
We might never empathise, but our high-rise living quarters, a comfortable place of respite after gruelling work hours, is anything but a sanctuary for yet another living thing — plants. More on this in our Top Tips below. Beginner gardeners may have the tendency to pick plants based on their appearance, instead of choosing plants based on whether they can grow in the conditions specific to their home. These should include those tolerant of shady environments, and therefore suitable for homes in Singapore.
Tropical plants are pretty easy to grow, and just require attention to a few details to make sure they do well. Here are some popular tropical plants to grow indoors, and the little tricks to make sure you are successful with them. Remember if you have kids or pets to always check with your poison control to see if the plants you wish to use in your home are toxic. There are many types of palms available as house plants, but most of them require the same basic care.
Are you interested in adding greenery to your home? Wondering which indoor plants are easiest to grow in the Indian climate?
Finding out which tropical plants are the easiest to grow indoors might seem too much of a task to take on for many people. When it comes to lighting and watering requirements, you may be surprised at how many species of tropical plants are easy to grow indoors. So, what are the easiest tropical plants to grow indoors? Which of these tropical indoor plants would make the best additions to your home or indoor garden? The beauty of the philodendron is mostly attributed to its leaf cutouts, but its true beauty lies in the fact that growing this plant is about as easy as can be. Beloved for its adaptability, the philodendron is accepting of whatever humidity is available in its environment. Philodendrons prefer bright, indirect sun or medium light such as the light that comes in through a South or West-facing window.
The key to helping tropical plants thrive inside your home is to recreate the conditions that would have if they were in their natural habitat. Light and water are crucial when it comes to tropical plants and the little details on how often and how much depends from one plant to another. Once again, the answer to this question depends on factors such as the season in question. During the summer, you want to water tropical plants about once per week.