Many if not all the house plants we enjoy and grow in our homes are often found along the sidewalks of Florida’s outdoor shopping malls or in the landscapes of homes in the South. A small Schefflera in your home has a cousin growing like a hedge in states zoned tropical. So how do we get our tropical plants to grow so grand here in Minnesota? One strategy is taking all your house plants and putting them outside during the summer. You will be amazed at the growth your plants will put on in those few short months. The sun’s intensity is increased and the humidity skyrockets to create a perfect environment for many tropical plants. They are tender plants though, so be aware that you will need to be sure the nights are not dipping down below 40 degrees. Also they will need a protected area out of direct sun light. Possibly a porch or under a pergola.
Another strategy during the winter months is to be sure your plants are getting enough light. A south facing window is typically the best place for most house plants but east or west facing windows work too. In the winter our houses are typically warm but dry. Many people take this as an indication to water more, when actually watering less during winter months in best. Your plants are most likely in a dormant stage and do not need as much water or fertilizer. Save the heavy watering and fertilizing for the summer when your plants are outdoors and thriving/ growing. While we will probably never get our house plants as large as they are in their southern tropical homes, we can grow them successfully here in Minnesota.
Pictured below is a Euphorbia Crown Of Thorns found in Florida’s landscape. It is a bushy slow growing succulent plant native to Madagascar.
Tropical Plants Sold in our Store:
Striped Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans massangeana)
Umbrella tree (Schefflera arboricola)
Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)
Split Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron monstera ‘Deliciosa’)
Dwarf Palm (Dypsis lutescens)
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
Watering your house plants is a very important factor in plant health and longevity. It is important to have a watering schedule and routine.
So Is my plant thirsty?
- Eye it.
Small, tabletop plants typically need water as soon as the surface soil is dry. Take a peek under your plant’s foliage to check the color and moisture of its potting mix. Moist potting mix will appear darker than dry potting mix.
- Try it.
Use your finger tip to check the consistency of the potting mix along the edge of the planter. If the first two inches of soil are dry – it’s usually a sign that it’s time to water your plant.
- Lift it.
Your potted plant will feel much heavier after it has been watered. If it feels considerably lighter than after you watered it last, chances are it’s thirsty.
- Water it.
When watering, pour water into the planter by the base of the plant until the water begins to trickle into the saucer below. Let the plant soak up the water for about 15 minutes, then empty any remaining water from the saucer. Do not let your plant sit in a saucer of standing water, which can potentially cause overwatering and root rot. If you can, water your plants in a sink or tub. This allows the plants to dry in the sink and contains the mess in one area!
The tropical plants of Florida, California and states alike can be enjoyed in our homes and gardens (during the summer) throughout the entire year. With their instant color and unique texture and forms, it can be a good choice for a pool side paradise or a botanical garden within your home! We can all enjoy the tropical paradise these plants bring to our landscapes and homes.