Both beautiful and unusual, tropical houseplants are a popular selection for home decoration. They can be a challenge to grow indoors, however, because they are native to warm and humid climates. In conditions with proper sunlight, warmth, and moisture, several varieties—like the bird of paradise, silver queen, and ginger—can survive and even thrive. A number tropical houseplants have proven to be resilient and adaptable enough to flourish indoors.
In areas with ample sunlight, tropical houseplants like bird of paradise will thrive. A favorite because of its distinctive flower, it can be grown indoors during the winter and moved outside in warmer months to promote blooming. The durable Pothos vine also grows well in sunlight, which causes its heart-shaped leaves to become more variegated. Pothos can survive in darker areas as well, reproduces easily from cuttings and will grow voraciously without any support.
If sun exposure is limited, bamboo is a practical selection to grow indoors. Available in hundreds of varieties, there is a bamboo plant that will survive in nearly every climate, although larger-leafed varieties generally require more light. Sansevieria, called Snake Plant or Mother-in-Law's Tongue, is a succulent with sword shaped leaves and highly fragrant blooms that also thrives in variable light.
Ginger grows indigenously under canopy, and makes an obvious choice as a tropical houseplant. Known for the culinary and medicinal benefits of its root, ginger has ribbed green leaves and may produce fragrant flowers or spicy foliage. The beautiful Peace Lily is similarly durable, and also thrives in shade. If can endure both too much and too little water with little effect and rejuvenates quickly.
The epitome of low-maintenance, other tropical houseplants need little light and rely on moisture for survival, like the Dracaena Marginata. This palm-like plant has long, thin, green leaves with red or pink edges and offers plenty of tropical appeal. The Silver Queen can also tolerate significant neglect with the exception of cold temperatures. It has oval shaped leaves known for their unusual silver and dark green markings, and is often called the most forgiving tropical house plant.
Some tropical houseplants are not recommended, although they're very well known. Elephant ears may be poisonous to children or pets, while orchids are considered to be temperamental and hard to maintain. Tropical palms and ivies are also popular, but tend to be extremely susceptible to pests like spider mites, which can then destroy other houseplants.