Plant Parents: Add These Tropical Houseplants to Warm Your Soul

The brightest part of winter may just be decorating your home for the season. While hot cocoa, holiday lights and a cozy fireplace are traditional ways of warming your space, try thinking tropical this year.  Your decorating doesn’t have to be the same every year and holiday houseplants aren’t just limited to poinsettias.

It’s not a secret that many houseplants are tropical by nature. They feel right at home in places with year-round warmth and jungle-like conditions. So, bring some warmth and tropic flair to your space by adding one of these houseplants.

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Anthurium

Anthuriums are elegant, easy-care plants with cheery blooms that last a long time. This show-stopping plant is a favorite for any romantic with its glossy heart-shaped, pink leaves. Anthurium stands out of the crowd with blooms on and off all year. This exotic plant loves warmth and humidity.

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Bromeliad

This easy-to-grow houseplant makes for a perfect gift. It provides an exotic touch of red, orange, pink or purple to any home. Even with the thick foliage and wide leaves, it gives off a radiance that anyone will fall in love with. Be sure to use Espoma’s Orchid Potting Mix to allow proper drainage.

Palms

Majesty palms practically whisk you away to somewhere tropical.  They thrive in the humidity and like to be kept evenly moist.  Fertilize regularly with Indoor! Liquid plant food for faster growth. These are easy to grow and don’t require any pruning except for an occasional old frond.

Image courtesy of Costa Farms

Orchids

Orchids can bloom for up to four months, making them great fir add some color and flair to any home. They love indirect light, a little bit of water and to be away from any drafty windows, air vents or ducts.

Plus, they will continue to rebloom every year with a little love and patience and fertilizer.

An organic fertilizer, such as Espoma’s Orchid! liquid plant food, will help keep your blooms looking fresh and colorful year after year.

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

ZZ plant

This tough houseplant can survive even with the brownest of thumbs. You can put it anywhere in your home or office and it will be happy to see you. It can even survive with only florescent lights and no natural light.  Water when the top two inches of soil are dry. Don’t worry if you forget, it may start to drop some of its leaflets to conserve the water left and will rebloom after a good drink.

Try these lowlight houseplants if you want greenery, but lack light. https://youtu.be/SYXv_EcBdEA

Products for houseplants

Espoma Organic Orchid Mix
Espoma Organic Potting Soil Mix

Rhipsalis Care and Propagation

Jungle cacti sounds like an oxymoron but in this episode of Plant One on Me, Summer Rayne Oaks talks in-depth about this strange branch of the family. When you hear “cacti,” most people generally conjure images of the desert Southwest and prickly plants. Even so, 10 percent of cacti are epiphytic and live in jungles. That means that the cacti live on other plants and use them for support, but not for food. They get moisture and nutrients from the air. Despite growing in a jungle, they don’t get much water or much light.

There are 38 species of Rhipsalis native to tropical and subtropical America. Sadly, many of these species are threatened or endangered in their native range. Some may have even gone extinct before they were discovered. Plant parents can play a role in conservation by growing these plants and buying them from reputable sources.

For people that are not familiar with Rhipsalis, they look very similar to the Christmas cactus. They like bright, indirect light. The soil should be well-drained but not allowed to dry out completely. Summer creates her own soil blend for repotting made from equal parts of Espoma’s organic Potting Soil Mix, Orchid Mix, and Perlite. Espoma’s Cactus Mix would also work well. They are not heavy feeders, a quarterly dose of Cactus! is all they require.

Rhipsalis are surprisingly easy to propagate. They do flower and produce small berries. The seeds of which may be planted and will germinate at temperatures between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. They will often produce a root at the natural junction between the modified leaves. Simply lay that down on top of the soil and it will root in. Another method is to cut off a ‘leaf’ and let the wound callus over for a day or two and then tuck it into the soil about halfway. Try not to get too much water on these new plants or they could rot. If that does happen, just try again. Gardening is really about experimenting.

Here are more videos from Homestead Brooklyn we hope you will enjoy:

Hoya Care Tips and Propagation

How to Fertilize Houseplants with Homestead Brooklyn

Pilea Care Tips and Propagation

The best indoor plants for small spaces

Apartments or small spaces are invitations to get creative with décor. There are many different ways you can grow indoor plants. There are plenty of ways to keep houseplants nearby.

To maximize space, design and style, utilize a few small potted plants. Take advantage of vertical spaces with hanging baskets or a green wall. Even small DIY projects such as terrariums or kokedama can instantly perk up a small space.

When growing in containers, be sure to use Espoma’s Organic Potting Soil Mix for best results.

These houseplants are a small space gardener’s best friends:

Haworthia ‘Big Band’

A big name for a small plant, but the deep green leaves with white stripes really stand out. They look very modern in small containers with a layer of white gravel on top of the soil. Keep them out of direct light. They grow 2-8 inches tall and wide.

Moth Orchid

Moth orchids have long, thin stems and large flowers that create a big impact in small places. Plus, they flower for an incredibly long time. These are the easiest orchids to grow, even if you are a beginner. Bonus, they are actually more likely to flower when rootbound, so no need to add more space anytime soon. Water well once a week, then let drain completely. Feed regularly with Orchid! liquid plant food.

African Violet

The colorful blooms of African violets instantly add color to any room. They’re known to bloom continuously, even throughout the darker winter months. Slightly root bound plants will continue to bloom, but be sure to repot using Espoma’s African Violet potting mix at least once a year. Water African violets from the bottom to prevent leaves from rotting and never let them sit in standing water.   

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Fittonia

Also known as nerve plant, Fittonia adds a pop of color with leaves that have bright pink, white or red veins. Its petite size allows for it to be placed almost anywhere. Fittonia prefers medium to low light, but tolerates direct sun if the light is filtered through a sheer curtain.

Echeveria

The echeveria is one of the most common types of succulents. Little plants like these are commonly found on office and home desks due to their easy care and small size. A common cause of death, however, is overwatering. Make sure to let your plants’ soil dry completely before giving them another drink. Feed regularly with Espoma’s Cactus! liquid fertilizer for best results.

Try these lowlight houseplants if you want greenery, but lack light. https://youtu.be/SYXv_EcBdEA

Products for houseplants:

Espoma Organic Potting Soil Mix

Plants to Help You Get Some Rest

Houseplants are so much more than decorations. They help reduce stress and tension and create a relaxed and happy atmosphere. They absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen while purifying the air by removing toxins. They say we spend a third of our life sleeping, so let’s do it in the best possible environment, a room full of house plants.

The best plants for a healthy night’s sleep.   

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Snake Plant

Snake plants convert carbon dioxide to oxygen at night. It is also one of the easiest and most forgiving houseplants you can grow. Whether you have bright or low light, a snake plant will adjust to it. It doesn’t require much water and even if you forget to water it for a couple of weeks, it will still look great. Overwatering it is really the only way to kill it. 

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Golden Pothos

A study from NASA shows that pothos removes toxins, mainly carbon monoxide and formaldehyde from the air. This low-maintenance plant grows well in low light. Water it only when completely dry. Always pot your houseplants in quality potting soil like Espoma’s Potting Mix or a mixture of potting mix and Cactus Mix for plants like this that require excellent drainage. 

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Spider Plant

The spider plant removes formaldehyde from the air, which is a common carcinogen found in many household products and items. This is another easy to grow selection that enjoys bright light, but will adapt to low light situations. Like all house plants, a regular schedule of fertilizing will help keep spider plants in tip-top shape. Organic liquid fertilizer like Espoma’s Indoor! works beautifully and has an easy dose cap, meaning you’ll never use too much or too little.

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

English Ivy

English ivy has the unique ability to clean the air of mold. Ivy is a trailing plant that you can train to grow up a trellis or let it cascade down from a shelf.  It can be an aggressive plant outdoors, but inside it’s well behaved. Keep the soil moist, but not wet, and give it a place with indirect light.

Photo courtesy of Costa Fams

Aloe vera

Aloe has been used as a medicinal plant to heal: sunburn, cuts, insect bites, minor burns, and dry skin. It’s also an air purifier. Aloe likes bright light. Water it well every two weeks or when the soil feels very dry. Fertilize with Cactus!  monthly to give it nutrients.

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Peace Lilies

Peace lilies also made it on NASA’s list of toxin removing plants. They can absorb mold spores from the air into their leaves. It’s a pretty plant with calla-like flowers that likes bright light. Regular watering is a must (they’ll let you know when they’re thirsty by letting their leaves droop.)

Lavender

Lavender has been used for centuries for its soothing, sleep-inducing properties. Victorian ladies used to stuff their pillows with lavender to relieve stress. Today you can find a wide array of lavender products to help whisk you off to sleep. Lavender isn’t often sold as a houseplant but you can grow it outdoors and harvest the flowers for the bedroom.

Ready for more relaxing? Check out these blogs for ideas.

Create a Spa in Your Bathroom

Top 5 Low Light Houseplants

How to Decorate for Thanksgiving with Plants

 

Succulent Tree House Fairy Garden

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Espoma Products for Succulent Fairy Gardens