Many people associate the beach and palm trees with that carefree feeling that comes during vacation. Simply seeing pictures of these things can slow your heart rate. If you live in the north, you might often find yourself thinking about warm weather and shady trees while you’re trudging through slush. Adding in tropical plants to your home can have a profound impact on your mood, and it’s not as difficult as you think. With the proper lighting, you can grow pretty much everything.
Before we get into the best plant options, it should be said that many tropical plants need bright, direct light that can’t be provided with just a window. If you purchase a leafy palm plant, you might see it browning after just days even with careful care. You can remedy this by purchasing a plant grow light. The rays emitted are a nice pinkish-purple in color and will help your plant thrive. Simply flip it on at night and aim it at your plant as you sleep.
Birds of Paradise are one of the most iconic exotic flowers and surprisingly really easy to grow. It is a rapidly growing plant, but unfortunately needs about 5 years before it flowers. If you purchase a mature plant you can reap the benefits immediately. It needs soil that is always moist and will greatly benefit from fertilizer and direct sunlight, but is very resilient.
Orchids are notoriously picky but very beautiful if taken care of properly. Rather than watering them, it’s best to let an ice cube slowly melt into the soil. They do need a warm and humid environment, so if you’re in a dry atmosphere a humidifier would be beneficial. There are countless different varieties and colors, but all will need bright indirect light and careful attention.
Kentia Palms are the quintessential tropical plant. They look like mini versions of the outdoor palms you see in southern environments. Many queens and kings used to insist these palms decorate their homes. They’re quite easy to take care of as long as they are sat in direct light and are frequently misted and watered.
Lastly, Cordyline is an incredibly beautiful, bright orange, star-shaped flower native to Hawaii. It is probably the most difficult to take care of on this list due to its soil needs–the pH of its soil must be between 6 to 6.5. You can measure this with pH strips and can use plant pH fluid (either acidic or basic, both available on Amazon) to make corrections to the soil if needed. It needs fed and watered daily to remain moist and must be in a pot that allows it to drain. Taking care of this is a challenge, but you’ll get the hang of it, and the payoff is immense. Adding plants is a great way to improve a space you’re renting.