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In Focus: Tropical Houseplants

In Focus: Tropical Houseplants

At the Trillium, we pride ourselves on having lots of different unique and interesting gifts. Not only do we sell and specialize in cut flowers, we also have many home decor gifts and a variety of indoor houseplants. We offer these all year round for walk-in or delivery and can customize them just for you. In this vein, here is a crash-course on some of the most common and easy to care for houseplants, many of which we carry here in the store. These can grow and tolerate conditions of low light, low humidity, and low care despite their rain forest ancestry.

Rubber Plant Root-bridge-India-Khasi-tribe 1. Rubber Plant – Ficus elastica – This species of plant in the fig genus come in variegated or solid varieties and while it grows best in a sunny window with cool temperatures, it can also take low light and can be pruned to stay shrubby or allowed to grow tall. Like many other figs, this plant requires a small fig wasp to pollinate its flowers which is why it does not offer an intensely showy flower. This plant is commonly used in India to create the immense and spectacular living bridges. The thick milky latex found in the plant used to be used to make rubber and is an irritant and toxic if consumed. As a houseplant, this is an easy and beautiful plant to own with a high tolerance to drought but thriving in humid and wet tropical conditions.

220px-Epipremnum_aureum_vine Epipremnum_aureum_in_Udawattakele 2. Pothos – Epipremnum aureum – This plant in the Arum family is one of the most common houseplants in the market. Often seen growing in dark offices, malls, and more, it is an incredibly tolerant plant requiring very little care while efficiently removing indoor pollutants from the air. This evergreen vine can climb and adhere to many surfaces and can vine up as high as 60 ft! This is why in many tropical habitats where it is a non-native, it can become rather invasive. The plant is sometimes used in aquariums, placed on top of the aquarium and allowed to grow roots in the water. This is beneficial to the plant and the aquarium as it absorbs many nitrates and uses them for growth.This plant is however toxic to pets so keep that in mind when choosing.
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3. Peace Lily – Spathiphyllum cochlearispathum – Another popular houseplant due to its low need for light or water for survival, peace lilies are one of the most well known tropicals. The term spathe refers to the spike in the center of the unique cup like flower common with the Arum family which this plant is a member of despite its name. Although the plant contains an irritant and is toxic to pets, it is also efficient in detoxing the air and lives best in shade with very little watering.

draceane4. Corn Plant – Dracaena sp. – While the corn plant Dracaena is one of the more well known species of houseplants, there are many different species in the Dracaena genus. Many grow in arid semi-desert areas and are tree-sized with stout trunks and stiff, broad-based leaves or are shrubby dracaenas. They are smaller and shrub-like, with slender stems and flexible strap-shaped leaves, and grow as understory plants in rainforests. They like to dry out between waterings and typically require very little sunlight making them an easy plant to care for.

succulenst5. Succulents – There are many types of succulents and cacti, many of which are easy to grow, propagate, and care for. At the store we offer a few types of succulents as well as hens and chicks or sempervivums. While these plants are low care, they are by no means “no” care. They require light watering and even though they can withstand drought for long periods of time, they require intermittent soaking and drying out completely between waterings. From fall to spring, you can decrease watering and fertilizing because most will go through a light dormancy or slow period of growth when temps are cool and the sunlight is less intense. Most will take intense, hot sunlight and enjoy a sandy and rocky soil.

Hopefully you find this information easy to understand and we hope it inspires you to feel more comfortable growing your own houseplants. There are so many wonderful options to choose from. Stop in the shop to see these plants and more to take home!

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