Tropical Plant Care

Tropical Plants, Succulents, and Cactus are all living organisms that interact with the body, mind, and home in ways that enhance the quality of life.

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Whether you are human or animal, there are so many benefits to living around plants.

Tropical houseplants can be a rewarding sight after coming in out of the snow this winter.

A jungle of textures and colors can make home decor come alive.

Click to read more about Why Do We Need Plants Around Us.

Click to read more about Bad Plants For Animals.

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These plants are perfect for the plant collector or reptile habitat enrichment. Whether you are human or animal, there are so many benefits to living around plants.

Living plants are a valuable addition to vivaria for many reasons. In fact, they are so beneficial that they should be considered a standard component of vivaria for most kinds of herps.

There are many species of Tropical Plants…

To name a few…

  • Rubber Tree
  • Sansevieria
  • Philodendron ‘Xanadu’
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  • Dwarf Shefflera
  • Ribbon Dracaena
  • Dieffenbachia or Dumb Cane
  • Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
  • Madagascar Dragon Tree (Dracaena Marginata)
  • Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum).

Light
The level of light plays a major role in the decision-making process of what plants should be collected. A bright window with some direct sunlight is ideal.

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Unfortunately, many of us don’t have this ideal location to be able to grow sun-loving types of plants. If this is your scenario, there are many plants to choose from that thrive in lower light.

On the bright side, these low light loving houseplants tend to be easier to grow, in turn giving even the proverbial black-thumb a chance in growing lush plants!

They generally take less of our precious time, require less water, require less fertilizer, and tend to do pretty well with less sunlight. All plants require some light to thrive, whether it’s natural or artificial.

We recommend taking your indoor plants out during nice rain days! 

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Water
Water is critical for keeping plants alive. Do some research or ask your nursery specialist about the watering requirements regarding the plant you are interested in purchasing.

While plants need water, over-watering causes root rot, which is certain death for the plant. Never let your plant sit in water. It is advisable to empty the saucer of any standing water.

Many chemicals in tap water can be harmful to the plant. Extremely hot or cold water is not advisable. Plants prefer room temperature water. If you fill your watering containers the day before watering, the water will be at room temperature and some of the chemicals will dissipate.

Container Selection
There are many different types of pots or containers you can purchase. Clay or terra cotta tends to work best, as the clay breathes.

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The plastic or poly-resin pots are wonderful for plants that require high moisture, as they keep the soil moist longer.

Make sure your container has a proper drainage hole in the bottom or lower sides. If you opt to purchase a decorative container that has no drainage, make sure to place small rocks or gravel on the bottom. Very few houseplants do well sitting in standing water.

Potting Soil
While garden soil is readily available, it isn’t the best choice. A good sterile potting mix works the best. Potting mixes contain rich organic matter as well as vermiculite or perlite additives to help drainage.

We recommend the Miricle brand. They have an entire line of very good product.

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Fertilizers
Like us, plants do well with an occasional feeding. Ask your nursery specialist which type of fertilizer works best for the type of plant(s) that you have.

There are many varieties of fertilizer available from an all-purpose time release, to specialty fertilizers for high acid loving plants to a naturally balanced organic fertilizer. Be sure to read the directions on any of the products you purchase.

Cleaning
Plant foliage tends to not like dust. Use a damp cloth to wash the dust off of plant leaves periodically.

Misting plants with a sprayer tend to keep the foliage cleaner and adds humidity. Most indoor plants love an occasional shower with lukewarm water. Again, this keeps the foliage clean and adds humidity.

We recommend using a pump up sprayer, using water that has had a tea bag or cigar leaves soaked overnight. Add one teaspoon of blue Dawn dishsoap, and one tablespoon Epson Salt. 

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Pruning
Some plants should be pruned periodically for a variety of reasons. Some vines tend to get leggy. An occasional haircut will promote new growth and generally thickens up the plant. The rubber tree, for example, will grow bushier if pruned. Dead foliage should always be removed to allow the nutrients to travel to the healthy foliage.

Pests
Pests like spider mites, mealy bugs, and aphids are a few of the insects that could be a problem for your houseplant. Talk to your nursery expert on houseplants to determine what chemical you should use for plant pests. There are many non-toxic organic solutions available. We use Dawn dish soap.