Tropical Plants

Tropical plants are great for brightening up home and office interiors.  They are decorative, they create an inviting living space, produce a healthy environment, and they provide greenery to look at through the long winter months. Tropical plants became popular during the nineteenth century and since have become an important element in home décor. 

We carry a large variety of tropical plants on a year round basis.  We have plants to suit everyone’s needs, no matter if they are a beginner or a veteran.  At Sunnyside our friendly, knowledgeable staff are here to help you choose the right plant for your site so you will be able to enjoy the beauty of tropical plants for many years.

Indoor Light Conditions

Bright light (full sun): Areas that receive at least 5 hours of direct sunlight a day, usually a south or west facing window.

Bright indirect light: Bright area that receives full light but not direct sunlight,  a bright eastern window or interior part of a room with a south or west window.

Low Light: Areas that receive little to no direct sunlight, north and east facing windows, or windows that are shaded by structures or plants.

Watering

Watering is the key component to success with indoor plants.  The majority of tropical plants like to grow in moist soil: thorough infrequent watering is recommended.  What does that mean?  It means that you only water when plants need to be watered and ensure that the entire root ball is saturated when you do water.   When watering apply enough water to ensure the entire soil volume is moistened, plus a little extra to leach out any excess salts that build up in the soil.  Any water that drains into the saucer after watering needs to be discarded.  If water is left standing in the saucer it will be reabsorbed by the soil which can result in root rot, salt build up and a decrease in plant vigour. 

As a general guideline, you will want to water your plants when the top one to two inches of soil has dried out, this can be every few days, weekly or even longer for cactus and succulents.  Tropicals prefer room temperature water and whenever possible allow water to sit overnight; this allows chlorine and fluoride to dissipate.

Fertilizing

Indoor potting soils are soil-less mixes that contain very little, if any, nutrients.  Therefore fertilizing tropical plants is important because it ensures that there are available nutrients for the plant to grow and thrive. 

It is a good idea to have a feeding program for your plants as this will ensure healthy growth, higher flower counts, better resistance to stress, and an increased ability to fight off insects and diseases.  Here are some different types of fertilizers that can be used on tropical plants.

Water soluble fertilizer (20-20-20, 10-15-10) are great, quick release fertilizers that can be used every third or fourth watering.

Slow release (14-14-14) is a feed and forget type product that lasts for approximately 3 months.  It needs to be reapplied every 3 months to ensure plant nutrients are available at all times.

Once a month it is recommended to leach the soil of tropical plants.  Take potted plants to a sink or bathtub run water through the pot until water coming out the drainage hole runs clear.  This removes any fertilizer or salt build up in the soil which can injure plants.

Cleaning and Grooming

Cleaning and grooming plants is an important practice to ensure the longevity and health of plants.  It also gives you an opportunity to examine your plants for any insects, diseases or other problems. 

Grooming plants entails removing any damaged/dead leaves, faded flowers, or broken stems. Grooming is a rewarding task as plants instantly look better and they are less susceptible to disease and insects that can be harbored in dead tissue. 

Cleaning plants is important as dust can have an adverse effect on light levels.  A layer of dust acts like a filter turning bright light into filtered light which will negatively affect plant growth.  To remove dirt, dust, and residues off plants wipe leaves gently with a damp sponge or cloth.

Cold Drafts and Heating Vents

Houses can present challenges when trying to create the perfect environment for tropical plants to grow and thrive.  During the winter months opening exterior doors and windows can result in an icy blast of air that can harm houseplants.  It is extremely important to situate plants away from exterior doors during the cold winter months.

Another environmental concern in houses is heating vents.  Heating vents blow warm, dry air that can be detrimental to plants.  Always keep plants four to five feet away from heating vents.

Sunnyside offers free custom transplanting for our indoor tropical plants!  Purchase any tropical plant and pot with drainage hole from Sunnyside, and our staff will be happy to transplant it!

Sunnyside offers a 90 day guarantee for all of our indoor tropical foliage plants. This guarantee applies to indoor tropical plants only. For full details please see our 90 Day Tropical Plant Guarantee brochure.