How To Care For Caribbean Houseplants - 5 Tropical Plants To Grow Indoors

Green-White Leaved Caribbean Houseplant
(Image credit: Diana Rebenciuc)

Tropical houseplants are great for bringing cheer to any home, especially during winter. It’s not difficult to create the right conditions indoors for these pretty plants that wouldn’t survive your garden. Try some of these beauties from the Caribbean as you build your indoor tropical world. 

5 Plants from the Caribbean

The tropical Caribbean region is home to so many gorgeous plants. Many of them make great houseplants for anyone who wants to bring the tropics into their home. 

  1. Lantana. This pretty tropical plant is adapted to drier conditions in the region, making it perfect for dry, indoor winters as a houseplant. It is shrubby with leathery leaves. The star of the show here is the flower. Lantana grows clusters of bright, bicolored blooms in red, orange, yellow, white, purple, and pink. 
  2. Dieffenbachia. Also known as dumbcane, this plant is known for its artistic foliage, striped in cream, yellow, and white. Be aware; however, that this is not child or pet friendly. It is toxic. 
  3. Begonias. More often used as annuals in the garden, growing access to the wide varieties of tropical begonias is helping them make a comeback as a houseplant. Enthusiasts have created a variety of hybrid begonias with both foliage and flowers in a wide range of colors, patterns, and textures. 
  4. Browallia. This pretty purple flower also goes by the name of bush violet. If you struggle to find a sunny window inside your home, the shade-loving browallia is for you. 
  5. Peperomia. The peperomia family is large and includes some Caribbean natives like P. obtusifolia. This species is easy to grow as a houseplant and includes varieties with a range of leaf types. 

How to Grow Tropical Plants Indoors

Tropical houseplant care is all about re-creating their natural environmental conditions. You can’t create a tropical rainforest, but you can take steps to ensure these plants thrive inside your home. 

Ÿ Many Caribbean indoor plants will need more humidity than a home in winter generally has. Place a humidifier near the plants or position your pots on a tray of rocks and add water to it. 

ŸWatering can be a little tricky. Most Caribbean plants like soil that stays moist but not soggy. Lantana is an exception. Let your lantana's soil dry out between watering.

ŸWhile lantana appreciates a full sun window, other tropical plants do best in indirect light. Some of these, like peperomia, grow well in terrariums that stay warm and moist.

ŸAll of your tropical plants will benefit from going outdoors in summer. Let them get some fresh air, natural light, and light rainfall, then bring them back in for winter.

Mary Ellen Ellis

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.