Tropical Plants You Can Grow Indoors


Jon VanZile

Updated on 03/10/23

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Orchids (Orchidaceae)

an orchid
The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

Orchids are the most varied of all plant groups—they come from all over the world from deserts to woodlands to tropical forests, but the orchids most people love are from tropical and subtropical climates. A flowering orchid is the quintessential tropical plant with its color varieites of white, yellow, pink, purple, red, orange, and variegated. Avoid dry air, direct heat or drafts, and direct sunlight. Instead, provide a warm humid environment. In general, once per week; allow to dry between waterings; do not overwater

  • Light: Bright, indirect light
  • Mature Size: 1–3 ft. tall, 6–12 in. wide
  • Difficulty: Needy at times

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Philodendron (philodendron)

Philodendron gloriosum plant with large heart-shaped leaves in black pot
The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

For indoor use, there are climbing varieties and the self-heading (non-climbing) types of philodendrons. Newer hybrids have been bred that mix the vigor and ease of the climbing varieties with the convenience of the self-heading varieties. It is easier than ever to grow them. Water and mist frequently in summer; reduce water in winter.

  • Light: Medium, indirect light
  • Mature Size: 1–20 ft. tall, 1–6 ft. wide
  • Difficulty: Low-maintenance

How to Grow and Care for Peace Lily Plants

These easy-growing indoor plants do best in low light


Jon VanZile

a peace lily on a tabletop
The Spruce / Cara Cormack

The peace lily is a flowering tropical plant from the Spathiphyllum genus. Outside of its hardiness zones, many people grow the peace lily indoors. There are many types of peace lilies within the genus. But in general, peace lilies have large, glossy, oval leaves. They typically bloom in the spring, though that can vary when growing them as houseplants. A healthy peace lily might bloom twice a year, resulting in several months of flowers.

When grown in the garden in the tropical and subtropical climates where they are hardy, peace lilies are normally planted in the spring while it is still cool. When you care for a peace lily indoors, they can be purchased and brought into the home at any time of year, though you will want to protect them from cold temperatures as you transport them. They are moderate growers and will reach maturity in around three years. Note that peace lilies are toxic to pets1 and people,2 so be mindful about where you place a peace lily in your house.

Fun Fact

Like many plants, peace lilies carry symbolism. The peace lily’s meaning is associated with sympathy, healing, hope, purity, and—naturally—peace. The plant is commonly given as a gift to those who have lost a loved one.

Common NamePeace lily, spath lily
Botanical NameSpathiphyllum spp.
Plant TypePerennial
Mature Size1–4 ft. tall, 1–4 ft. wide (indoors), up to 6 ft. tall (outdoors)
Sun ExposurePartial
Soil TypeMoist but well-drained
Soil pHAcidic
Bloom TimeSpring
Flower ColorWhite, yellow
Hardiness Zones11–12 (USDA)
Native AreaCentral America, Asia
ToxicityToxic to pets3 and people4


Watch Now: How to Grow and Care for Peace Lilies

Peace Lily Care

Peace lilies are generally grown as potted houseplants in the United States, as most areas are not conducive to growing this plant outdoors. If you have potted peace lilies, you can move them outside during the summer months. But once temperatures dip in the fall, bring them back inside.

Caring for a peace lily indoors is relatively simple. Provide your plant with moderately moist soil and filtered sunlight, along with consistently temperate conditions.

overhead shot of peace lily leaves
The Spruce / Cara Cormack
peace lily plant
peace lily by a window


Peace lilies are happiest when they’re somewhat root-bound. However, when the plant has clearly exceeded the capacity of the pot, it can be potted up to a larger container in the early spring. If you notice roots popping up out of the soil and down from the drainage holes, it’s time to repot. It’s ideal to pot the plant in a terracotta or clay vessel that can wick away excess moisture. Always use a high-quality potting mix, and a pot with good drainage.


A peace lily needs sunlight, though not direct sun. They are shade-loving plants in their native habitats. But peace lilies indoors need a bit more filtered light. (Some varieties can withstand more light than others.) An east-facing window is a prime spot to place a peace lily in your house.


Peace lilies like a rich, loose potting mix that contains plenty of organic matter. These plants are native to tropical canopy conditions where the soil is packed with deteriorating plant material, so you’ll find the best success with soil that mimics this composition. Additionally, the plant is also very sensitive to too-damp soil conditions, so be sure to choose a well-draining mixture.


Peace lilies prefer being under-watered rather than overwatered. How often you should water a peace lily depends on container size and how fast the soil drains, but, in general, water when the top inch of soil has dried out. In winter, reduce watering but never allow the soil to dry out completely. If your water at home is highly chlorinated, it’s a good idea to use filtered or distilled water. Alternatively, you can allow tap water to sit for several days until the chlorine evaporates.

Temperature and Humidity

These plants prefer moist warmth. Avoid cold drafts and temperatures that fall below 55 degrees Fahrenheit; the plant will die when exposed to prolonged cold temperatures. The ideal temperature range for your peace lily is 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Spritz the leaves every week with softened or distilled water throughout the summer growing season to raise humidity.


Peace lilies appreciate frequent feedings, which result in the strongest plant and seasonal blooming. Following manufacturer’s instructions, feed your plant weekly in the summer or use slow-release pellets at the beginning of the season. You do not need to fertilize the plant during the winter.

Types of Peace Lilies

Peace lilies have been heavily hybridized and therefore come in dozens of popular varietals. They range in size from miniature to massive and from deep green with snow-white flowers to golden-leaved beauties. Some of the popular types of peace lilies include:

  • Spathiphyllum Power Petite’: A small varietal that grows to only about 15 inches
  • S. ‘Mauna Loa Supreme’: Avery common variety that grows to be between 3 to 4 feet tall, with leaves that are up to 9 inches wide
  • S. ‘Sensation’: The largest peace lily varietal, which reaches up to 6 feet in height with broad, 20-inch long leaves
  • S. ‘Mojo’: A striking, large varietal with vibrant green leaves
  • S. ‘Golden Delicious’: A varietal that features new growth withstunning golden-green color
  • S. ‘Starlight’: A varietal withnarrow leaves that have wavy margins. It’s also known for having multiple blooms, with as many as 20 flowers on a single plant

Propagating Peace Lily

The peace lily is generally propagated by dividing clumps during repotting activities, which can be done during any season. Inspect the plant for small offshoot crowns located adjacent to the main parent plant; this is a sign the plant is ready to divide. Here’s how:

  1. Remove the entire plant from its container, and then tug apart or cut away the adjacent crowns. You can also simply cut away a section of the main root ball. Any piece that has two or more leaves and attached roots will likely grow successfully.
  2. Fill a 6-inch pot with fresh potting mix that is moist but not soggy.
  3. Immediately plant the clumps in the container, and water thoroughly.
  4. Keep the plant somewhere warm and well-lit. The roots should reestablish themselves in less than a month.

Common Pests

These plants are free of most diseases and pests that can plague houseplants. But they can be susceptible to scale and mealybugs. Spot treatment with horticultural oil is a good strategy for these pests.

How to Get Peace Lily to Bloom

Peace lilies are notoriously difficult when it comes to blooming. Sometimes even the happiest, healthiest plants don’t bloom outside of their natural rainforest environment. If you’re hoping to have your indoor peace lily bloom, your best bet is to provide it with very consistent ideal conditions, especially when it comes to humidity, diffused light, and consistent fertilizer.

The peace lily flower stages are budding, blooming, going to seed, and wilting. The buds are fairly small and unfurl like leaves. It can take some time for them to come into bloom, so be patient. When the bloom fades, deadhead the spend flower. In optimum conditions, the plant will flower twice a year in spring and fall.

Common Problems With Peace Lily

Under the right growing conditions, peace lilies typically thrive without issues. But some problems can arise if the environment isn’t quite right.

Curling Leaves

Curled, pale leaves generally indicate that the plant is receiving too much light overall. And scorched leaves indicate too much direct sun. In either case, the plant should be moved to a shadier location.

Browning Tips

You might notice browning on your peace lily’s leaf tips. This can be due to too much or too little water, as well as poor soil drainage. It also can arise due to insufficient humidity. Plus, the buildup of salts in the soil might be a culprit. Ensure that your plant is properly watered and that the soil is draining. If that doesn’t seem to be the issue, try flushing the soil by watering until you see water coming from the drainage holes to remove the salts.


  • Are peace lilies hard to care for? While not difficult to care for, peace lilies do require attention to get their growing conditions right. Between making sure they don’t get too much light (or too little), watering them just enough, and feedings, peace lilies appreciat

Published by Nelle

I am interested in writing short stories for my pleasure and my family's but although I have published four family books I will not go down that path again but still want what I write out there so I will see how this goes

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