Top 10 Tropical Plants

With a sunny window and a little patience, you can grow tropical plants for your home.

If you’re a gardener who enjoys a challenge, it’s time to go tropical! Laurelynn and Byron Martin, co-owners of Logee’s Plants for Home & Garden in Danielson, Connecticut, and authors of the book Growing Tasty Tropical Plants, have been helping people grow oranges, lemons, dragon fruit and more in their homes for years.

You might think these fruits thrive only in mild, sunny climates. But with the increasing number of ornamentals and dwarf varieties on the market, it’s easier than ever to grow your favorite exotic fruit.

We’re profiling some of our top choices from Laurelynn and Byron’s book here, but you can pick up a copy for yourself for more ideas. With sunlight and the right container, you’ll have a whole new take on what a houseplant can be.

Dragon Fruit

(Hylocereus undatus)

Not only does it have spectacular large fruits, it perfumes the air with fragrant nighttime blossoms. It grows 4 to 6 feet, with sprawling vines, so you’ll need a pot trellis to hold it up. If you grow it indoors, move it outside in spring so it can bloom in summer and then fruit in fall. The inside of the fruit is soft and sweet, like a cross between a pear and kiwi.

Why we love it: The scales on the fruit, which give this plant its name, are something to see. Keep in mind that when it flowers, you will need to hand-pollinate.

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  1. Sherry says

    You should probably mention that once a banana sets fruit, the stalk dies; regular bananas will send up another shoot, but I don’t know about a miniature.

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