Choosing Tropical Plants | At Home With P. Allen Smith

Uploaded by ehowhome on 15.06.2012

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Hey, why don't you give your house plants a summer vacation and introduce them to some
fun friends. Tropical plants are some of the most exciting plants you can use in the landscape.
But, you know, most tropical plants that we use are actually house plants. Take, for instance,
this plant, with all these gorgeous colors in the leaves. This is a type of Croton. And,
you can see, here's another one, right over here. Look at this one. This has a much broader
leaf. So with color like this, who needs bloom? Or just take a look at this Alocassia. It's
a type of Elephant Ear. Again, a tropical plant. Now, really, most of the plants that
we have as 'house plants' are Tropicals. That's why they became house plants. Because it's
too cold for them to be outside. But, you know, some tropical plants are actually very
good for growing outdoors. And it's a good idea to take your tropical plants, or your
house plants, outside for a little break during the summer. Consider it, maybe, summer vacation
or summer camp for your house plants. And some of these can be really spectacular around
a patio setting, or even worked in with other plants you might be using in some of your
outdoor living spaces. So just take a look at this: One of my favorite plants that can
be used as a house plant, or more commonly grown in the ground in gardens or in containers.
And that would be the Caladium. Look at the range of color that you see in these leaves.
Everything from pink, to red, all shades of chartreuse and certainly white. Look at those
white ones up there. And you can just imagine these growing in the shade, adding lots of
color. When you combine these with something like Impatiens–well, you've got a classic
combination. So, okay, maybe you're looking for something a little more dramatic? Something
that may grow up, make a vine. Come on over here, I wanna show you some other Tropicals
that you can't live without. Now, just take a look at this gorgeous thing. It just screams
the tropics, doesn't it? Just screams Hawaii. The beach. Imagine this, out by your patio,
or on your deck, or by your pool. Gorgeous flower. Now, I love these things. Hummingbirds
love these things. They're gorgeous to have around. But we've moved from shade-loving
Tropicals to sun-loving Tropicals. This Hibiscus, which, by they way, comes in lots of different
colors and forms, will bloom all summer long. But you have to keep to consistently moist.
It needs absolute full sun. You need to feed them regularly. And I think it helps to talk
to them. Now, this one's in a shrub form, meaning it's branched all the way to the bottom.
But just step over here. They got them in Lollipops. I'll show you what I mean by Lollipop.
So when they're grown on single trunk like this is and they come up it's called a standard,
or a Lollipop. But I wouldn't recommend licking this Lollipop. Now, Hibiscus, this is just
one idea. Let me show you a couple others. If you really wanna keep going up, up, up,
in a limited growing season, probably what you need to is think about some of these extraordinary
tropical vines. So just take a look at this. We'll call this Mandevilla land. They come
in all different colors. And just look at this one. What a gorgeous hot, hot pink. That's
what we call lipstick red. Now, this vine will grow, like, 7 or 8 feet over the course
of a growing season. And they're just loaded with all kinds of buds. This pale pink one
back here, by the way, is one of my favorites. It's a variety called Alice duPont. And, you
can see, they're already training them up on these trellises. And the vines are going
everywhere. And about every 6 inches they're putting out these buds. And I just love this
white one too. Just look how cool and fresh these flowers look. They're just really gorgeous.
And the foliage is so healthy. Clearly, there are a lot of tropical plants that you can
choose from. And, if you think about it, really, all the Annuals that we plant are Tropicals.
They came from faraway places where it's very warm. Like these Gerbera Daisies, which came
from South Africa. And these Calibrachoa, which are actuall from South America. And
these Hibiscus, which clearly come from the tropics. And you can see here with the colors
I've chosen, I've turned this into sort of a fruit punch approach, if you will. Starting
out with this apricot. And if you look at the center of this Hibiscus bloom, you'll
see that there's pale pink. There's also some real deep, sassy pinks in there. And you can
see the color echo going in through all of these plants. So what I'm gonna get is not
only these exotic big blooms, but there's gonna be a sense of harmony because all these
colors sing together. Hey, if you've never taken your house plants outside and integrated
them in with some of these fun-loving tropical plants with lots of color, give it a try.
And if you're enjoying these pieces on style, check-in with us regularly. And subscribe
to eHow Home. Now, I gotta get these home and get them planted.