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Tropical Houseplants can transform any room. Their thick, glossy leaves and brightly colored flowers can brighten up a dull space, act as an accent piece, and sometimes even transport our imaginations. Many tropical plants are easy to care for and can even help purify the air in your home.

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Umbrella plant

The umbrella plant is a home horticultural mainstay for a reason — they are easy to care for and add a touch of whimsy to any space. Umbrella plants can grow to be ten feet tall and appreciate a large pot, moist soil, and indirect sunlight. They benefit from a regular strength fertilizer every few weeks during the growing season. Umbrella Plants are pest resistant, but if you encounter scale insects or spider mites, use a one-to-three ratio of rubbing alcohol and water.

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Orchids

Orchids can be demanding, but their unique beauty is worth the struggle. They should be planted lightly, and need fertilizing, and heavy watering once a week in the summer and once a month in the winter and prefer mild mid-morning light. Mealybugs and scale are common pests. Treat them by scrubbing lightly with a toothbrush dipped in 70% rubbing alcohol.

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Areca palm

This gorgeous palm is reminiscent of bamboo with tall stems and long, busy fronds that are great privacy. Plant areca palms using potting soil with a little sand. Set them in bright, indirect sunlight, and allow the palms to dry out before watering. Areca palms benefit from a weak liquid fertilizer a couple of times during the growing season. Pests of the areca palm include mealy bugs, aphids, mites, scale, and whitefly. Treat them with soapy water.

Areca Palm in a pot. serezniy / Getty Images
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Bird of paradise

The Bird of paradise is a stunning plant known for its flashy avian blooms. This dazzling plant prefers fertile, well-draining soil that should be kept moist, but avoid overwatering. It is less picky about light and will tolerate a wide spectrum. Use an all-purpose fertilizer once a month during the growing season. Aphids, scale, and mealybugs all prey on Bird of Paradise. Use a mild rubbing alcohol solution to knock them out.

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Ficus tree

Ficus Benjamina has a reputation for being fussy, but its glossy leaves and graceful growth are worth it. Use fertile well-draining soil and place it in bright indirect sunlight. Water when the soil feels dry using a half-strength general fertilizer every month during the growing season and water immediately after. Ficus trees are prey to spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. You can treat them with neem oil.

Ficuses are worth the effort. tania_wild / Getty Images
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Anthurium

Anthurium is a show-stopping tropical ornamental with brightly-colored, heart-shaped flowers. Plant your anthurium using a half and half mixture of potting soil and perlite and place it in bright indirect sunlight. Water it when the soil feels dry to the touch and fertilize every three to four months. Aphids, mealybugs, thrips, and spider mites all attack anthurium. You can control them with horticultural oil.

Flowering houseplant against bright yellow wall. Anthurium or flamingo flower in sunny interior.
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Kentia palm

The Kentia palm is an impressive plant with long, feathery fronds that can grow up to 10 feet tall. Kentia Palms prefer well-draining soil and indirect sunlight. Water them weekly in the summer and monthly in the winter. They benefit from monthly fertilizing with a half-strength formula. Kentia palms are susceptible to scale insects, spider mites, and mealybugs. They can be treated with neem oil.

Light modern living room with brown leather couch and numerous houseplants creating an urban jungle
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Rubber fig

Rubber Fig trees a loved for their large, glossy leaves. They make an attractive accent piece as they can grow impressively large. Rubber Figs prefer well-draining soil. They should be kept moist during the growing season, but only need water every couple weeks during the winter. These delightful plants prefer bright, indirect sunlight. Use a half-strength fertilizer once a month during the growing season and protect them from spider mites, aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects with neem oil.

Rubber plant in a trio. LightFieldStudios / Getty Images
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Monstera

Monstera's iconic hole-punched leaves have made them popular in fashion and design, but nothing beats the real thing. They are happiest in peaty, well-draining soil. Keep your plant moist, but don't overwater and position it in bright indirect sunlight. Fertilize monstera with a half-strength fertilizer every month during the growing season. Monstera is fairly pest-resistant but can attract spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. These pests can be treated with neem oil.

Monstera is trendy choice. FollowTheFlow / Getty Images
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Pilea

Pilea Peperomioides, or Chinese Money Plant, has an appealing otherworldly appearance that adds a playful ambiance to any space. Plant these good luck charms in well-draining potting soil and keep it lightly moist. Position your plant in medium, indirect light. Use a half-strength all-purpose fertilizer once a month during the growing season. Pilea is susceptible to fungus gnats. You can remove them with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.

Pilea is a conversation starter. Firn / Getty Images

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