According to the Garden Writers Association Foundation, 37% of households with a lawn or garden are growing houseplants. Some people grow tropical houseplants because of their ease. Other people grow houseplants because they are the only plants they can keep alive. And then there are those who grow tropical houseplants because they like tropical houseplants. If you are a plant lover and are looking not just to keep your indoor plants alive, but want to do everything that you can to make them thrive and become succulent tropical houseplants, there are plenty of tips to help you to do so.
Cutting back or pruning
Any tropical houseplants, and especially the vine like ones, benefit from being cut back every now and then. If you do not cut back and prune your vines every so often you will notice that the vines will grow with only a few leaves on them. For a more succulent and full-bodied plant, cutting back the vines will encourage the plant to produce more leaves on each vine. With continual pruning the plant will lose its bald look as the vines themselves will not be as noticeable as the leaves.
Adding fertilizers to plants encourages and enhances growth. Most fertilizers are composed of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Most fertilizers should come marked according to the percentages of each of these ingredients that the fertilizer is composed of. A mixture marked 20-20-20 is good for green foliating plants while a 10-20-10 mixture is ideal for blooming plants. Remember that when it comes to fertilizer you can have too much of a good thing. So stick to the instructions on the container.
Quality potting soil mixtures contain a combination of dirt, peat moss, and perlite or vermiculite. These ingredients provide the plant with nutrients and help to retain moisture in the soil. Many people pot their plants one time during the life of the plant. This will not necessarily kill the plant but it is not going to make it as succulent as it could otherwise be. Changing out the soil every 3-6 months (depending on the soil that you use) renews the amount of nutrients your plant is receiving and keeps it healthy and free from insects and root rot.
Nearly all plants do best when the air is at about 80% relative humidity. The average home is kept at 20%-60% relative humidity. In order to make up for the humidity difference you can do one of two things. The simplest option is to add a pebble tray to the bottom of your plants. Pebble trays are simply pebbles or rocks that are kept in a dish located under your pot. Keeping the pebble tray full of water will increase the humidity level felt by the plant roots as the water in the tray evaporates. Another way to increase relative humidity indoors is to place an indoor humidifier by your tropical houseplants.
Pots and containers
For a truly succulent plant, do not neglect the pot that you will be housing the plant in. Porous pots (i.e. clay) provide better aeration while non-porous pots (i.e. glazed or plastic) tend to hold moisture for a longer period of time. When moisture is not allowed a way to escape it can lead to root rot. All of your pots should have drainage holes of some kind. This way excess water can pool in the bottom of the pot or tray instead of in the soil. You should also keep in mind that a plant can only grow at optimal levels in the same pot for about 2 years. In order to get the best growth from your plant you will need to re-pot it about that often.