Emily Henderson

The Tropics Inc. and Guide to The Easiest Indoor Plants

It’s no secret that I can’t keep a plant alive. It’s not a priority in my life and because of that I just don’t seem to care to remember. But the whole mentality changed when I decided to invest in a tree …

The Tropics My visit to

Thats right, I bought a tree. Not a plant, not a house tree. Like a proper tree that now lives in my living room. No, I can’t show you a picture of it yet because we have to wait til the spread in Domino comes out (september 3rd), but trust me that it is BIG (14′) and beautiful. There was a this big vertical space that I wanted to fill, and I wanted something sculptural. It took me a while to find the perfect tree. I went out to the valley and found some, but none that seemed worth the money. Then a friend told me about The Tropics in Hollywood and I dropped by and got just so excited about the possibilities – so many huge, old, exotic indoor plants ….

The Tropics Business card

They specialize in large, more exotic indoor plants. Not just fiddle leaf figs or money trees, but so many weird indoor plants that I had never seen before and that I didn’t know really existed. I will warn you, these larger trees are not cheap – most of these plants have been growing for a very long time (my tree is 30 years old) so they have to account for the care and maintenance of the plant. They range from $100 – well – $10K. Not for everyone, I know, but if you want to invest in a living sculpture in your house, this is the place to go in LA.

The Tropics Entry Area
The Tropics Inside 1

It’s a pretty inspiring space and they have lots of smaller plants that are more affordable. It’s this jungle of indoor plants that is so inspiring.

The Tropics inside

It’s a family owned/operated business on its second generation. Ryan, the son, was incredibly helpful and even texts me now and again to make sure my tree is doing ok. I wake up in the middle of the night terrified that my tree is going to die and I jump up to water it. The other day I realized that I hadn’t watered it in 3 days (it’s really hot right now, so that’s a lot of days) and I saw 1 leaf kinda shriveled and I freaked out. It’s worth it, though – that tree makes me VERY happy.

The Tropics Outdoor Area The Tropics Desk The Tropics Pots Collage The Tropics with Ryan Flowers Collage

So with the help/expertise of The Tropics team (thanks, Ryan!) we wrote up a little guide to the easiest to care for indoor plants/trees. You know I love a maiden hair fern but those things die within a week (although they are inexpensive). So we thought it would be a fresh exercise to talk about what plants we could actually keep alive and how to care for them. Here goes:

Flowers Collage Long Care Instructions:

Where to place: These will all thrive in good, bright, filtered light.

How often to water: Water about once every 4-5 days, to once a week, depending on the light. The rule is the more light the plant receives the more evaporation will occur. Also it is very important to water  slightly more frequently during the initial few weeks as it acclimated to its new environment. 

How to water: Water evenly around the topsoil until the water just begins to filter out through the bottom drainage holes. That way the plant thoroughly gets watered through the entire root system.

How much water to use: Use about a half to an entire gallon of water per watering period. It is very important to not let the plant ever dry out – so this might be every 2 days or every 4 days depending on 

Cleaning: The plant should be feather dusted every week or two to keep it clean and free from dust or other bacteria. 

Special extra thanks to Ryan from The Tropics Inc  for helping us with all the information and being so helpful. If any of you have any other tree suggestions leave in the comments. Now I must go and water my tree …

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  1. How perfect! I’ve noticed how you use plants in your design and especially that the plants you use don’t look like the ones that seem to be available at all the big box stores – so this is such a perfect post! Do your friends at The Tropics also have recommendations for smaller plants? Of course succulents are my current go-to option :)