Tropical plants speak to us of the wild, untamed jungle. This explains why those of us who don’t live in warm climates (or in rain forests) put tropicals in pots and keep them indoors.
With their exaggerated physical appearance—large-scale, glossy leaves or feathery fronds, or otherworldly orchid flowers that emerge mysteriously—many tropicals will naturally become statement houseplants. A mature fiddle-leaf fig tree, for example, will be the visual focus in any room. Other, smaller potted tropical plants such as mother-in-law’s tongue, ferns, aralias, and philodendrons make good companions and evoke the spirit of the tropics with their contrasting textures and colors.