Tropical Plants

I’ve shared a lot recently about my gardening and edible plants, so I figured that I would talk about ornamental plants today. I have quite a collection of tropical plants that I keep indoors during the winter, and it was time to give them a springtime pruning!


This is my grow box before I worked on the plants. I’ve got four fluorescent tubes over them, which seems to be more than enough light for the plants I’ve got (several of them bloom well for me indoors). Today’s project was to take them all out, prune them, and put them back in so they would have more space.


This is my citronella grass. It’s a close relative of lemongrass, but is not as useful for cooking. It does, however, smell wonderful if you cut it, and I’ve heard that putting it on your porch keeps insects away. This grass can grow enormous, but for my grow box I’ve kept it in a tiny pot, so it stays smaller.


I’ve got a Bougainvillea that I started last year from a cutting. It has grown well, and is now a foot and a half tall.


This is Ace’s small orchid. It lingered for a while, but is growing actively again. This summer we hope to get it to bloom for us.


With all of these pots of soil, fungus gnats are a constant plague. The solution for me is to grow one of my favorite plants: Drosera capensis, or the Cape Sundew. This carnivorous plant traps small insects in its sticky leaves, and digests them for fertilizer. It is a tricky plant to keep, since it is absolutely intolerant of minerals and nutrients. I use distilled water for mine, and grow it in inert sand and peat.


I also have a related species, Drosera nidiformis, which stays a little shorter. Between the two of them, the fungus gnat situation stays well under control.

6-Peperomia Before

This is my peperomia, a relative of the spice black pepper. The white stalks are flower spikes. It’s grown a bit dense, and some of the leaves are yellowing, so it’s time for a fairly major pruning. I removed all of the old leaves and flower stalks (blooming puts stress on any plant), and this is what I got!

7-Peperomia After

Now it has room to grow again!

10-Pothos Before

I have four different varieties of pothos in one pot, and it was looking a bit dense as well. My idea was to create some large stakes to spread the vines out more.

11-Pothos During

I unwound all of the vines, and inserted two branches to act as stakes.

12-Pothos After

Then, I used zip ties to loosely attach the vines to the new trellis. As they intertwine, I’ll remove the ties and the plants will hold themselves up.


Once I got everyone put back, this is what it looked like. Still a bit crowded, but that’s fine since many of these plants are going out to my porch soon, now that it’s warmer.

I also wanted ton give you an update on my project of re-using celery. As you may remember, I put a celery base in water in the hopes of regrowing it.


Now, it is showing clear signs of growth! Once I see roots, I’ll plant it in soil, so I can harvest a bit of celery on the rare occasions that I use it.

~The Homesteading Hippy


6 thoughts on “Tropical Plants

    1. The Homesteading Hippy Post author

      Hi Becca,
      Unfortunately, the celery did not survive the two weeks I was gone. I’m guessing I should have repotted it before I left, but it was rotted beyond saving by the time I got home.
      ~The Homesteading Hippy

  1. meganfreda

    Hi David,

    There seems to be a lot of nominating going around, because I’ve just nominated you for the
    Versatile Blogger Award! There are quite a few steps to do to accept the award and they can be found on my blog post here:

    It is ok if you don’t have time to go through that process (it is quite the process!!!). I am just excited to share your blog with my readers because it is one of my most favorite.


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