Visiting A House Surrounded by Tropical Plants

We spent the last three days of 2016 at a family friend’s home in Masinloc, Zambales. I regret not taking my phone with me at the public market that Saturday morning. The layers of colours of the Zambales Mountains (which makes up 60% of the province’s total land area) under the golden sun was just breathtaking. Zambales is known to produce the sweetest mangoes but mango-season is from January to April so we didn’t get the chance to see all the trees in the neighborhood and the orchards along way laden with fruits. We have yet to explore the beaches and the islands, too! Surely, we have many reasons to go back there, if not only to visit friends.

As for a crazyplantlady like me, just seeing all the different plants is happiness! The house is literally surrounded with trees – bamboo, papaya, mango, coconut and a wide range of tropical plants in all colours, shapes, and patterns. Many look familiar to me as I remember we used to have them in our old house when I was growing up but I don’t really know their names.  I have already posted some of the photos I took on IG and plantlovers who knew these plants were very kind to take the time and comment. That’s how I was able to Google and search for more info on each plant. So I’d like to share with you these photos along with a few details I learned about each one.

Oxalis triangularis

Oxalis triangularis, also called false shamrock, purple shamrock or love plant is a popular houseplant from the family Oxalidaceae. Would love to have one too ever since I saw it in the homes of many plantlovers on Instagram. They love to be in bright spots or under direct sunlight, and the leaves actually move in response to the level of light – closing at night and opening come daylight! The term is photonastic response.

Red Aglaonema

Red Aglaonema

Red Aglaonema is one of the many varieties of the Aglaonema or Chinese evergreen of the Araceae or arum plant family. As the name suggests, the Red Aglaonema’s verdant green leaves are bordered in red and sometimes splattered in reddish or pinkish tinge. The central leaf vein is also remarkably red. This houseplant can grow under low, medium, or bright light conditions but if those red streaks are what you’re after, put them in a spot where there’s plenty of bright, indirect light.

Peace Lily

Large Leaf Peace Lily

I have a crush on these Large Leaf Peace Lilies! Another one from the Arum or Aroid family, the Peace Lily or Spathiphyllum is a very popular houseplant, not only because it’s really thrives indoors and is easy-to-care for, but also for the fact that it makes a wonderful air purifier in the home. Included in the NASA Clean Air Study, the research shows that the Peace Lily can remove all 5 types of main contaminants (benzene, formaldehyde, acetone, amonia and trichloroethylene).

Aglaonema Snow White

Here’s a variety of the Chinese Evergreen plant – the Aglaonema Snow White with striking green leaves splattered with white, as if it was the first day of snow. I have this type of plant at home and absolutely love the variegation.  I find that it likes a partially shaded spot or bright, indirect light.

Calathea rufibarba

Calathea rufibarba is commonly known as Furry Feather Calathea because of its velvety, wavy leaves and hairy stem. The Calathea is of Marantaceae family, and like all Calatheas, the rufibarba prefers low light conditions and do well in partial or full shade which makes it an excellent indoor plant.

Tradescantia Spathacea

Tradescantia Spathacea

Tradescantia Spathacea, also called oyster plant, Moses-in-the-Cradle or Moses-in-a-basket is of the Commelinaceae family. It is a  shrub that grow from rhizomes. The lance-shaped leaves form a rosette with gorgeous streaks of green, purple, and white. It is a fast grower that thrives either in full sun or partly shaded areas.

Bird’s Nest Fern

Bird's Nest Fern

How awesome is this giant Bird’s Nest Fern growing wild in this corner of their garden! I have one like this at home, but it’s so tiny compared to this huge one. This particular type of fern is Asplenium nidus, an epiphytic fern from family Aspleniaceae. These tropical fronds thrive in partial or full shade especially where there’s high humidity.

Persian Shield

Strobilanthes dyeriana

Persian shield leaves

Persian shield

leaves of Persian shield
I fell in love with this plant, with its stunning metallic silver, dark green and purple leaves gleaming in the sunlight. Found out that this beautiful plant is the Persian Shield (Strobilanthes dyeriana) from the Acanthaceae or acanthus family of plants with decussated leaves. A native plant of Myanmar, Persian Shield thrives best outdoors in bright, partly shaded spots to bring out its best colors.

Cordyline terminalis ‘Chocolate Queen’

Cordyline terminalis 'Chocolate Queen'

Cordyline Chocolate Queen

Cordyline terminalis or Cordyline fruticosa, also called Ti Plant or ‘Chocolate Queen’ is a tropical plant from family Asparagaceae. The leaves are broad and can be green or chocolate-coloured with tinges of yellow, cream, red and green in varying shades, depending on the plant’s exposure to light. Cordyline Chocolate Queen thrives in partly shaded areas or in full sun.

Cordyline fruticosa Rubra

Cordyline fruticosa Rubra

Another type of Cordyline – Cordyline fruticosa Rubra has vibrant reddish-purple foliage accented with streaks of pink. This ornamental shrub can grow from 6 to 10 feet tall and prefers full sun or partial shade.

Sansevieria Trifasciata

sansevieria trifasciata

variegated sansevieria trifasciata

variegated mother-in-law's tongue

variegated snakeplant

These are variegated Sansevieria trifasciata, also called snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue which belong to plant family Asparagaceae. It is one of the houseplants in the NASA Clean Air Study found to be effective in filtering air, removing 4 out of 5 main toxins. The Sansevieria is also one of the few plants capable of both removing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen at night. And if all these are not enough, Sansevierias make wonderful indoor plants because they do well even in low light conditions, and can tolerate occasional watering.

Dracaena fragrans ‘Massangeana’

Dracaena fragrans ‘Massangeana’, commonly called cornstalk plant or corn plant grows a crown of leaves near the top of its cane or stem. It can reach anywhere from 4 to 5 feet high which makes it a wonderful statement plant indoors. The glossy leaves of the Dracaena Massangeana are bright green with green/yellow stripes in the center. An easy plant to grow, the corn plant can tolerate low light levels and occasional watering.

More Plants

The photos below are plants that I have yet to find out more about. These first one looks like a type of Croton (Codiaeum variegatum)? If you happen to know the name of a plant, please feel free to share. Or do you have tips on how to care for any of the plants featured on this post? Then, you’re definitely most welcome to share your plant care experience and knowledge. I would love to read your comments.


Do you know any of these tropical plants? Which of these do you already care for at home? And which ones are still in your plant wishlist?



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