Croton, Codiaeum variegatum

One of the boldest houseplants around, croton offers fabulous foliage marked with bright yellow, orange, red, and even near black. These eye-catching plants add a tropical touch to indoor décor or make a dramatic focal point as a seasonal plant outdoors during the growing season. Learn more about this Asian plant distantly related to poinsettia in this article…

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Staghorn Fern, Platycerium bifurcatum

With “leaves” shaped like deer antlers arching out from a brown and green shield-shaped base, staghorn fern can be a dramatic decorative accent and conversation starter.  Naturally growing on trees for support and protection, these plants can be a bit challenging to grow indoors, but make fine houseplants with a little effort. Learn about these unique tropical ferns and how to grow them in this article…

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Houseplants

Houseplants

One in the Plants Plus Series – a remix of past training presentations, printed materials and other references focused on specific plants or topics to help you increase your knowledge so you can better answer homeowner questions. To get 2.5 hours of continuing education credit for watching the video presentation, just complete the short quiz! This Plants Plus package focuses on the benefits, care and selection of houseplants.

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Annatto or Achiote, Bixa orellana

If you’ve ever eaten American cheese, it’s likely you’ve had annato, a natural orange-red colorant that comes from the waxy covering of the seeds of Bixa orellana.  This small tree or shrub native to tropical America has beautiful pink flowers and interesting spiny fruits. Learn more about the plant and its uses in this article…

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Ginger, Zingiber officinale

Many species of tropical gingers are grown for their flashy blooms, but the plants of culinary ginger aren’t particularly ornamental. Instead, culinary ginger is grown for the aromatic rhizomes which are the source of the hot, pungent flavor enjoyed in ginger ale, gingerbread and many Asian foods. Learn more about this tropical plant which is surprisingly easy to grow in containers…

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Plumeria

Plumeria are small tropical trees with fragrant flowers, commonly used to make wonderfully scented leis in Hawaii. Several types are easily grown in containers in colder climates to enjoy a touch of the tropics in summer. Learn more about this group of plants native to tropical America in this article…

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String of Pearls, Senecio rowleyanus

String of pearls is an interesting succulent grown for its unusual, bead-like leaves. Small, fragrant brush-like white flowers are produced in summer. Learn more about this vigorous growing, low maintenance, tender evergreen perennial grown as a novelty houseplant …

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Gloriosa lily, Gloriosa superba

The exotic flowers of gloriosa lily, with their amazing color and an unusual shape, make a flamboyant statement in the garden or in a container on a patio.  This twining perennial vine with tendrils coming from the tips of the leaves grows from a tuberous rhizome to produce the striking flowers in summer and fall. Learn more about this climber native to Africa and Asia in this article…

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Heliconias

For most Midwesterners, if they recognize a heliconia at all, it’s as a brightly colored, long-lasting component of a bouquet of tropical flowers. The genus Heliconia is a large group of plants native to tropical areas of the Americas with banana-like leaves and conspicuous inflorescences. Learn more about these showy, interesting plants in this article…

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Amazing Flowers

Everyone has a vision of what a “flower” looks like, but plant flowers are extremely variable and come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and configurations. Take a virtual tour of a dozen weird and wonderful flowers, each from a different plant family, and learn about some of their interesting characteristics, pollinators, or uses. No daisies here…

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