Sunday, September 28, 2008

Paradise in Illinois

This summer, my cousin, who has a strange obsession with tropical plants, decided to go out and buy a banana tree, a pineapple plant, and a palm tree. I thought he was crazy. If we lived in Hawaii or California, I would totally be fine with it, because those plants are all over the place there. But when it snows for half the year where you live, tropical plants aren't exactly the most common garden plant. We live in the temperate deciduous forest biome, where when it gets colder, leaves start to lose their color and fall off. So how would a plant that generally lives in warm weather be able to survive these harsh winters? 

They need to have the right amount of light intensity, duration and quality. You can control this by a mixture of an artificial UV light and natural light. Tropical plants still need the same amount of sunlight to photosynthesize inside in the winter, as they do outside during the summer to survive. So light is a very important factor. Temperature is also an important factor. The plants will grow best between 70 and 80 degrees. And it is better if the the temperature is lowered at night, a lower temperature lets the flower recover from too much water lose, intensifies flower color, and makes the flower's life longer The plant also needs to be in a humidified area. Ways to achieve this are having humidifiers near by the plant. You can also put various plants near each other to boost humidity.
Caring for a tropical plant takes a lot of TLC. The perfect balance of nature must be simulated in your own home. But in the end, I guess it is worth it in the end. You can make an escape to a tropical paradise when everyone else is stuck out in the cold.

1 comment:

cuban_pterodactyl said...

That's an...interesting obsession...hahaha

but thats like a really cool way to take care of tropical plants in a place thats...not tropical

~Sophia