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Resorting to Tropicals for Houseplants

Create your own tropical paradise with these exotic houseplants. However, in their native lands these tropical plants have jobs to do.

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Photo 6 of 9The colorfully variegated foliage of the ti plant is used in making leis and floral arrangements. The leaves have also been used extensively throughout tropical regions for food preparations.

Ti Plant (6 of 9)

(Cordyline fruticosa)
Planted by Hawaiians for good luck, the colorfully variegated foliage of the ti plant is also used in making leis and floral arranging. The leaves have also been used extensively throughout tropical regions -- including Hawaii, Central America, South America and Asia -- in food preservation, roof thatching and clothing. Leaf colors offer hot pink, dark purple and green all on a single plant. Although they don't often flower or fruit when grown indoors, hanging clusters of lavender-purple flowers resemble corn tassels and ultimately fade into white, green or red berries. Place near a window where it will get bright indirect light and provide with adequate moisture. It doesn't like cold drafts. USDA Zones 10 to 12.

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