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Week 22 – May 30, 2024
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Feb 19, 2024
What to Know About Ferns and Tropicals

Are you new to producing Ferns and Tropicals? Have you thought about getting into this market?

Collage of tropical plants with some variegated leaves

Although it is very different from Spring annuals, perennials and potted plants, here’s some information to get you started. We talked to Andrew Britten, Technical Sales Manager and foliage expert, to offer growers some tips and tricks on Tropicals.

What plants are considered Tropicals, or in the Tropical family?

Tropicals are generally considered Tropical Flowering Plants. Houseplants are generally classified as Foliage.

What advice do you have for customers about Ferns and Tropicals when ordering?

It really depends on where they’re ordering from. Items coming from tissue culture need a fairly long lead time to produce, around six months and which usually come out of Asia from Thailand and Vietnam. Cuttings of Foliage and Tropicals generally have stock being grown, so availability can be sooner. These cuttings are mainly coming from Central America, such as Guatemala and Costa Rica. However, it’s recommended to order now for next year’s crop.

Any tips and tricks for the greenhouse grower?

Foliage and Tropicals like it warm and humid. Cold temps can easily slow these plants down or even damage them. Night temperatures above 70 degrees F will make your plants much happier.

What are your favorites, and why?

I am quite fond of the Monstera ‘Thai Constellation.’ There are now a lot of options on where to purchase these at a reasonable price. They make a stunning show with their large, variegated leaves. I live in South Florida, so these are a great landscape item in this area.

Any trends you’re seeing in this category?

Philodendrons have a lot of popularity right now, particularly the variegated ones. Speaking of variegated, anything with mixed colors, such as yellow and white, green and pink, as well as green and white are in trend. Watch for Foliage as bedding plants being used for color. Also, houseplants continue to be popular, especially with Millennials.

Starter Material for Tropical and Foliage Plants

See below for a video with Andrew Britten. Check out other helpful videos for greenhouse growers from Tech On Demand. Here, Andrew walks through different types of starter material for which you’ll begin your Tropical crops.


For more information, contact your Ball Seed sales rep or Ball ColorLink associate for availability. To order now, log into WebTrack or call 800 879-BALL for immediate assistance.

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