free statistics

Collection      Take the Tour Now?     Orchids

The Exotic Rainforest

Need help with a plant?
Maybe we can help!


If you're having trouble finding an identification for a favorite tropical plant, difficulty making it flourish, don't know how often to water or how much light it needs to flourish, or wonder what type of soil mix to use or can't make it flower....we may be able to offer some assistance!  Send us a note and explain your problem. Please include the following:

1)  The scientific name of the species if known.

2)  A common name may help, but please remember some plants have more than a dozen common names!   And often the same common name is used to describe totally different species from a separate genus!

3)  Send the best photo you can provide.  A close-up photo of both sides of a leaf, a flower or inflorescence, and a close-up photo of the base of the plant may be useful.  If there is anything unusual about the plant please include a photo of that feature.

4)  Include measurements!  Measure the leaf.  Measure the height of the plant.  Measure the petiole (the petiole is often called the "stem" that supports the leaf by non-botanists.  In science, the stem is the base of the plant sometimes known as the "cane".   If the plant has an inflorescence or flower measure that as well.

5)  Give us the best description possible.  Please don't be generic!  If the leaf veins extend upwards, or below the leaf, tell us!  Tell us the shape of the petiole and if it has any flat sides.  If it produces "air roots", make sure we know!  If it appears to want to climb, that can be important.  Details can make a big difference in isolating information that can be important in finding a correct name.

Remember!  There are hundreds of thousands of tropical plants in the rain forests of the world.  Many have never been described and have no scientific name!

We are not botanists, but we have developed a network of qualified tropical botanists and other expert growers who are often willing to give you assistance.  Give us all the details you can.  Tell us where you acquired the plant.  Describe the problem or information you are seeking in as much detail as possible.  But please remember, just saying you have a plant with leaves won't help!  We need details!  Describe the color of the leaves including the underside.  Tell us if the leaves are glossy or matt.  Be descriptive!  Is it shaped like a heart?  An arrow?  A spear?  Does it feel like leather?  Does the leaf blade resemble a strap?  If it has an unusual shape photograph and describe it!  I've had nice people tell me they "have a plant with 4 leaves" and ask what it is!  Sorry, without details we likely won't be able to help!

Sorry, we can't help you with plants that are not tropical.

Email your photo to

Please be sure and type "Tropical Plant Help Please" in the subject line.  Otherwise our SPAM filter may send your mail to the trash automatically!  We'll do everything we can to give you the help you need and post your photo with the answer on this page.