What Are Exotic Angel Plants?

The Exotic Angel Brand Includes About 400 Houseplant Species

House Plants
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Exotic Angel plants are houseplants with a pedigree. Exotic Angel is not a variety of plant; it is the brand name of the more than 400 varieties of houseplants produced by Hermann Engelmann Greenhouses, Inc. during its 43-year history. In 2014, following the death of its founder Hermann Engelmann, Hermann Engelmann Greenhouses was acquired by Costa Farms, which pledged to continue support for the Exotic Angel brand and to build on its heritage.

Hermann Engelmann Greenhouses and Costa Farms

For plant history buffs, Hermann Engelmann is an old and respected name in the foliage plant business. Engelmann relocated his facilities from northern climes to sunny Florida during the houseplant boom of the 1970s and set up extensive facilities. It wasn't long before Engelmann operated almost 3 million square feet of greenhouses in Apopka, Florida, the "foliage plant capital of the world." As the "engel" in his name is German for "angel," you can see the origin of the Exotic Angel name.

Costa Farms is a third-generation family-owned group of companies with headquarters in Miami, Florida. Costa Farms has continued to support the Exotic Angel brand and sells the plants through retailers, not directly to individuals. An extensive list of retailers is available on the company website. You won't have any trouble finding a retailer near you. In 2017, Costa Farms entered into a partnership agreement with the Markel Ventures that allows them autonomy in running their business their way while having access to capital to expand and maintain their operations.

Establishing a Brand Name

In a business dominated by mostly anonymous growers, Engelmann did something many other growers tried and failed to do. He established a successful private label for his company's houseplants—the Exotic Angel brand. All Exotic Angel plants are grown in Engelmann's greenhouses (now Costa Farms' greenhouses) and each bears the distinctive angel logo and care instructions, including color coding for light requirements. The plants are available in pot sizes up to 8 inches, which is large for indoor plants.

The Exotic Angel line of houseplants includes about 400 different varieties, mostly of tried-and-true species. Costa Farms is a large business—it doesn't cater to the serious collector but to the mass market. That said, the company's extensive website includes lots of plants you don't see every day. The Exotic Angel brand includes recognizable stalwarts such as aglaonema, anthurium, dieffenbachia, dracaena, and ficus.

Advantages of Buying Exotic Angel Houseplants

While Exotic Angel brand houseplants are essentially the same plants as the ones produced by any grower, there are advantages to buying Exotic Angel plants. Because they are branded, the company goes to great lengths to control every step of the production process and ship only healthy plants. Costa Farms conducts extensive market research to make sure its plant selections, packaging, and pots are current. In other words, the company does everything in its power to make sure you get off on the right foot with your new houseplant.

Care of Exotic Angel Houseplants

As far as long-term care goes, Exotic Angel plants require the same care as any plant of the same variety. Pothos are pothos, so no matter what brand (or even if there's no brand). The plant's requirements and care instructions are the same from one grower to the next.