The Big One: An indoor paradise

December 23, 2019 -  By
Tropical plants line the park's lazy river and show the plants' proximity to the chlorine-filled water. (Photo: Steven Wagner)

Location Monticello, N.Y.
Company Wagner Landscaping

New York’s Catskill Mountains are home to a tropical paradise. Even during the winter, guests at the Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark enjoy a warm climate with lush landscaping.

Since opening in March 2019, Wagner Landscaping has maintained the property’s indoor and outdoor landscape.

Owner Steven Wagner says the indoor water park is serviced during off-hours by five crew members two or three times per week. While there, crews are constantly maintaining, pruning and growing new plants from cuttings.

The water park’s landscape includes philodendrons, palm trees, lady palms, bird’s nest ferns and more.

Because of changes in lighting and humidity levels throughout each season, Wagner says this first year has been a learning experience and there’s research involved on a daily basis.

“For example, during the summer, we didn’t have any powdery mildew, but the ventilation was open so the humidity level was low,” he says. “Now that they’ve closed things up for the winter, we’re seeing it get overly humid.”

Along with powdery mildew, the plants in the water park struggle with scale and Hemlock woolly adelgid. To combat any type of infestation, Wagner says nonchemical remedies must be used. Dish detergent and baking soda are two strategies the firm incorporates to remain environmentally sound.

Select each image below to enlarge.

Danielle Pesta

About the Author:

Danielle Pesta is the associate editor of Landscape Management. She started writing for the green industry in 2014 and has won multiple awards from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA). She can be reached at

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