We report strongly modified optical emission of InAs/InP quantum dots (QDs) coupled to the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) of In nanoparticles grown by metal-organic vapor phase epitaxy. With increasing In deposition time, the In nanoparticle size increases and the SPR redshifts significantly. When overlapping with the SPR, the excited state photoluminescence of the QDs is strongly enhanced due to QD-SPR coupling while the ground state photoluminescence is quenched due to non-radiative energy transfer. This is underpinned by the wavelength dependence of the spontaneous emission decay time which shows an opposite trend compared to that of bare QDs. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.