Are you searching for the best large indoor plants to decorate your home or your office with? These 23 plants are excellent choices to make your surroundings more beautiful.
1: NORFOLK ISLAND PINE
Native to Norfolk Island, located between New Caledonia and New Zealand, it is not a true pine despite its appearance.
In its natural environment it can grow up to 65 meters (100 feet) tall, however, when grown as a houseplant it reaches 2-3 meters.
The Norfolk Island Pine likes to be kept away from drafts and direct sunlight.
Give it a mist with room temperature water in summer to keep the humidity up.
The ideal temperature range is above 2 C (35 F) and below 24 C (85 F)
Do not over water, the best way is to water until it drains onto saucer under the pot. Empty the saucer when it is finished draining.
This plant likes to be left in one place as it has a delicate root system. Its preferred soil is Sandy and slightly acidic. This can be made by mixing equal parts potting mix and peat moss.
A tough plant originating from South America. It is incredibly hardy.
Yuccas prefer dry environments and can survive several weeks without any water.
Well-drained soil is required as Yuccas can develop root rot if kept wet. The best mix is equal parts potting mix, Coarse sand and Pearlite.
These tough plants also like plenty of sunlight and cope well with full sun.
Avoid placing near walkways as the tips are quite thorny and my need to be trimmed off if children are nearby regularly.
Yuccas come in a variety of colors and often have more than one color on a leaf.
Yuccas grow between 92 CM (36’) and 2.5 M (8”) and grow best in a 40CM (16’) pot.
Yuccas are toxic to animals.
3: KENTIA PALM
Found commonly in offices and shopping centers, the Kentia is a common and sturdy houseplant.
Native to Lord Howe Island, the Kentia does not cope well with dry conditions and as such prefers the soil to be kept slightly damp, with well-drained soil rich with organic matter.
The Kentia will need repotting into a bigger pot every year until it is mature.
The soil should be kept slightly moist, only watering again when the top 2.5CM (1’) of soil is dry during summer and reducing watering in winter.
The Kentia’s ideal temperature range is between -4C (25F) and 38C (100F) and thrives in approximately 50% humidity. A regular misting with room temperature water can help keep the plant healthy and dust-free.
Philodendrons come in a wide variety of colors and leaf types.
The Philodendron prefers indirect sunlight and regular watering.
The best soil for a Philodendron is loose, well-drained soil. 100% Sphagnum peat is good or alternatively you could use a soilless mix, for example, Peat-Vermiculite or Peat-Pearlite.
The best pot size for a Philodendron is 2.5-5 CM (1-2’) larger than the root ball.
The leaves of the Philodendron can often tell you what is happening with the plant, for example, older leaves yellow on their own, but if many leaves turn yellow at once it could be an indication that the plant is getting too much sun. However, if there are large areas of stem between the leaves it could be an indication that more sunlight is needed.
If the leaves droop some experimentation will be needed to establish if the plant needs more or less water.
Philodendrons prefer higher humidity and will help purify the air; however, it is important to keep them dust-free with a damp cloth or the pores in the leaves will become clogged.
Brown edges on leaves can indicate a lack of humidity.
Philodendrons will grow up to 1 meter (3”) and can reach twice that in width.
Philodendrons are toxic to both people and pets when ingested.
5: POLYSCIAS (MING ARALIA)
Polyscias is very sensitive to cold and cannot survive temperatures below 10C (50F). It needs to be kept damp even in winter.
It is best to get a heavy pot with good quality, moisture-retaining soil
It responds best to medium, indirect sunlight.
It will grow up to 2 meters (7’) tall and has a tendency to grow taller rather than wider, which makes the Polyscias great for Bonsai.
The Polyscias is toxic to cats.
6: CROTON (CODIAEUM)
Crotons often lose some or all of their foliage when they are moved to their new home, this is due to the dislike of being moved and quickly get stressed. If this happens don’t panic, maintain proper care and it will quickly recover.
Being a tropical plant, the Croton likes higher humidity, this can be accomplished by using a pebble tray or giving it a misting, this will help keep the plant healthy and looking its best.
Only water when the top of the soil is dry to the touch, and until the water flows out of the bottom of the container.
The Croton is sensitive to cold and draughts and cannot tolerate temperatures below 15C (60F).
If the plant loses color it could mean that it needs more light.
The Croton grows to approximately 1-1.5 Meters (3-5”)
Pruning can produce a thicker bushier appearance.
Ficus come in a large variety of species.
They need a well-drained potting mix in a deep pot with drainage holes so excess water can run out. The pot should be a minimum of 30 CM (12’) wide and a little deeper than its width.
The ficus will not need to be re-potted, simply remove the top layer of soil and replace it with fresh potting mix each spring.
Place near a window in a bright room.
Ficus need weekly watering during summer with room temperature water. Discard excess water from the saucer after watering. Allow the soil to dry slightly between watering.
If leaves yellow or droop the watering schedule will need to be changed.
The Ficus is sensitive to changes in its environment and reacts by dropping leaves. This is not a great concern and the plant will recover once it adjusts to the new environment.
8: UMBRELLA TREE (SCHEFFLERA)
The Umbrella Tree can be quite tall, up to 1.8 M (6”) tall, however, should you wish to keep it short you can simply pinch off the growing shoots at the height you wish to keep the plant. They tend to stay quite slim at around 75 CM (18’) wide.
It comes with plain green or variegated leaves.
The Umbrella Tree prefers bright but indirect sunlight and can grow slower and become ‘leggy’ meaning there is more space between leaves if there isn’t enough sunlight.
It is also important to rotate the pot in order to prevent it from leaning towards the sun.
The Umbrella Tree can accept some underwatering but not overwatering. Overwatering can cause root and stem rot.
It only needs minimal watering over winter while it is inactive.
Regular potting soil is fine for the Umbrella Tree.
Umbrella Trees are popular with bugs, especially Red Spider Bugs and Scale, however, these can be deterred with some extra humidity.
The ideal temperature for an Umbrella Tree is 15C (59F) – 21C (70F). If kept too cold the leaves will fall off.
Repotting into a larger pot will be required every 2 – 3 years until it reaches maturity. After maturity you can still report it or, alternatively, you can simply remove approximately 2.5 CM (1’) of soil from the top of the pot and replace that with compost.
The Umbrella Tree can flower when grown indoors, however, this usually occurs after the tree had reached maturity (30 years or more) and it extremely well cared for.
This Plant can cause irritation to the lips and mouth if ingested.
9: FATSIA JAPONICA (FALSE CASTOR OIL PLANT OR FINGER PLANT)
This plant prefers well-drained, slightly acidic soil.
It will need a trim at the beginning of each growing season (spring and summer) to encourage bushiness.
The Fatsia Japonica likes partial or full shade and will bleach if too much sun is given.
It can handle a slight freeze however a hard freeze will surely kill the plant.
During the growing season, the Japonica needs watering regularly, retaining some moisture is essential. During winter however watering can be cut back.
These plants can grow to 3.5M (10”) and needs to be re-potted into a larger pot each year until maturity.
10: ADENIUM (DESERT ROSE)
The Adenium is a variety of plants and therefore comes in a wide variety of colors.
The Adenium needs indirect sunlight for around 6 hours a day in the growing season, but cannot tolerate very cold temperatures and will die if left outside during frosty months.
While called the Desert Rose, the Adenium is not actually a rose. It is in fact a deciduous succulent which is drought tolerant.
Water is required regularly but not frequently, for example, only water when the soil dries out.
While these plants grow quite tall, with some varieties reaching up to around 2M (6”), they are not a fast-growing species.
Pests, such as Spider Mites and Aphids can become a problem for these plants but can be removed with a strong spray of water.
Flowering usually takes place in early spring sometimes in late winter before the leaves begin to grow back. Some hybrids will flower year-round.
11: JADE (CRASSULA OVATA)
The Jade plant is succulent and as such it prefers sandy, well-drained soil. Using 1-part soil, 1-part peat moss and 3 parts coarse builders’ sand will achieve a soil that your plant will love.
These plants grow to approximately 1.5M (5”) and have a tendency to become top-heavy. Of this occurs you can simply place the existing pot into a larger one and fill in any gaps with soil.
During the summer growth period, the soils should be kept moist. During the winter months watering can be reduced and only done when the soil has dried out slightly.
The Jade plant loves sunlight and grows best with 4 hours of direct sunlight per day.
The Jade plant does not like significant temperature changes and grows best when the daytime temperature is 18C (65F) – 24C (75F) and night time is 10C (50F) – 13C (55F).
To encourage the Jade plant to develop thicker foliage simply pinch out the new growth with your thumb and finger.
Wipe leaves with a damp cloth to keep leaves dust-free.
There are approximately 40 species of Dracaena, which are a member of the Asparagus family. Each one has a different color variation.
The Dracaena flourishes with 2-3 hours of direct sunlight each day.
The Dracaena grows to approximately 1M (3”) tall. The leaves are less than one meter (1”) long and 5-7CM (2-3’) wide.
The Dracaena helps improve air quality in the room they reside in. It is important to keep the leaves clean by wiping them with a damp cloth.
The Dracaena likes to be kept damp and to have the leaves misted.
Allow the top of the soil to dry out before watering. Overwatering will cause root rot.
It is common for the lower leaves to yellow and falls off in order to allow new leaves to grow.
The Dracaena is sensitive to Fluoride, which is commonly found in tap water, therefore purified water is best. If Fluoride toxicity occurs the leaves will develop brown and dead areas with yellow edges.
Cold draughts and temperatures will cause harm to the plant.
Dracaenas prefer higher humidity. This can be accomplished by using a pebble tray filled with water to just below the top of the pebbles.
The Dracaena is toxic to animals.
13: FIDDLE LEAF FIG
Many people have problems growing the fiddle leaf fig. This can be attributed to a lack of bright filtered light.
It can take some time for the plant to become acclimatized to its new environment. Once it has acclimated the Fiddle Leaf can grow to 2M (6”) or taller. These varieties tend to be less bushy, however, there are some varieties that do not grow as tall and are bushier.
The Fiddle Leaf requires bright consistent light, preferably by a sunny window. Turning the pot every few months as the plant begins to lean toward the light.
Cold draughts and air-conditioning may cause the leaves to dry out and drop off.
Rich, well-drained peaty soil is best for a Fiddle Leaf. Re-potting once a year is vital as if the roots begin to grow through the drainage holes circulation problems and root rot.
The Fiddle Leaf only needs to be watered when the soil is dry to the touch, then water thoroughly (until the water flows out of the drainage holes), under watering will cause the leaves to turn brown and drop while overwatering will cause the lowest leaves to brown and drop off.
14: MONSTERA DELICIOSA
The Monstera Deliciosa prefers an equal mix of potting mix and Sphagnum moss.
It can bear fruit but is unlikely in a potted plant, this is where the Deliciosa part of the name comes from. Some say the fruit tastes like a mix of Pineapple and Banana.
The name Monstera comes from the size of the leaves which reach 90CM (35’) long and 75CM (29’) wide. It also grows between 60-80CM (23-31’) tall.
Once the Monstera is 80CM (31’) tall a moss pole or bamboo cane can be used to support the stem of the plant.
Artificial heating and cooling can dry out the leaves so an occasional misting with water can help keep the plant hydrated.
Wiping the leaves with a damp cloth can help keep the plant pest-free.
Re-potting every 2 years into a larger pot with plenty of room for growth will keep the plant growing nicely.
Ensure to rotate the pot every week to ensure even growth, alternatively if you wish to keep one side flatter against a wall just leave it in one position.
During the summer months, water, when the top 2.5CM (1’) is dry, however in winter, let the top 7-12CM (2.5-4.7’) dry out before giving a thorough watering (water until it drains out of the bottom of the pot). Always empty the saucer after it has finished draining to avoid root rot.
The Monstera Deliciosa is toxic to animals
Palms thrive in indirect sunlight and away from draughts.
Keep the soil slightly damp, only watering when the top 1.5CM (1’) is dry.
When pruning never remove the top of the plant as this will kill it, only remove the dead leaves to keep it tidy.
Be aware many species of palm have spines which can poke you.
16: PONYTAIL PALM (ELEPHANT FOOT PALM)
This plant is not a palm at all. It is actually a succulent closely related to the yucca.
While slow-growing the Ponytail Palm will eventually grow to 1.2M (4”).
The Ponytail Palm thrives on neglect and only needs water when the top 2.5-2CM (1-2’) is dry.
It prefers a quick-draining soil which can be achieved by mixing 1 part each of Sand, Soil and Perlite.
A clay pot is preferred as it will absorb some water and prevent the soil from drying out too quickly.
The Ponytail Palm enjoys significant amounts of sunlight but can be damaged by freezing temperatures.
17: BIRD OF PARADISE
The Bird Of Paradise is a sun-loving plant and requires 6 hours of sunlight a day, with some of those being direct sunlight, in order for the plant to bloom.
During the summer months keep the soil consistently moist but let the top 5CM (2’) dry out in winter. Misting the leaves in both summer and winter will keep the humidity at an appropriate level.
Bamboo can be tricky to grow inside.
If you use a water meter to ensure appropriate watering and give it plenty of sunlight it can thrive.
Ensure to spray the leaves a few times a week to keep the moisture up.
Rotating it outside to ensure it receives sufficient sunlight during the warmer months.
19: SABRE FIG
The Sabre Fig is a cousin of the Fiddle Leaf Fig and care is very similar.
They like a light, sunny position but can tolerate lower light levels than most plants.
It is important to re-pot the plant ensuring it has 10CM (4’) of space around the base of the plant.
20: RUBBER PLANT
The rubber plant is a relative of the ficus (see above for care details)
21: MACHO FERN
The Macho Fern requires much of the same care as other ferns.
Ensuring the sun is diffused with a sheer curtain and keeping the soil moist is all it requires
22: OLIVE TREE
These ancient trees come in many varieties but the dwarf varieties are the best for indoor use.
It cannot tolerate low temperatures, however will tolerate warm, dry air.
It will need 6 hours of direct sunlight a day.
The Olive Tree will need well-drained soil.
Olive Trees kept indoors will, most likely, not fruit.
23: AFRICAN MILK THISTLE
This plant worships the sun and will cope well in direct sunlight, however will not tolerate freezing temperatures.
Plant the African Milk Thistle in a clay pot to assist with water retention, as the pot will absorb some water releasing it to the plant slowly.
Ensure to let the soil dry out completely before watering again and water slowly to ensure you only moisten the soil.
Re-pot into a larger pot each year to encourage growth.
The sap is highly toxic so ensure to use gloves.