There is no one-size-fits-all indoor tree. While some prefer palms, others look for smaller trees, such as bonsai. Whatever your indoor plant requirements are, there’s something for everyone in the following indoor tree recommendations.
If you’re looking for a statement plant, an indoor palm tree can be a great addition to your home. Whether you prefer subdued elegance or a jungle look, a large palm will fit seamlessly into any aesthetic.
Some of the most common indoor palm trees are:
Rhapis excelsa, otherwise known as the lady palm or bamboo palm, is an indoor palm that can grow up to six feet tall indoors. This plant is easy to care for, so long as you don’t expose it to direct sunlight.
Lady palms have thick branch-like stalks and flat, dark green leaves. You should water them once the top inch or two of the soil is dry and keep the humidity in your room fairly high.
The ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata) is one of the most recognizable indoor palms. It has a thick stalk reminiscent of a tree trunk and thin, green foliage. It gets its name from the ponytail-like appearance of its fronds.These palms contain water in their stalks, making them tolerant of drought. When indoors, ponytail palms should be watered every week or two and kept in direct sunlight.
Curious pets love to destroy easily-accessible house plants, including indoor trees. Plants such as parlor palms and money trees are non-toxic and pose no threat to your pet.
Unlike many other palm trees, the parlor palm (Chamaedorea elegans) is completely non-toxic to pets. Its thin trunks shoot up from the soil and contain light green, textured foliage.
These tropical plants do best in bright, indirect light but can tolerate sporadic shade. Allow their soil to dry out between watering, as parlor palms are sensitive to overwatering and may develop root rot.
Pachira aquatica, better known as the money tree, is a non-toxic tree native to South America. According to feng shui, this tree can create positive energy in the home.
Money trees have stems that resemble a tree trunk (and are often braided) and dark green foliage. They can handle full sun but also thrive in partial shade and should be watered as soon as the top inch of the soil dries.
Growing a tree indoors doesn’t have to be difficult, even if you’re a new plant owner. For example, the dragon tree and the corn plant don’t require much plant care and look gorgeous as house plants.
The dragon tree (Dracaena marginata) has a very distinctive look, thanks to its stiff foliage clusters that shoot up from its thick trunk. Indoors, you can expect it to grow up to 2-5 feet.
This broadleaf evergreen plant doesn’t mind full sun exposure but can also prosper in shaded areas. It’s tolerant to drought, so underwatering it is your best bet. If your plant develops brown tips, you could be overwatering it, which will cause root rot in the long run.
Dracaena fragrans, better known as the corn plant, is a broadleaf tree native to Africa. When indoors, it can grow up to around 6 feet tall.
Corn plants have thin leaves, and direct sun rays can cause burns and discoloration. Keep them in partial shade and make sure their soil is slightly moist, especially during the growing season (spring and summer).
Most indoor trees can grow to be quite tall when kept in optimal conditions. However, ficus houseplants, such as Ficus benjamina and fiddle leaf figs, look particularly large and lush when displayed indoors.
The fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) is one of the most popular indoor trees, thanks to its broad leaves similar to those found on fig trees.
This fig ficus is notoriously tricky to keep alive. It prefers slightly moist soil and a congruent watering pattern.
Keep your fiddle leaf fig tree in bright, filtered light. Too much sunlight can burn this plant’s delicate leaves, and low light conditions can stunt its growth.
The weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) is a tropical evergreen tree that can grow to be 3-6 feet tall when indoors. It grows best in indirect, bright light but loves occasional direct sun exposure, as well. These trees are easy to grow indoors and resemble a real tree more than any other house plant on this list. They look quite elegant thanks to their thin trunk and light green leaves that fill their branches.
Indoor trees can be particularly demanding when it comes to lighting requirements, and many prefer moderate to bright light. However, the umbrella plant and certain ficus trees (such as the rubber trees) tolerate—and even thrive in—low light conditions.
The umbrella tree (Schefflera) is easy to grow and can survive low light conditions. Its stalks produce multiple branches, each displaying palmate compound leaves that can be dark green or variegated.
Wait until the soil dries out completely before watering your Schefflera, especially if you keep it in low light. If its leaves turn yellow and fall off, you’re likely overwatering the umbrella tree.
The rubber plant (Ficus elastica) is a ficus tree native to the tropical regions of Asia. It has thick leaves that start as coral and turn dark green as they age.
Rubber trees prefer their soil to be moist but not wet. You should keep it in a well-draining soil mixture and water them frequently (as soon as you notice that the soil is dry to the touch). They like partial shade and can survive in low light conditions.
Did you know you can grow fruit trees indoors? Certain plants, such as citrus and olive trees, can thrive in your home and even produce fruits if kept in optimal conditions.
You can grow various citrus trees indoors, but lemon trees are, by far, the most popular fruit grown indoors.
A lemon tree needs ample sunlight in order to produce fruits. If kept in shaded areas, it will develop dark green foliage that looks beautiful but likely won’t bloom or produce lemons.
During the summer months, you should water your citrus trees before the soil dries out. Keep them in well-draining, sandy soil to avoid root rot.
While you can grow an olive tree indoors, it will only bloom if exposed to 6-8 hours of direct sunlight. This Mediterranean tree thrives in a dry, warm environment, especially during its blooming season (from May to July).
Water your olive trees once a week during hotter months and once every 3-4 weeks during winter. If you want them to produce olives, you should fertilize your plants at least once a month with a nitrogen-based fertilizer.
If you like the appearance of indoor trees but don’t have enough space for a large statement tree, opt for small indoor trees such as jade plants and bonsai trees.
The jade plant (Crassula ovata) is a popular indoor succulent with thick stems and oval leaves. Crassula can grow to be quite tall when kept in a large pot. However, you can restrain its growth by pruning it and potting it in smaller pots.
Keep your jade plants in well-draining potting soil, but don’t let the soil dry out completely, especially during summer. You should water them once a week during summer and reduce the frequency to once per month during cooler months.
Bonsai trees are some of the most widely-known small indoor trees. You can make almost any tree into a bonsai, or purchase one from a professional that dedicated their time to developing the tree. Depending on the type of bonsai, their price can range from around $100 to thousands of dollars.
The most common bonsai tree types are: