Home Gardening 20 Best Indoor Trees for a Happier Home

20 Best Indoor Trees for a Happier Home

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Wooden table in front of beige sofa in floral living room interior with plants. Real photo

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When it comes to indoor trees, lush foliage, thick leaves and sculptural branches can’t be beat. Adding one of these statement-makers changes the whole look and feel of a room instantly. Really — research has linked caring for houseplants with reduced psychological and physiological stress, and one famous NASA study found that many popular species can help purify air.

When you’re picking your tree, consider where you want your new addition to live (a sunny, humid bathroom or a north-facing entryway?) and what fits your own gardening style. (Neglectful waterers, meet yucca. Overeager gardeners, try a money tree.) Out of these 20 popular species beloved by botanists and decorators alike, at least one will fit the bill.

1

Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata)

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This uber-trendy plant keeps popping up in design magazines and chicly styled Instagram shots thanks to its wide, textured leaves. Young plants feature dense foliage that spreads out as they age and grow more “tree-like.” Give it bright, indirect light — near an east-facing window is perfect. Water once the top inch of soil is dry, drench until water comes out the bottom of the pot, and then let it dry out again.

Height: Up to 6-10 feet, indoors
Water: 2-3 times a week
Light: Bright, indirect light
Temperature: 60º – 80ºF

2

Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

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This tall and hardy beauty comes in many varieties, from tricolor, variegated leaves to almost black ones. Put yours in a spot with bright, indirect light and water about once a week without water-logging, advises “The Little Book of House Plants and Other Greenery.”

Height: Up to 2-10 feet, indoors
Water: Weekly
Light: Bright, indirect light
Temperature: 65º – 85ºF

3

Calamondin Orange Tree (Citrus mitis)

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While many dwarf fruit trees do well outdoors in pots, this particular variety can survive inside all year long. Calamondin orange trees produce tiny, very sour fruits, and even better, fragrant white flowers that will make your room smell amazing.

Height: Up to 3-6 feet, indoors
Water: Weekly
Light: Bright, direct and indirect light
Temperature: 55º – 70ºF

RELATED: 8 Fruit Trees You Can Grow Right on Your Porch

4

Jade Plant (Crassula argentea)

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It starts small, but over time, this succulent develops thick, woody stems and grows into a 3-foot tall (or more) miniature tree. Plant in a well-draining mix, and aim for warm, dry conditions. Moist but not wet soil is the goal — shriveled or brown leaves signal you’re under-doing it on the H2O, according to “The Old Farmer’s Almanac.”

Height: Up to 3-6 feet, indoors
Water: Every 2-3 weeks
Light: Bright, indirect light
Temperature: 65º- 75ºF

5

Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)

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If you need to breathe a little life into a dark dining room, here’s your solution. Tried-and-true parlor palms can withstand sporadic watering and low-light conditions, including near north-facing windows. Bonus: They’re pet-friendly, the ASPCA confirms.

Height: Up to 2-6 feet, indoors
Water: Weekly or biweekly
Light: Low and filtered light
Temperature: 65º-80ºF

6

Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)

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Large, lush leaves sprout out of this fast-growing plant, which can reach 5 feet tall or more when content. It’s easy to propagate too: Just lop off a thick stem, leave in water until roots appear, and then replant in a new pot.

Height: Up to 3-5 feet, indoors
Water: Biweekly
Light: Bright and indirect light
Temperature: 65º- 70ºF

7

Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)

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The classic ficus has stuck around for a reason — it’s more tolerant of low-light than other indoor trees, and it makes do with moderate watering. If you notice significant leaf drop, it’s likely due to a sudden change in temperature or light, the Missouri Botanical Garden says.

Height: Up to 2-10 feet, indoors
Water: Weekly
Light: Low, indirect light
Temperature: 65º – 80ºF

8

Yucca (Yucca elephantipes)

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With spiky, structural foliage, this desert native thrives on as much sunlight as possible. Forgetful waterers will rejoice too: It’s extremely drought-tolerant and needs only infrequent dousing.

Height: Up to 10 feet, indoors
Water: Every 7-10 days
Light: Bright, direct and indirect light
Temperature: 30ºF and above

9

Guiana Chestnut (Pachira aquatica)

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Pachira thrives in more swamp-like situations similar to its original home in the South American wetlands. It can tolerate overwatering if there’s good drainage and appreciates bright, indirect light. You’ll typically find it sold with a braided trunk under the name “money tree” due to its fortuitous associations in East Asia.

Height: Up to 6-8 feet, indoors
Water: 1-2 times per week
Light: Bright, indirect light
Temperature: 60º – 85 ºF

10

Umbrella Tree (Schefflera arboricola)

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This plant can grow up to 8 feet tall inside if you give it sufficient light — too little and the stems can look leggy and sparse. Err on the side of under-watering versus overwatering, which can cause leaf loss and root rot.

Height: Up to 3-8 feet, indoors
Water: Weekly
Light: Bright, indirect light
Temperature: 60ºF and above

11

Majesty Palm Tree (Ravenea rivularis)

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Tall ceilings are a must for this Majesty Palm Tree that can grow up to 10 feet indoors but luckily if you don’t have space at the moment, it grows about one foot every year. This tree requires a bit more care — it’s essential to keep track of soil moisture and that it’s given enough light.

Height: Up to 10 feet, indoors
Water: Weekly or bi-weekly
Light: Bright, indirect light
Temperature: 65º – 85ºF

12

Lemon Cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa)

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Lemon cypress trees give off a bright lemony scent, which is bound to lighten your mood on a dreary day, and they’re not difficult to care for. Simply make sure it’s in a space that provides bright, direct light and water once a week.

Height: Up to 3 feet tall, indoors
Water: Weekly
Light: Bright, direct light
Temperature: 60º – 85ºF

13

Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)

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The dragon tree is known for its spiked, sword-shaped leaves. This species is great for beginners due to its ability to sustain in a wide range of light exposures and temperatures plus, it’s drought-resistant so it’ll forgive you if you forget to water it once or twice. Keep in mind that this tree has a vast root system, so potting in a large vessel would be best.

Height: Up to 6 feet tall, indoors
Water: Weekly to biweekly
Light: Low, bright direct to medium, indirect light
Temperature: 65º – 80ºF

14

Mini Olive Tree (Arbequina)

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If you value a multipurpose plant, why not invest in one that will actually bear fruit? The self-pollinating olive tree will begin to produce olives and small white flower clusters once it reaches two to four years old. It should be kept in a bright sunny location and watered frequently.

Height: Up to 8 feet tall, indoors
Water: Twice a week
Light: Direct
Temperature: 45ºF and above

15

Ponytail Palm Tree (Beaucarnea recurvata)

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Also known as Elephant’s foot, this free-flowing palm tree can add an organic touch to your living space with its long curly leaves. The thick stem holds water, so you only need to water once a week or every other week, depending on the temperature and humidity within your household.

Height: Up to 6-8 feet tall, indoors
Water: Weekly to biweekly
Light: Direct
Temperature: 60ºF and above

16

Ming Aralia (Polyscias fruticosa)

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Moist soil is the key to making sure the slow-growing Ming Aralia thrives in your home — but don’t overwater since this species can easily drown. Keep an eye on the roots — the tree’s roots can easily rot if the soil is not well-drained and survives best in warmer weather. Its irregular shape and feathery leaves create an interesting focal point in any room.

Height: Up to 3 feet, indoors
Water: Weekly
Light: Bright, indirect light
Temperature: 70º-85ºF

17

Fountain Palm (Livistona chinensis)

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The Fountain Palm, also known as the Chinese Fan Palm, should be watered frequently and kept in bright but indirect light to thrive. It also grows large paper fan-like leaves, but be careful — the stems have spikes that can damage your skin.

Height: 34-42 inches, indoors
Water: 2-3 times per week
Light: Bright, indirect to direct light
Temperature: 65º – 85ºF

18

Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla)

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Bask in the joyful holiday scent of evergreen trees all year long with this Norfolk Island Pine. Avoid letting the temperature in your home drop too low; 65º – 70ºF is an ideal temp but nothing below 50ºF. It can be watered weekly but switch to biweekly in the cold winter months.

Height: Up to 3-6 feet, indoors
Water: Weekly or bi-weekly
Light: Bright, direct and indirect
Temperature: 65º – 70ºF

19

Dwarf Guava Tree (Psidium guajava)

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Grow this refreshing tropical fruit in the comfort of your own home — it should start to fruit once it’s three to four years old. Native to tropical regions, the Psidium guajava loves bright direct, and full sunlight as well as warm temperatures. To prevent root rot, water the tree less often in the winter and ensure the soil has good drainage.

Height: Up to 4-6 feet, indoors
Water: Weekly
Light: Bright, direct light
Temperature: 65º – 85ºF

20

Ginseng Ficus (Ficus microcarpa)

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The unique thick truck will make a beautiful statement in your home. This tree usually stays small indoors and loves sunlight, but bright and indirect light is best. The thick leaves store water, so if you accidentally miss a watering, your pant should still be in good shape.

Height: Up to 40 inches, indoors
Water: Every 3-4 days
Light: Bright, indirect light
Temperature: 60º – 75ºF

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