Home & Garden Garden 20 Unique Indoor Trees to Spruce Up Your Space By Meghan Holmes Writer University of Mississippi University of Alabama Loyola University New Orleans Meghan Holmes is a freelance writer and documentarian based in New Orleans, who writes about the environment, science, food, sustainability, and more. our editorial process Twitter Twitter Meghan Holmes Updated January 28, 2021 TorriPhoto / Getty Images Share Twitter Pinterest Email Garden Indoor Gardening Planting Guides Urban Farms Insects Incorporating trees into an indoor space is a great way to add height and unique greenery, as well as complement an array of other plants you have in your home. When planting trees indoors, keep in mind that deep planters are often required to allow for adequate space around the roots. It's also important to consult this list from the ASPCA with information about plant toxicity, should there be any pets or children in the home. Read on to learn about 20 beautiful trees that any gardener can grow inside. Warning Some of the plants on this list are toxic for pets. For more information about the safety of specific plants, consult the ASPCA's searchable database. 1 of 20 Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata) Skaman306 | Getty Images Native to the rainforests of western and central Africa, fiddle leaf figs are tropical plants that enjoy warm, humid, environments, meaning that occasionally misting your plant or keeping the pot on a tray of wet rocks will help keep it happy. This plant's broad, waxy leaves will tilt downward when it needs water, and it prefers to be kept away from vents and other drafty environments as it is sensitive to dry air and environmental change. Plant Care Tips Light: Bright, indirect light. Avoid prolonged direct sun. Water: Keep soil moist, not wet. Wait until top 1-2" dry between waterings. Soil: Organic mix with slow-release fertilizer. 2 of 20 Majesty Palm (Ravenea rivularis) tsvibrav | Getty Images Majesty palms have long elegant fronds and thrive in sunny spots with plenty of moisture in the air. These indoor palm trees are found growing along the edges of streams and rivers in the wild, so they also like plenty of water. Make sure this plant is potted in a well-draining planter to prevent root rot. This slow grower should only need to be repotted once every other year. Plant Care Tips Light: 6-8 hours bright, indirect light ideal. Can adapt to less. Water: Keep soil moist. Soil: Loamy, well-draining. 3 of 20 Lemon Tree (Citrus limon) Adil Abdrakhmanov | Getty Images All indoor citrus trees need bright light to thrive, and lemon trees are no exception. These fruit trees enjoy gritty soil and twice-yearly fertilizing in the spring and summer. Don't expect your tree to fruit indoors the way it would outside, although that process can be encouraged by leaving planters outdoors in the warmer months and bringing the tree inside to brighten your environment as it flowers in the fall and winter. Plant Care Tips Light: Ample direct sunlight, minimum 8 hours. Water: Water thoroughly, allowing top 1" to dry between waterings. Soil: Well-draining. Use a citrus mix with an 18-18-18 ratio to fertilize. 4 of 20 Umbrella Tree (Schefflera arboricola) Olga FETISSON | Getty Images The names umbrella and octopus tree both refer to two closely related species from the genus Schefflera: arboricola and actinophylla. The care for these two plants is similar, but the arboricola (pictured) features smaller leaflets less than 4-5 inches in size. Native to Taiwan, these plants rarely need fertilizer and only need repotting every few years, making them relatively low maintenance. Plant Care Tips Light: Bright, indirect light. Water: When top of soil dries out. Better to underwater than overwater. Soil: Well-draining potting mix. 5 of 20 Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae) Norma Murace Melia / EyeEm | Getty Images The bird of paradise is a stunning indoor plant that can grow to be 20 feet tall outdoors in its native southern Africa. Inside, it typically reaches between three and eight feet in height, enjoying humid environments and plenty of sunlight. An evergreen perennial, this plant is also known as the crane flower, in reference to the shape of its unique blooms. Plant Care Tips Light: Prefers bright indirect light. Can take full sun. Water: Allow top 2-3" of large planter to dry between thorough waterings. Soil: Rich, loamy, slightly acidic. 6 of 20 Rubber Tree (Ficus elastica) Elena Grishina | Getty Images Rubber trees are a popular ornamental house plant with broad, shiny, attractive leaves. Native to southeast Asia, these plants tolerate low light and do not like being moved from more than one location. As it grows, the trunk of this plant may need training or support and the leaves will need to be occasionally dusted with a damp cloth or sponge. Plant Care Tips Light: Medium indirect light ideal. Water: Allow soil to dry before watering, then soak roots thoroughly. Soil: Well-draining, peat-based mix. 7 of 20 Money Tree (Pachira aquatica) Matthew Lloyd | Getty Images Native to Central and South America, money trees can grow up to 60 feet tall in their native habitat but are more common as a small, decorative, indoor tree. Featuring a series of slender trunks that braid together, these plants like a humid space and frequent fertilizing. Rotate your tree routinely for even growth. Plant Care Tips Light: Medium to bright indirect light. Water: Deep, infrequent watering. When soil is dry, water until it runs from bottom drainage holes. Soil: Sandy, peat-moss base. 8 of 20 Olive Tree (Olea europea) urbazon | Getty Images Native to the Mediterranean, olive trees tolerate low humidity well, and dwarf varieties top out at around six feet tall, making them an ideal indoor height. Many gardeners keep their olive trees outdoors after the danger of frost has past and through the summer to encourage potential fruiting and keep the plant healthier. When kept strictly indoors, these trees typically only live around 10 years. Plant Care Tips Light: Bright light for at least 6 hours a day. Water: Allow top 1" to dry between waterings. Soil: Well-draining. Add rocks to perlite mix. 9 of 20 Dwarf Banana Plant (Musa tropicana) silvia cozzi | Getty Images These tropical plants feature broad, paddle-shaped leaves that grow out from a single, central stalk. Native to east Asia, banana plants enjoy humid environments and are one of the oldest cultivated crops in the world. As with most potted trees, a deep planter with adequate drainage works best. Adding stones or even styrofoam to the bottom inches of a pot can help prevent root rot. Plant Care Tips Light: Likes ample, bright light. Can tolerate low light. Water: Water thoroughly and often in summer, more moderately in cold months. Soil: Rich, well-draining soil. 10 of 20 Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) Wheatfield | Getty Images This popular, large indoor palm is native to Central America and has a reputation as a low maintenance and attractive houseplant. Single-stalk specimens are uncommon, with shrub-like patches of new growth appearing in small clumps instead. Parlor palms grow in dense rainforest conditions and dislike intense sunlight. Plant Care Tips Light: Ideally moderate-bright indirect light, can tolerate low light. Avoid direct sun. Water: Important not to over-water. Wait 1-2 weeks depending on where the plant is located. Soil: Peat-based potting mix. Does not tolerate salt. 11 of 20 Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina) Prostock-Studio | Getty Images Native to Asia and Australia, weeping fig is the official tree of Bangkok, and can reach 60 feet tall in its ideal tropical and subtropical conditions.With vibrantly green, drooping leaves, these plants reach around 3-6 feet tall indoors and have been shown to help filter out pollutants associated with carpeting and furniture. Plant Care Tips Light: Bright, indirect light. Tolerates some shade. Water: Keep soil lightly moist with consistent watering schedule. Soil: Well-draining, high-quality potting soil. 12 of 20 Yucca Tree (Yucca elephantipes) Grumpy Cow Studios | Getty Images Yucca is a genus of perennial shrubs and trees native to arid parts of the Americas as well as the Caribbean. Their preference for hot and dry environments means that they're drought-tolerant, making them a low maintenance indoor plant ideal for those who sometimes forget to water. Plant Care Tips Light: Bright, indirect light. Water: Sensitive to water-logging. Less water in winter and allow soil to dry between watering. Soil: Must be well-draining. Sandy. 13 of 20 Dwarf Valencian Orange Tree (Citrus sinensis) Nora Tarvus | Getty Images In addition to dwarf Valencian orange trees, there are a variety of small oranges that can grow indoors including navels and Calamondins. These plants need a large container to allow the roots to develop as well as citrus fertilizer applied routinely. Like the lemon tree already mentioned on this list, dwarf orange trees are not likely to produce fruit unless they're kept outside in the spring and summer. Plant Care Tips Light: Ample direct sunlight, minimum 8 hours. Water: Water thoroughly, allowing top 1" to dry between waterings. Soil: Well-draining. Use a citrus mix with an 18-18-18 ratio to fertilize. 14 of 20 Jade Tree (Crassula ovata) Massimo Russo / EyeEm | Getty Images A common houseplant around the world, the jade tree is also known as the lucky plant or money tree and is a succulent plant native to South Africa and Mozambique. Well known for its bonsai capabilities, jade trees have thick branches and shiny smooth leaves and propagate easily either from cuttings or leaves that fall directly from the plant. Plant Care Tips Light: Bright indirect light ideal. Can tolerate direct sun. Water: Keep soil moist but not soggy. Less water in winter. Soil: Rich, sandy, well-draining. 15 of 20 Windmill Palm (Trachycarpus fortunei) DESIGNOSAURUS | Getty Images These palms get their names from the rounded shape of their leaves extending from a single stalk like a windmill. A hearty evergreen native to China, Japan, Myanmar and India, its leaves have a coarse, fibrous, texture, and historically were used to make rope, sacks, and clothing. Indoors, this plant will reach 6-8 feet in height over the course of several years. Plant Care Tips Light: Bright, indirect light. Water: Water thoroughly and allow the surface of soil to dry before watering again. During winter use less water to avoid overwatering. Soil: Well-draining. Leach occasionally to avoid salt build-up. 16 of 20 Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata) Renata Tyburczy | Getty Images Also known as elephant's foot, ponytail palms are native to eastern Mexico, where extant trees are more than 350 years old. These evergreen perennials feature an expanded basal stem structure for storing water, a requirement in their native habitat in which a 7-8 month long dry season is typical. Plant Care Tips Light: Bright, full sun. Water: Extremely drought tolerant. Soil: Accepts most types but must be well-draining, prefers rocky. 17 of 20 Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans) Emilian Danaila | Getty Images Native throughout tropical South Africa, the corn plant is a flowering plant commonly seen in Africa as hedges. Fairly slow-growing plants, their thick stems produce long leaves (resembling those of corn) that steadily grow upright, meaning it takes up little horizontal space indoors. Plant Care Tips Light: Part shade, no direct sun. Water: Keep soil lightly moist during growing season. Reduce in winter, but do not allow soil to dry completely. Soil: Rich, well-draining. 18 of 20 Sacred Fig (Ficus religiosa) Naresh Sharma | Getty Images Also known as Bodhi trees, sacred figs are native to Indochina and the Indian subcontinent, where they hold significance in several religions including Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. In ideal outdoor conditions, they have a lifespan of more than 1,000 years, and are found in a variety of climates and soil types. Plant Care Tips Light: Bright, indirect light. Water: Water regularly when top of soil dries. Reduce watering in winter. Soil: Soil-based potting mix. Can tolerate rocks and sand. 19 of 20 Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla) Lynn Hunt / EyeEm | Getty Images As the name suggests, Norfolk Island Pines are endemic to Norfolk Island in the Pacific Ocean near Australia. Though it is not a true pine, this tree is also called a star pine, as well as a living Christmas tree, because of its similar, symmetrical shape. They prefer warm, wet, climates similar to their home in the south Pacific and should not be exposed to freezing temperatures. Plant Care Tips Light: Bright, indirect light. Water: Somewhat drought tolerant. Allow soil to dry between watering and water more often if needles yellow. Soil: Well-draining, peat-based mix. 20 of 20 Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis) annick vanderschelden photography | Getty Images Native to the Mediterranean, most cooks are familiar with bay laurel trees because of their fragrant leaves commonly used for seasoning in recipes. This evergreen shrub does well in containers and tolerates the full range of indoor temperatures. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun to part shade. Water: Water when top of soil feels dry. Soil: Tolerates most types. Well-draining. View Article Sources “Growing Fresh Air.” Anoka Master Gardeners.