12 Large Indoor Plants to Make a Green Statement

back of woman with hair scrunchie stands under large indoor palm plant

Treehugger / Kasia Surowiecka

A large indoor plant can transform a room, which is why they've been so popular in design magazines, websites, and in recent years, Instagram. Larger plants aren't necessarily tougher to care for than smaller ones. They need the same things their more petite cousins do: light, water, and some kind of food or fertilizer when grown in larger quantities. The only challenge with larger plants is repotting them when they have outgrown their pots.

Here are 12 large indoor plants that can work perfectly in your home or workplace and the care they need to flourish in your space.

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 12

Umbrella Plant (Schefflera)

multi-green patterned leaves of umbrella plant in white pot in sun-dappled light

Treehugger / Kasia Surowiecka

There are two varieties of umbrella plant, but both are popular and require similar care. The one with longer, droopier leaves is Schefflera actinophylla, and the one with a smaller, more circular set of leaves is Schefflera arboricola (pictured above). 

Both types of umbrella plants can have variegated (patterned) leaves and can grow a maximum of 8-10 feet. They'll do best in bright, indirect natural light, but they can also do well under indoor light like fluorescents, which is why you'll often see them in offices.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Bright, indirect light.
  • Water: Regular watering, but be sure to let dry out between waterings.
  • Soil: Regular potting mix with good drainage.
  • Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs.
2
of 12

Fiddle-Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata)

smaller fiddle leaf fig in red pot outside on gray brick patio
She may look small now, but this fairly fast grower can reach around 10 feet tall indoors.

Treehugger / Kasia Surowiecka

The fact that this plant is so trendy belies a simple fact: These are not the easiest houseplants to keep alive. The edges of their leaves get brown, they drop leaves, and they never seem quite happy. But they do look amazing if you can get their conditions right. While they start out bushier, they generally get a long, tall trunk with a group of leaves on top that will make you feel like you're standing beneath a rainforest tree.

If you want to give the fiddle-leaf fig a try, give yourself the best chance of success by keeping its big leaves clean of dust, keeping it in as moist an environment as possible, fertilizing regularly, and giving it plenty of water (don't let it sit in water-filled basins though).

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Bright, indirect light.
  • Water: Regular watering, but be sure to let dry out between waterings.
  • Soil: Regular potting mix with good drainage.
  • Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs.
3
of 12

Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)

large Dracaena trifasciata houseplant next to smaller version of plant in house with white walls

Treehugger / Kasia Surowiecka

This is one of two Dracaenas on this list, but they look different enough that unless you know the Latin name you probably wouldn't realize they're related. This one has slim, pointy leaves that fan out gracefully and can come in variegated red and white varieties, offering some color choices.

This plant can take plenty of neglect and come back to life when cared for again. The leaves may die towards the bottom, but this is normal, and you can just pull them off.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Lower to medium indirect light, filtered sun.
  • Water: Keep soil moist but not soggy.
  • Soil: Rich, well-draining.
  • Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs.
4
of 12

Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa)

large monstera swiss cheese plant pokes out from white planter pot

Treehugger / Kasia Surowiecka

Another one of the trendiest plants on this list, the Swiss cheese plant, also known as windowleaf, is technically a vine. It's native to the tropical forests of Central America, from southern Mexico down to Panama, but it has now spread as a mildly invasive plant to many other locations.

The Swiss cheese plant is very popular for its sizable leaves and how big it can get as a houseplant. It does well with plenty of space and, ideally, something to climb (this could be another sturdier plant, a trellis, or even a piece of furniture).

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Moderate indirect light.
  • Water: Regular watering, but let dry out between waterings.
  • Soil: Regular potting mix with good drainage.
  • Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs.
5
of 12

Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla)

Norfolk pine plant inside house dressed simply for Christmas holidays

Treehugger / Kasia Surowiecka

This houseplant famously makes an excellent living Christmas tree, as it looks like a miniature pine tree in shape and can definitely take some ornaments and lights strung from its boughs. But it's not a pine tree or related to them. It actually doesn't like cold temperatures or even drafts, and its care needs are more similar to an orchid than an evergreen tree.

The Norfolk Island pine is a tropical plant, originally found on an island in the South Pacific, and it needs plenty of warmth and—more importantly—moisture (not dry heat). Try misting or placing a tray of pebbles with some water in them beneath the plant for a constant local flow of damp air. They can grow up to 6 feet tall.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Direct, bright light.
  • Water: Soak and let dry out between waterings.
  • Soil: Regular potting mix with good drainage.
  • Pet Safety: Nontoxic to cats and dogs.
6
of 12

Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens)

Indoor palm tree, Chrysalidocarpus Lutescens Areca plants, home air plants in room
Tamar Dundua / Getty Images

Grow this tropical palm in a warm, sunny room in your house. Areca palms produce many stems from a single base and can grow yellow flowers in the summer.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Full sun; can tolerate partial shade.
  • Water: Keep moist but do not soak.
  • Soil: Well-draining potting soil.
  • Pet Safety: Nontoxic to cats and dogs.
7
of 12

Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)

jade plant with shiny leaves in white ceramic pot in dappled late afternoon sunlight and shadows

Treehugger / Kasia Surowiecka

This succulent has fat, oval leaves, and a woody stem that, over time, can look like a miniature tree. Like all succulents, the possible harm here is overwatering. While you want to regularly water this plant, especially in the spring, give it a few days of dry soil between watering sessions.

Jade plants are slow-growing and can reach a height of about 5 feet, but they will have to be trimmed and shaped to allow this to happen, as their fleshy leaves will weigh them down. Trimming also reveals the pretty trunk of jade, which is the reason why most owners trim it. Jade plants can grow for decades if properly cared for.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Bright, indirect light.
  • Water: Regular watering, but let top of soil dry completely between waterings.
  • Soil: Regular potting soil mixed with some sand.
  • Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs.
8
of 12

ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

ZZ plant in geometric raised pot next to black and white kitty in mid-jump

Treehugger / Kasia Surowiecka

The ZZ plant, also known as Zanzibar gem, is possibly the hardest plant to kill on this list. It stores water, so it can go for long stretches of time without being watered. Though they thrive in bright, indirect light, ZZ plants can survive in a variety of light conditions. They'll grow to a maximum of about 4 feet tall if treated well.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Bright, indirect light.
  • Water: Regularly, but err on the side of underwatering, and let dry out in between waterings.
  • Soil: Regular potting mix with good drainage.
  • Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs.
9
of 12

Mother-in-Law's Tongue (Dracaena trifasciata)

snake plant aka mother in law tongue plant trio on coffee table in front of couch

Treehugger / Kasia Surowiecka

This strangely named plant is also a very popular one, and for good reason. Its long, spear-shaped leaves make a strong decorative statement and they are easy to care for, thriving in a variety of light conditions and levels of watering. Native to West Africa, these plants do like to be kept very warm and don't do well with cold drafts.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Variable from bright, direct sun, to filtered, indirect light.
  • Water: Let dry thoroughly between waterings, with shorter intervals during spring and summer, and longer in winter.
  • Soil: Sandy well-draining potting mix.
  • Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs.
10
of 12

Arrow Bamboo (Pseudosasa japonica)

large potted bamboo plant near sliding glass doors to patio

Treehugger / Kasia Surowiecka

Bamboo is normally considered an outdoor plant, but some varieties, like the arrow bamboo, can thrive indoors in a big pot. This variety is an understory plant in Japan, so it can handle lower light conditions as well as brighter light. Inside, it can grow to 10-12 feet tall.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Variable, from low light to bright, indirect light.
  • Water: Keep well watered with good drainage.
  • Soil: Regular potting mix.
  • Pet Safety: Nontoxic to cats and dogs.
11
of 12

Croton Plants (Codiaeum variegatum)

birds eye view of yellow-green croton plant with large leaves in windowsill

Treehugger / Kasia Surowiecka

You might recognize this one from tropical gardens in Florida or the Caribbean, where it's used as a hardy decorative plant. Native to the tropical forests of Southeast Asia, croton plants grow to be giant shrubs about 10 feet tall. At home they are a colorful and festive plant with tough leaves of a variety of colors and patterns that can add verve to any room.

Croton plants don't like to be moved, so don't be surprised if you get it home from the store and it drops its leaves; just keep it watered and in a warm, humid spot (or mist regularly) and it will bounce back.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Bright, indirect light.
  • Water: Regular watering, but let topsoil dry out between waterings.
  • Soil: Rich, well-drained potting soil.
  • Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs.
12
of 12

Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans)

brilliantly striped leaves of corn plant on display outside among other plants

Treehugger / Kasia Surowiecka

The corn plant has a long history as a houseplant — it was popular as early as the 1800s in Europe, after it was brought there from its native Africa.

It is very hardy and does well in shadier spots in your house, though it does need a couple of hours of indirect light per day. Corn plants tolerate benign neglect fairly well and are easy to monitor, as their leaf tips can start to brown if they don't get enough water. The plant grows slowly from cane-like stalks that can be cut back to create various shapes (long and tall or wider and rounder), and can reach a height of about 4-6 feet.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Lower to medium indirect light, filtered sun.
  • Water: Keep soil moist but not soggy.
  • Soil: Rich, well-draining.
  • Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs.
View Article Sources
  1. "Schefflera (Schefflera)." ASPCA.

  2. "Fiddle-Leaf (Philodendron bipennifolium)." ASPCA.

  3. "Madagascar Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)." ASPCA.

  4. "Cutleaf Philodendron (Monstera deliciosa)." ASPCA.

  5. "Australian Pine." ASPCA

  6. "Areca Palm." ASPCA.

  7. "Jade Plant." ASPCA.

  8. "Zamioculcas zamiifolia." NC State Extension.

  9. "Dracaena." ASPCA.

  10. "Bamboo." ASPCA.

  11. "The Croton Plant: Is It Poisonous or Toxic?" Plant Care Today.

  12. "Corn Plant." ASPCA.