Reaching heights of beauty like few other plants, with showy or finely textured foliage and sometimes flowers, houseplants that grow tall or big bring vertical dimension or accent to your indoor spaces.
On their own, they may even touch the ceiling, making a bold statement and lifting even the dullest room to new heights of beauty and decor.
Sculptural like rubber plant or unusual like a triangle fig tree or Ming aralia, columnar, pyramidal, or even shaped as an umbrella, the crowns of these indoor trees and large houseplants will rise above your tables, chairs, and even cupboards… basically, you can have the canopy of a small forest, even tropical, in a fairly small living room or office!
However, oversized plants are usually very expensive in stores and transporting large and heavy potted plants from the shop to the place of installation is also a feat of strength.
Fortunately, many different specimens have what it takes to become a large indoor plant, as they will develop quickly in height or width on their own. In fact, some not very demanding indoor trees can quickly reach the towering height with little attention. This saves money, and you can stretch the plant exactly as you need it in the right place.
So whatever you are looking for, a tall, slender girl on the floor near the sofa, in the corner of the room, in your entrance halls, or in front of the window, there is bound to be one (or more) that suits your décor and your state of mind!
Here are 12 tall indoor plants to give your living or office space a larger-than-life style statement.
1: Money Tree (Pachira aquatica)
Traditionally grown for good fortune in Chinese farms, money tree is tall houseplant which will reach high towards your ceiling (8 feet, or 2.4 meters), usually with an upright and braided trunk, and then spread its leaves above your head like an indoor tree…
The large, osmotic bright green leaves are palmate, like horse chestnuts, with 5 to 9 elliptical leaflets, each reaching up to 10 inches long (25 cm)!
Very showy and with a relaxing presence, this plant can reach 30 feet in height outdoors (9.0 meters), but it will keep shorter indoors. Blooms are rare and usually only outdoors, but when they come they are unique; greenish to yellowish white, they have up to 250 red stakes each!
Money tree is popular for its bright, open and airy look; it looks best in a well lit, tidy and elegant room against a wall painted with light neutral colors. It is also excellent to purify the air.
2: Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)
Everything in dragon tree points upwards; with straight, upright trunk that look wrapped in brown paper, this native of Madagascar can grow to feet outdoors (6.0 meters), but slowly and it will keep under your ceiling indoors.
The branches that stem off it too grow almost vertically, and then tufts of hard, sharp looking, long and thin pointed foliage completes the effect.
The leaves are bright green with reddish margins, again mostly pointing to the sky, but with some widening to the sides as well. The overall effect is very elegant and with neat, clear lines. It rarely blooms indoors, but if it does, the flowers are pretty and white.
Dragon tree is a strong and easy to care for houseplant, very popular indeed and suitable even for a minimalist look thanks to its slender elegance.
3: Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla)
For a very refined and lacy look, Norfolk Island pine, with its upright trunk and delicate foliage is just perfect indoors! This conifer grows into open conical shapes with regular, layered branches that look like fans and have the needles pointing up above them; on the whole, like soft green artistic brushes with bristles turned upwards.
While outdoors it can become a real giant, casting its elegant silhouette against the sky, it is also kept as a houseplant, where it looks like a stylized, very symmetrical Christmas tree with a very, very fine texture. The large, round and green cones that look like pineapples are an added decorative touch.
Keep Norfolk Island pine in a cool place during summer if you want to grow it indoors, or it may lose its needles, under 68o F (20o C). Other than this, you can enjoy its evergreen foliage and elegant branching all year round!
4: Triangle Ficus (Ficus Triangularis)
From South Africa to your living room or office, triangular ficus can grow to above your head and bring its intriguing foliage to eye level, as it touches 8 feet tall (2.4 meters)…
With slender trunk and branches, it is also easy to train it to be very upright, and these elegantly leave center stage to the real protagonists…
The heart shaped leaves are attached to the petioles from their thin end, in an unusual twist. And they fill indoor spaces with their glossy variegation of mid to dark green and cream white margins. The effect is that of many butterflies fluttering on thin stems, quite a sight indeed!
Triangle ficus has many advantages over its more famous relative, Ficus benjaminus; it does not drop leaves continuously and it has much more interesting foliage especially when the light hits them…
5: Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
Parlor palm sends its finely segmented, bright to mid green fronds high up into the upper layers of rooms and indoor spaces, about 6 feet in the air, in fact (1.8 meters).
Fresh looking and exotic at the same time, this native of rainforests in Southern Mexico and Guatemala is a tropical variety that can brighten up your days and home.
Each leaf is divided into many small, opposite segments and they arch beautifully from long and green petioles, like a tropical fern, in fact. And it also brings something more to your household: in fact, it is also called fortune palm because it brings good luck.
Very easy to grow, parlor palm has low demands on you in terms of maintenance and it provides a reliable and constant presence with the fine texture of its beautiful leaves.
6: Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata)
If you are interested in a houseplant that grows tall and also makes a bold statement for your indoor places, fiddle leaf fig is your man! With a very upright but slender trunk, its big, almost oversized foliage will be impossible to miss!
In fact the leaves reach a whopping 18 inches long (45 cm) and they are almost equally as broad, bright green and fairly irregular in shape, though they look a bit like violins, as the name suggests.
You don’t need many to brighten up your home or office, and the exotic personality of beauty from western Africa is both lush and luxurious.
So, with fiddle leaf ficus you can have a tropical corner even if you live very far from these exotic places; just keep it warm in winter though.
7: Candelabra Spurge (Euphorbia ammak)
Candelabra spurge is a large, exotic tree-like succulent houseplant from Yemen and Saudi Arabia, that can grow up to 20 feet tall as an outdoor plant (6.0 meters), half as much indoors.
The trunk is short, but the branches are very upright, pointing straight up to the ceiling; these are divided into four wings, with deep lobes, and the ribs are very wavy and irregular. While it is usually green, there is also a variegated variety with a marbled, cream yellow and pale blue surface.
Both are prickly though, so, be careful! You do get a few tiny leaves on top of the arms of this giant, and even a few yellow green flowers with a very bright color indeed!
Fast growing, candelabra spurge is an excellent idea to have a vertical and unusual living sculpture both indoors and outdoors.
8: Australian Tree Fern (Cyathea cooperi)
Most tree ferns are outdoor plants, but not this variety we have chosen for you, Cyathea cooperi is a is a large treelike fern which can reach the ceiling of your room with its very, very delicate looking foliage (10 feet, or 3.0 meters, easily).
Coming all the way from Australia, this fast-growing tree fern boasts an upright trunk with a dark brown fibrous coat and then the branches open straight outwards, like slender rays of an umbrella, bearing fronds of bright green, bipinnate, with the fine texture of filigree! Really impressive, these can become an indoor, fresh looking and exotic parasol!
This tree fern has a very ancient, prehistoric look; it is the sort of plant you would expect in a land of dinosaurs and pterodactyls…
Sure you can see why it is valuable as a houseplant and why the Royal Horticultural Society has given it the Award of Garden Merit.
9: Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)
Long, thin bamboo like canes bring the foliage of lady palm to the top of your room, no matter how high is the ceiling, as this large indoor plant can reach 15 feet tall (4.5 meters) if it has space.
The mid green fronds and fan shaped and they arch beautifully from this tall indoor tree coming from China and Vietnam.
Each leaf is divided into 5 to 10, narrow and long lobes, and they reach 20 inches across (50 cm).
Slow growing and easy to grow, this exotic looking big beauty gives you that tropical beach look, even if you miles and miles away from the sea. Maybe this is why it has received the Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society.
You can even get small panicles of yellow flowers hanging between the broad leaves of lady palm, even if its main asset for your indoor spaces is its foliage.
10: Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)
In the wild, rubber plant, rubber tree or rubber fig, can grow to 100 feet tall (30 meters), but in your home or office it will keep just under the ceiling, and it is easy to train and prune.
With a straight and upright trunk and soft looking branches, this popular houseplant takes its name from its foliage. The oval, leathery and glossy dark green leaves in fact have a “gummy” texture, in fact, and sometimes they can be dark purple as well.
They come from red buds though, adding a colorful contrast. Each can reach 15 inches long (35 cm), but they are smaller on older specimens.
Lush and eye catching, rubber plant is very popular as a large houseplant also because it gives texture and depth to indoor spaces with low maintenance and very few health problems.
11: Natal Mahogany Tree (Trichilia emetica)
Natal mahogany tree is yet another exotic outdoor giant, but you can keep it to under 10 feet indoors (3.0 meters) and this is why it is an excellent tall houseplant. The leaves are very long, large and pinnate, made up of many oval leaflets.
These are very, very glossy indeed, almost shining, opposite and deep to dark green with clear, regular fishbone veins in them. These form a dense, florid crown, reminiscent of the forests of tropical Africa where it comes from.
Blooms are rare indoors but not impossible; they are lime green in color, and followed by very shiny orange fruits!
Natal mahogany tree is perfect to fill space with lush foliage; the rainforest look of this exotic houseplant is really hard to match!
12: Ming Aralia (Polyscias fruticosa)
Lesser known as a houseplant, Ming aralia is an upright columnar evergreen shrub or dwarf tree from India, with great foliage and a bright future in indoor décor!
Often multi-trunked but upright in habit, this exotic houseplant bears its dense, deeply lobed and intricate foliage with extreme elegance, giving you a fresh, sophisticated and finely textured canopy of mid green leaves, and there are variegated varieties was well, with different shades of green and cream.
The leaves droop gently from the branches, giving you a soft and delicate effect.
Blooms are dark yellow, waxy and small, but still very pretty and perfectly matching the personality of this plant.
Evergreen and exotic while also very unusual, Ming aralia is the perfect tall houseplant if you want to add lots of texture and foliage to your living room or office.
13. Croton (Codiaeum variegatum)
Reaching just about the height of an average ceiling, 10 feet tall (3.0 meters) croton also has some of the most colorful foliage you can grow indoors.
With broad, leathery and very glossy variegated leaves, it has a dramatic quality as well as a range of colors that alternate following the regular, arch shaped veins.
Green in different shades, with yellow, orange, red and purple, even dark, offer a palette worthy of a professional artist. It’s like Carnival all year round with this exotic wonder from Malaysia, Australia and the Pacific Ocean… Clusters of little white or lime flowers may even appear at any time of the year.
One of the most loved houseplants of all time, croton has been a colorful companions in indoor spaces for a very long time now; while its luck has been on the fade in recent years, it is still one of the most intriguing tall plants ever!
14. Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans)
Corn plant will grow well above your roof in the wild, up to 50 feet (15 metes), but it grows slowly and in containers it rarely exceeds 6 feet in height(1.8 meters).
Still, quite tall and, what is more, with emerald green, glossy foliage that forms very lush tufts like little exotic palms. As the name suggests, the foliage looks like that of corn, but it has a much more exotic and decorative quality.
Coming on upright and slender trunks, it can also be variegated, often with yellow or cream stripes that highlight the length and shape of the leaves themselves.
For the white or rose clusters of small flowers, however, you will have to wait, because it will not bloom till it is 5 to 10 years old.
Corn plant is both elegant and exotic, coming from Africa with its shiny beauty, and its low maintenance need make it a perfect, tall houseplant with an air of permanence for indoor spaces.
Tall Beautiful Houseplants with Lots of Personalities!
From common varieties like rubber plant to lesser known newcomers like Ming aralia, these tall trees or large plants will all lobe well indoors, as houseplants, and bring their beauty to your eye level, and even above…
Some exotic and bold, others delicate, just pick the one that best fits your indoor décor!
Amber Noyes born and raised in a suburb Nebraska town, San Mateo. She holds a master’s degree in horticulture from University of California as well as an BS in Biology City College of San Francisco. With experience working on an organic farm, water conservation research, farmers markets, and potted plants she understands what makes plants thrive and how can we better understand the connection between microclimate and plant health. When she’s not on the land, Amber loves informing people of new ideas/things related to gardening, especially Indoor gardening, houseplants and Growing plants in a small space.