10 Big-Impact Indoor Plants: The Easiest Large Houseplants to Grow

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P. Juwattana

Big plants that are easy to keep alive!

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Think about the last time you took a walk in the forest. Surrounded by all that sun-dappled greenery, chances are you came out feeling calmer, more serene, and more, well, you. So, why not bring that feeling into your everyday life by adding big, lush plants to your living space? And we mean big—there’s something magical about looking up and seeing the green from your favorite large indoor plants. 

Large plants practically decorate for you, adding color and visual interest throughout the room. Place a majestic indoor tree in a corner, flank the sofa with a pair of them, use one to camouflage that jumble of cords near your office computer, or let one tower over the back of your favorite chair. It’s like having your own glorious, stylish, leafy paradise right in your own home.

Have we intrigued you? We hope so because we’ve got 10 easy-care indoor plants that will make a big impact on the look and feel of your home. First, though, allow us to impart a few words of wisdom that apply to all these big beauties:

  • Reduce watering and don’t feed during the winter months, as not much growth will happen then.
  • Rotate plants to give all sides equal access to the sun’s rays, especially if you’re growing in low light.
  • Skip the dainty little pots—these plants need room to grow. 
  • Have pets? Before you commit to a particular plant, check the “Toxic for pets?” notes below and read Houseplants That Are Safe for Cats.
  • While some of these plants will flower when grown outdoors, blossoms rarely appear indoors. You’re growing for the greenery.
  • This might sound funny, but dust the leaves regularly so all that precious sunlight can actually make it through to the plant.
  • Generally, bigger plants have bigger price tags, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to fill your home with towering greenery. Watch for sales at your local greenhouse or home improvement store, and check out community trading posts like Facebook Marketplace, where you’ll sometimes find people looking to rehome plants for cheap (or free) because they’re downsizing or getting ready for a move. 

The Easiest Large Houseplants to Grow

Now, without further ado, meet the plants:

1. Madagascar Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata

Madagascar Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)
Dracaena marginata. Credit: Tictak

This plant lives up to its exotic name with long, green, narrow leaves edged with red that grow like clusters of upright swords from sturdy, woody-looking trunks. A Madagascar native (no surprise there), it’s slow growing, not at all fussy, and great for narrow spaces since it tends to stay pretty slender.

  • Indoor size: 6 to 10 feet tall
  • Care tips: The Madagascar Dragon Tree will tolerate just about any light level, but bright light will bring out the color best. Don’t overwater it—wait until the top few inches of potting soil are dry before you give it a drink. And don’t forget to fertilize once or twice during the growing season to restock the soil with nutrients.
  • Toxic to pets? Yes

2. Kentia Palm (Howea forsteriana)

Kentia Palm (Howea forsteriana)
Kentia Palm. Credit: Buntovskikh Olga

Kentia can tolerate some neglect, making it a great indoor tree for newbies. This is a tropical  (and slow-growing) plant with glossy, dark green, arching fronds. Its aliases include sentry palm and paradise palm.

  • Indoor size: Up to 10 feet tall
  • Care tips: While a kentia palm prefers bright, indirect light, it does okay with low light. Go easy with the watering (wait until the top inch or two of soil is dry), but be sure to either keep it in a humid room or mist it regularly—did we mention it’s a tropical plant? Fertilize once during the growing season to keep your kentia well-fed.
  • Toxic to pets? No

3. Rubber Tree (Ficus elastica

Rubber Tree (Ficus elastica)
Rubber Tree. Credit: Sasapin Kanka

Native to warm jungles and tropical areas, this easy-going plant earned its name the honest way: It contains liquid latex that can be turned into actual rubber. Big, oval, waxy-looking leaves start pinkish and turn deep green as they mature.

  • Indoor size: 6 to 10 feet tall
  • Care tips: Bright, indirect light is best, but a rubber tree can handle low light situations, though it will grow more slowly in return. Water whenever the top inch or two of soil is dry, keep the plant away from drafts, and feed it regularly during the growing season. You may need to add some support (think bamboo stakes) as it grows.
  • Toxic to pets? Yes

4. Monstera (Monstera deliciosa

Monstera (Monstera deliciosa)
Monstera plant. Credit: Mirago Studio

It won’t surprise you that this fast-growing plant with cut-out leaves is also known as the Swiss cheese plant. Those distinctive leaves are also broad, green, glossy, and heart-shaped—this is some head-turning greenery! Be warned, though: Happy monsteras get big, so skip this one if you have a small space. 

  • Indoor size: 3 to 8 feet tall (or more), 3 to 8 feet wide
  • Care tips: Monstera thrives in dappled light and well-drained soil. Water whenever the top 1 to 2 inches of soil are dry, and feed once or twice during the growing season. This rainforest native loves humidity, so be sure to mist it often.
  • Toxic to pets? Yes

Consult the Almanac’s Plant Guide on how to care for monstera.

5. Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)

Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)
Rhapis excelsa. Credit: Artbackground/SS

Also known as a miniature fan palm, this elegant plant lives up to its names with long, narrow, glossy, green leaflets that fan out to form the leaves. Adding to the allure are the clumps of textured brown stems that support the leaflets—there’s a lot of visual interest here. Lady palm is somewhat slow growing but definitely worth the wait.

  • Indoor size: Up to 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide
  • Care tips: This plant will be happiest near (but not right in front of) a bright window in a humid room (or you’ll want to mist). Make sure the soil provides good drainage and wait to water until the top 2 inches feel dry. Be sure to protect your lady palm from blowing heat and drafts, and feed it 1 to 2 times during the growing season.
  • Toxic to pets? No

6. Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans)

Corn Plant. Credit: JusOl

No, not that kind of corn! This is a tropical evergreen that’s completely unrelated to the plant that produces those tasty ears, though the long, narrow, upward-growing, green leaves might suggest otherwise. Corn plant has a sturdy green stem, grows somewhat slowly, and doesn’t usually spread out much, so it’s good for, ahem, corn-ers.

  • Indoor size: 4 to 6 feet tall
  • Care tips: Corn plant prefers indirect or filtered sun but can make do with lower light if needed. Don’t put it near drafts or heating vents, though—this is a tropical plant, so it thrives on moist air and well-draining soil kept evenly moist. For best results, feed every 1 to 2 months during the growing season.
  • Toxic to pets? Yes

7. Dwarf Umbrella Tree (Schefflera arboricola)

Dwarf Umbrella Tree (Schefflera arboricola)
Dwarf Umbrella Tree. Credit: Booksandpeonies

Like its name suggests, this tropical plant boasts groupings of small, oval leaflets that drape gracefully around their stems (and the central stem) like a cheerful gathering of shiny, verdant umbrellas. Despite the word “dwarf” in its name, the umbrella tree may grow moderately fast or pretty darned fast, depending on the conditions. 

  • Indoor size: 3 to 6 feet tall and wide
  • Care tips: Give this plant plenty of bright, indirect light by placing it near a south- or west-facing window if you can. Add well-draining soil that you’ll water whenever the top dries out, a bit of humidity (or regular spritzing), and regular feedings during the growing season, and you’ll have one happy dwarf umbrella tree.
  • Toxic to pets? Yes

8. Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla)

Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla)
Norfolk Island Pine. It starts out small but grows up to 6 feet tall! Credit: Prazzt

While “pine” may make you think of the holidays, this is actually a tropical plant. Slow-growing, with soft needles, it also lacks the classic scent of a traditional evergreen. That all being said, Norfolk Island pine still looks mighty festive when decorated with mini lights and ornaments!

  • Indoor size: Up to 6 feet tall
  • Care tips: While your Norfolk Island pine prefers bright, indirect sunlight, it can tolerate low light and even handle fluorescents, making it an excellent way to “spruce” up your office. Place it away from hot or cold drafts, water when the top inch of soil is dry, feed it regularly during the growing season, and mist it every once in a while for best growth.
  • Toxic to pets? No

Learn more about caring for Norfolk Pine Trees.

9. Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata

Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)
Ponytail Palm. Credit: Renata.Ka

Psst! Wanna know a secret? Ponytail palm isn’t a palm at all! Instead, it hails from the Mexican desert, so it makes sense that it does okay with a bit of neglect and grows faster when it gets more light. It’s also called elephant’s foot tree, and for good reason: The stem is large and domed on the bottom then slims out as it goes up, giving way to a riot of long, narrow, leathery, green leaves. 

  • Indoor size: Up to 4 feet tall
  • Care tips: Don’t overwater ponytail palm and wait until the top two inches of soil are dry before you hydrate it. It grows okay in low light but will shoot up faster if you give it access to some bright, indirect rays. For best growth, feed once or twice during the growing season with cactus fertilizer. For more tips, see How to Care for a Ponytail Palm Plant.
  • Toxic to pets? No

10. Dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia seguine)

Dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia seguine)
Dieffenbachia. Credit: Berrak Solak

Once known as dumb cane, this tropical, fast-growing plant is highly toxic to both humans and pets, so keep kids away. In fact, it can actually affect your ability to speak if you ingest it—thus the name. Despite all that, dieffenbachia is lovely, with large, pointy-tipped, oval leaves that are usually green covered with varying patterns of white or cream.

  • Indoor size: 3 to 5 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide
  • Care tips: Like most of the plants in this article, this one does best in bright, indirect light but will make due in low light. Dieffenbachia is tropical, so it loves humidity and needs to be kept away from cold drafts. Be sure to plant it in well-draining soil, allow the top two inches to dry before watering, and feed it regularly during the growing season.
  • Toxic to pets? Yes

Discover some (smaller!) easy houseplants for your home.

About The Author

Su Reid-St. John

Su, a master gardener, spent many years editing and writing garden content for Bonnie Plants and Miracle-Gro. Read More from Su Reid-St. John

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