There are times when you want to be one with nature, to be among the plants and trees. But it’s hot and sticky out there… and the bugs! So why not bring the jungle indoors? We love small plants, but sometimes it requires a tree to feel fulfilled.

In this article, we will talk about the best indoor trees for your home, what kind of care they require, and how difficult it is to keep them alive.

The best indoor trees to grow in your home

1. Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata)

huge indoor fiddle leaf fig tree

Source: melissa_shapiro_interiors on Instagram

No list of best indoor trees would be complete without the Fiddle Leaf Fig. With its big, dark green, sometimes referred to as violin-shaped, waxy leaves, it is hands down, the best.

The Fiddle Leaf Fig is easy to grow, requiring only bright, indirect light. It does not like a lot of water but also doesn’t like it very dry. Slightly moist soil would be perfect. Even though it is called a fig, it does not produce any fruit.

Light Requirements

Bright, indirect light

Water Requirements

Keep the soil moist, not wet

Toxicity

Toxic to pets if ingested

Difficulty

Moderate

2. Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)

Ficus Benjamina

Source: Lalaland3893 on Instagram

The weeping fig has much smaller leaves than its cousin, the fiddle leaf fig. They are teardrop-shaped and have smooth, grayish bark.

This indoor tree needs bright indirect light and prefers its soil on the drier side. It is also a little fussier than its cousin, and it may drop its leaves in the fall due to the lower light.

The weeping fig may also live up to its name and “weep” its leaves all over the floor if kept too close to any warm or cold drafts.

Light Requirements

Bright, indirect light

Water Requirements

Allow the top of the soil dry out between waterings

Toxicity

Toxic to pets

Difficulty

Easy

3. Rubber Tree (Ficus elastica)

Rubber Tree Ficus Variegated

Source: plantomia on Instagram

The rubber tree’s leaves are slightly oval and larger than the weeping fig’s. It needs bright indirect light, but it can also thrive on the shadier side.

This indoor tree prefers moist soil when it’s actively growing and drier soil when dormant. If the leaves wilt during the dormant season, you can slightly increase the amount of water. However, if you water too much, even during the growing season, they may yellow and fall off.

Light Requirements

Bright, indirect light

Water Requirements

Keep the soil moist during the growing season

Toxicity

Toxic to pets

Difficulty

Moderate

4. Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans)

Huge Indoor Corn Plant Dracaena Tree

Source: plantdaddiesofchicago on Instagram

If you have ever seen fields of corn growing, you probably know why this Dracaena is called Corn Plant.

It has long slender leaves, very much like that of a stalk of corn. Unlike the actual corn, this tree can tolerate all levels of light except full sun.

As the tree grows, it may shed some of the lower leaves, leaving you with a bare trunk and a crop of leaves on the top. Very drought tolerant, Dracaena Fragrans will become droopy, and its leaves will turn yellow if overwatered.

Light Requirements

Bright, indirect light to low light

Water Requirements

Allow the soil to dry out between waterings

Toxicity

Toxic to pets

Difficulty

Easy

5. Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)

ponytail palm tree in red pot

Source: herberyboutique on Instagram

If you tend to forget to water your plants, this is one of the best indoor trees for you.

It has a bulbous base that can retain water for weeks. The leaves are long like straps, and even when they don’t get any water, they never look like they are wilting.

The Ponytail Palm is a slow-growing indoor tree, so make sure to buy one that already has a decent heigh.

Light Requirements

Bright, indirect light to full sun

Water Requirements

Allow the top of the soil dry out between waterings

Toxicity

Non-Toxic

Difficulty

Easy

6. Lady Palm (Rhapsis excelsa)

Source: sereneplantsmnl on Instagram

The Lady Palm has a dark green, broad fan-like foliage and may only ever reach a height of six feet tall. However, it is a multi-stemmed indoor tree and will continue to get wider. That’s why it is often called the Bamboo Palm.

Low light or even some interior lighting is all this palm asks for. When the soil feels dry to the touch, water thoroughly.

Light Requirements

Bright, indirect light to low light

Water Requirements

Keep the soil slightly moist

Toxicity

Non-Toxic

Difficulty

Easy

7. Majesty Palm (Ravenea rivularis)

majesty palm indoors

Source: murals_by_am on Instagram

When it comes to indoor palms, Majesty Palm is one of the most popular choices.

It has long leathery, upright fronds, and it can grow up to ninety feet tall in its natural climate. However, it won’t get that big in your house.

This palm does prefer more humidity than most of the other best indoor trees we hand-picked for you, so you might want to have it close to the bathroom. It likes slightly moist soil and bright, indirect light.

Light Requirements

Bright, indirect light to low light

Water Requirements

Keep the soil consistently moist

Toxicity

Non-Toxic

Difficulty

Moderate

8. Madagascar Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)

Dracaena Marginata Tall indoor tree

Source: the_sunroom_plants on Instagram

The Dragon Tree has narrow green leaves with red or pink banding on the edges, sitting on top of a long slender branch that would make you think the stems need to be staked up.

Dracaena Marginata is very drought tolerant and will not suffer if you miss a watering or two.

It prefers bright light but will tolerate a low light level. However, if there’s not enough light, it will grow much slower and possibly lose the colored banding.

A word of warning, Dracaena is toxic to both cats and dogs.

Light Requirements

Bright, indirect light to low light

Water Requirements

Allow the soil to dry out between waterings

Toxicity

Toxic to pets

Difficulty

Easy

9. Kentia Palm (Howea forsterana)

best indoor trees - kentia palmSource: hemuslimhorticulturist on Instagram

Kentia Palm is a slow-growing tree, but its fronds can reach up to eight feet long.

With its upright arching, dark green leaves, this palm has been used as an indoor plant since the Victorian times.

It only needs water when the top of the soil feels dry. This palm prefers low light conditions, and full sunlight will burn its leaves.

Light Requirements

Medium, indirect light to low light

Water Requirements

Allow the top of the soil dry out between waterings

Toxicity

Non-Toxic

Difficulty

Easy

10. Calamondin Orange Tree (Citrus x citrofortunella mitis)

indoor orange tree calamondin

Source: ohlalaflowers on Instagram

The Calamondin tree is a hybrid between a kumquat and a mandarin orange. It’s a dwarf orange variety, which makes it perfect for growing indoors.

This orange tree needs as much direct sunlight as you can give it. Don’t forget to rotate it every couple of days, as it will reach for the light.

Also, if you want to keep this tree at a specific height, you’d be happy to know that it can make a beautiful bonsai.

Light Requirements

Full sun

Water Requirements

Keep the soil moist, but not wet

Toxicity

Toxic to pets

Difficulty

Moderate to hard

11. Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla)

indoor pine treeSource: residence_green on Instagram

More than likely you will only see these trees available around Christmas, as they make lovely small living Christmas trees.

Even though the Norfolk Island Pine prefers full sun, you can alternate that with some lower light every couple of months without much problem. However, it will stretch and become leggy in too little light.

The Norfolk Island Pine is very drought tolerant and will do better if the soil is allowed to dry out between watering.

Light Requirements

Full sun

Water Requirements

Allow the top of the soil dry out between waterings

Toxicity

Non-Toxic

Difficulty

Easy to Moderate

12. Burmese Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis)

tall fishtail palm indoors

Source: smartplantapp on Instagram

The Fishtail Palm has large fronds and smaller leaflets that resemble a fishtail. It’s quite ably named if you ask me.

This palm can handle full sun to filtered partial light. It’s also very drought tolerant and is better to allow the soil to dry out between watering.

This one is considered a clumping palm and will produce plenty of baby pups to replace the older plant.

Light Requirements

Full sun to partial shade

Water Requirements

Allow the top of the soil dry out between waterings

Toxicity

Non-Toxic

Difficulty

Easy

13. Umbrella Tree (Schefflera sp.)

schefflera variegata indoor tree

Source: urbanleafmaine on Instagram

The Umbrella Tree is probably the fastest growing and undemanding tree on this list.

It loves humidity, so the bathroom would be the perfect spot for it. However, it can also adapt to a much drier room of the house without missing a beat.

Allow the soil to dry out between watering and place it in a spot with bright, indirect sunlight.

Check out our care guide for more info on how to take care of a Schefflera.

Light Requirements

Bright, indirect light

Water Requirements

Allow the soil to dry out between waterings

Toxicity

Toxic to pets

Difficulty

Easy

14. Money Tree (Pachira aquatica)

best indoor tree - money tree

Source: greenandmeow on Instagram

Okay, I am sure that the Money Tree caught your attention.

Sadly, it does not produce any real currency. This tree is used in applications of Feng Shui and has shiny hand-shaped leaves that are said to bring good luck.

If you water your plants often, this is one of the best indoor trees for you. It likes lots of bright light and humidity, so the bathroom is an excellent choice for this one.

Light Requirements

Bright, indirect light to low light

Water Requirements

Allow the soil to dry out between waterings

Toxicity

Non-Toxic

Difficulty

Easy

15. Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae)

bird of paradise plant

Source: plantsin.t.o on Instagram

Named after the brightly colored birds of South Africa, the Bird of Paradise tree is a huge leafed one, resembling a banana. Sadly, its flowers are very tricky to get to open indoors.

The secret to a healthy Bird of Paradise tree is lots of bright light and, if possible, exposure to full sun. Keep a regular watering schedule and don’t allow the soil to get too dry. Then, lots of patience.

It can take anywhere from 3-5 years before it flowers and it will get to be around five or six feet tall.

Light Requirements

Full sun to bright light

Water Requirements

Keep the soil moist during the growing season

Toxicity

Toxic to pets

Difficulty

Moderate

16. Alii Ficus (Ficus maclellandii “Alii”)

Evergreen indoor tree - Ficus maclellandii

Source: ruibalsgardenshop on Instagram

I just HAD to throw one more of the ficus family trees in the list. Even though the Alii Ficus is long and shaggy looking, the leaves are very similar to a palm frond.

This tree will handle any light level you throw at it, so you can move it around every time you rearrange your furniture. The Alii Fig is very drought tolerant and only needs to be watered when the top of the soil is dry to the touch.

Light Requirements

Medium-light to partial shade

Water Requirements

Allow the soil to dry out between waterings

Toxicity

N/A

Difficulty

Easy

17. Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)

Best indoor tree that grows in water - lucky bambooSource: bonbilaash on Instagram

Lucky Bamboo is mainly seen as a houseplant that can grow in water.

Technically not a true bamboo, it only needs bright indirect light. If you are going to grow it in water, make sure to change it once a month or so.

In its natural habitat, Lucky Bamboo can reach up to eight feet in height. However, don’t expect it to reach much past four feet indoors.

Light Requirements

Low to Moderate

Water Requirements

Can grow in water, keep the soil damp

Toxicity

Toxic to pets

Difficulty

Easy

18. Yucca (Yucca elephantipes)

Yucca Tree

Source: marikalemieux on Instagram

Most people think of pointy sharp leaves when they hear the word Yucca.

The common name for this cultivar is “Stick Yucca” or “Spineless Yucca.” While the very ends of the wide sword-shaped leaves can be pointy, they are not as stiff as the typical yucca.

When it comes to growing requirements, this one will take as much light as you can give it. Lower light conditions will make it grow slower.

Light Requirements

Bright, indirect light/Sunnier spots

Water Requirements

Allow the soil to dry out between watering

Toxicity

Toxic to Pets

Difficulty

Easy

19. Chinese Fan Palm (Trachycarpus fortunei)

Trachycarpus Fortunei - Chinese Fan Palm

Source: craziestplantlady on Instagram

The Chinese fan palm is a staple in the southern landscape scene but has come about as a tough indoor tree as well. It has a single trunk that produces fountain-like foliage at the top that droops down.

Able to reach heights of 20-30 feet, it rarely gets that big indoors. This palm is exceptionally drought tolerant and will thrive on some neglect.

Light Requirements

Bright, indirect light

Water Requirements

Drought Tolerant

Toxicity

Not Toxic

Difficulty

Easy

20. African Candelabra (Euphorbia ammak)

Euphorbia Ammak

Source: modernflorae on Instagram

This cactus does exceptionally well in containers. With its spreading arm growth habit, giving it the look of a candelabra, it can attain heights of 8-10 feet tall and 5 feet wide, so give it plenty of room.

It does have sharp thorns on the sides of the branches, so keep that in mind with pets and children. Being a cactus, it can go weeks without water. Low light levels will cause it to grow slower and reach for the light, giving it a slightly spindly appearance.

Light Requirements

Bright, indirect light to full sun

Water Requirements

Drought Tolerant

Toxicity

Toxic to Pets

Difficulty

Easy to Moderate

21. Egyptian Papyrus (Cyperus papyrus ‘King Tut’)

King Tut grass

Source: hortology on Instagram

Even though this is technically a grass, anything that can reach six feet tall may as well be considered a small tree. Like many of the papyrus, it’s practically impossible to kill it by overwatering.

The Egyptian Papyrus is also a fast-growing plant and tolerates low light levels. However, it’s not very drought tolerant.

Light Requirements

Partial shade to full sun

Water Requirements

Keep the soil moist

Toxicity

Toxic to Pets

Difficulty

Easy

22. New Zealand Laurel (Corynocarpus laevigatus)

Corynocarpus Laevigatus Indoor

Source: doma.home.decor on Instagram

The New Zealand Laurel is a slow-growing tree with 6 to 8 inches long, oblong leathery leaves and upright growth habit. It’s a perfect tree for any large indoor space.

This tree prefers bright indirect light and likes to stay moist. However, it will tolerate the occasionally missed waterings. It may produce fruit indoors, and while the fruit itself is edible, the seed contained inside is extremely poisonous.

Light Requirements

Bright, indirect light to partial shade

Water Requirements

Keep the soil moist but not wet

Toxicity

Seed is poisonous

Difficulty

Moderate 

23. Sentry Palm (Howea belmoreana)

Sentry Palm Howea Indoor

Source: filpusni on Instagram

This palm will buck the trend slightly as it does not do well in a pot indoors unless it is a very deep pot.

It’s very similar to the Kentia Palm, but it has a few differences. The potting situation has already been mentioned. Another difference is that the Sentry palm tends to have more curved leaves with erect leaflets.

Bright indirect light and moist soil are the only other things this palm needs.

Light Requirements

Bright, indirect light

Water Requirements

Keep the soil moist, but not wet

Toxicity

Not Toxic

Difficulty

Easy

24. Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii)

Pygmy Date Palm

Source: nataliemiller24 on Instagram

As you can imagine by the name, the Pygmy Date Palm is relatively small, keeping itself at 6-10 feet tall at maturity.

It is one of the most widely used palms in the interiorscape industry, and it will need as much light as you can offer, only tolerating light shade.

The Pygmy Palm prefers moist, rich soil to truly thrive, but will tolerate some drought.

Light Requirements

Bright, indirect light to medium, filtered light

Water Requirements

Keep the soil moist, but not wet

Toxicity

Not Toxic

Difficulty

Easy

25. Butterfly Palm (Dypsis lutescens)

Butterfly Palm

Source: 2blueteam_ltd on Instagram

This palm goes by multiple other names such as Areca Palm and the Golden Cane Palm. It is one of the most common from this palm family and easier to grow. The butterfly palm is easily killed by overwatering so if you forget to water it, often, it will not mind.

The’s one issue this palm has: if the temperature fluctuates too widely, it may throw its leaves to the ground in protest. Bright indirect light and no full sun will keep this palm happy.

Light Requirements

Bright, indirect light to low light

Water Requirements

Drought Tolerant

Toxicity

Not Toxic

Difficulty

Easy

26. Cataractarum Palm or Cat Palm (Chamaedorea cataractarum)

Cat Palm

Source: shanti_love10 on Instagram

Another of the most common indoor palm trees, the Cat Palm will reach heights of six feet. It will tolerate some low light conditions but prefers brighter accommodations.

Moist soil and the occasional misting or keeping it near the bathroom will help with its need for 50% or more humidity.

It does grow in clumps but dividing them as they get bigger is not advised because the roots are very fragile.

Light Requirements

Bright, indirect light

Water Requirements

Keep the soil moist, but not wet

Toxicity

Not Toxic

Difficulty

Moderate

27. Olive Tree (Olea europea)

Olive tree in a pot

Source: wellswoodhomes on Instagram

Yes, just like in Italy, you can grow an Olive Tree indoors.

The caveat is, the tree will not be able to survive there forever, usually 9-10 years max. Thanks to the fact that it comes from a Mediterranean climate, the olive tree is well suited for the drier humidity found in most homes.

They will need as much sunlight as you can give them and will prefer to dry out a tad between watering. As for actually producing olives, if you get a dwarf version and place it outside during the summer, the chances are good.

Light Requirements

Full sun

Water Requirements

Drought Tolerant

Toxicity

Not Toxic

Difficulty

Moderate

28. Plumeria (Plumeria obtuse)

Plumeria Tree Indoors

Source: pietro_valdes on Instagram

If you’ve ever been to Hawaii or at least worn a Lei around your neck, you probably are familiar with Plumeria.

It’s considered a tropical plant, so keeping the temperature above 65 degrees is recommended. A constantly moist soil through the growing season is also required. However, if the temperature drops suddenly it can go dormant and drop its leaves.

Light Requirements

Full sun

Water Requirements

Allow the soil to dry out between watering

Toxicity

Toxic to Pets

Difficulty

Moderate to hard 

29. European Fan Palm (Chamaerops humilis)

European Fan Palm Indoors

Source: hegyi.viktoria on Instagram

Another palm that does very well in the landscape of the southern states but does equally as well as a potted indoor tree.

The European Fan Palm is a slow-growing, clumping palm that will max out at 10-15 feet tall outdoors. However, it can hardly reach more than 4 feet indoors.

It is also drought tolerant and will take as much light as you can give it.

Light Requirements

Full sun to full shade

Water Requirements

Drought tolerant

Toxicity

Not Toxic

Difficulty

Easy

30. Triangle Fig (Ficus triangularis) 

Triangle Ficus

Source: leonandgeorge on Instagram

Like many of the other fig or ficus plants on our best indoor trees list, the Triangle Fig is very forgiving about indoor accommodations.

Maturing at eight feet tall and having unusual triangle-shaped leaves makes this tree an ideal candidate for your living room.

Light Requirements

Bright, indirect light

Water Requirements

Allow the soil dry out between waterings

Toxicity

Not Toxic

Difficulty

Easy

#Bonus Indoor Tree – Sacred Fig (Ficus religiosa)

ficus religiosa tree

Source: thebristolrainforest on Instagram

The Sacred Fig is believed to have religious significance in three major religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.

This sacred tree is a fast grower, and it has an extremely long life span. A 900+ years tree can achieve 95+ feet tall.

The sacred fig is very adaptable to any degree of light, except very low light. Moist soil to drought conditions doesn’t affect it. More times than not, it makes a perfect bonsai project.

Light Requirements

Bright, indirect light

Water Requirements

Allow the soil to dry out between waterings

Toxicity

Not Toxic

Difficulty

Easy

Conclusion

If you have big spacey rooms and want to fill them in with some nature, then consider any of these indoor trees. They produce oxygen and help clean the air, inside and outside, so why not take advantage of that?

Did we miss one of your favorite best indoor trees? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

About the Author - Darren Sheriff

Darren Sheriff is an SCNLA Certified Professional Nurseryman, A Charleston County Master Gardener Emeritus and is the manager for Terra Bella Garden Center in North Charleston, SC. With his 220+ Camellias, he is an active member and president of the Coastal Carolina Camellia Society, the South Carolina State Director for the American Camellia Society, the founder of the Lowcountry Fruit Growers Society as well as a past president.

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