The Best Tall Houseplants: 25 Tree-Like Plants to Grow Indoors

When you grow houseplants, you bring some of the outdoors in.

But much of the time, houseplants are adorably short, trailing down a bookcase or with just a few leafy stems coming out of a small pot. To truly feel like you are living inside an elegant forest, you need some tree-like, taller options.

A vertical image of a collection of tall houseplants growing in decorative pots. To the top and bottom of the frame is green and white printed text.

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All of the plants on this list reach four feet or more at maturity. And sometimes they’ll grow much, much taller. Each of these can act as a tree in your home, bringing a tropical, evergreen, or Mediterranean forest vibe to your decor.

Don’t worry if you’re not a pro indoor gardener – yet. Not all of these houseplants are for advanced growers. Many of them are perfect for beginners, while others need a bit more finesse.

In the coming guide, we’ll chat about these fantastic plants:

Looking for a palm? An evergreen? A traditional-looking deciduous tree? Want some fruit? There are options galore, up ahead!

1. Agave

Agave (Agave spp.) plants are gorgeous in an outdoor setting, but they can also grow happily indoors.

They thrive in the dry heat that most home environments provide during the winter. While they’re not known for being super tall plants, depending on the species and size of the pot, they can grow quite large – up to five feet tall indoors.

A close up horizontal image of a small agave plant growing indoors in a white pot grouped with other houseplants.

If you live somewhere too cold to grow agave outdoors, keeping one inside is a marvelous way to bring the American Southwest to your decor.

Octopus agave (A. vilmoriniana) is particularly attractive with its long, undulating leaves that look strikingly like tentacles. Indoors, this type can reach four feet tall.

A close up square image of an octopus agave growing outdoors in the garden.

Octopus Agave

Nature Hills Nursery can help make your sea creature dreams a reality.

2. Areca Palm

Areca palms (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens) are more cold hardy than many other palms, so if you live in a crumbling, drafty Victorian mansion in Maine, pick this one up. Also, call me because you’re living the dream.

A horizontal image of an interiorscape with an areca palm to the left of the frame and a sago to the right, with a brick wall on the background.

But even if you reside somewhere with good insulation and HVAC, an areca palm is a good option if you want a palm with elegantly weeping, strappy fronds. It thrives in extremely low light and will still reach up to eight feet tall.

A close up square image of an areca palm in a white pot set on a wooden floor with a sofa in the background.

Areca Palm

For many different size and pot options, purchase one from Fast Growing Trees.

They have six-inch grower or white pots, one- to two-foot plants, or three-gallon grower, white, or beige pots.

3. Australian Tree Fern

Australian tree ferns (Cyathea cooperi, syn. Sphaeropteris cooperi) combine the best of ferns and trees, forming a sort of palm-like houseplant. They can grow to about nine feet tall indoors in dappled sunlight.

A close up horizontal image of the foliage of an Australian tree fern plant.

To make them extremely happy, place yours outdoors in a shady spot in the summer and bring it indoors during the winter.

A close up of a frond of an Australian tree fern isolated on a soft focus background.

Australian Tree Fern

You can purchase plants at Nature Hills Nursery.

4. Bird of Paradise

These tropical beauties don’t usually bloom indoors unless they receive quite a bit of light, but that couldn’t matter less because the banana tree-like leaves are an attractive statement all on their own.

A horizontal image of a bird of paradise plant growing in a pot next to a couch.

Outdoors, bird of paradise plants (Strelitzia spp.) can shoot up to 30 feet tall, but they’ll stay at about a third of that height indoors.

While they would prefer a spot in full sunlight, these plants are truly adaptable and will make do with much, much less. Try to keep the air around them humid to prevent dry leaf tips.

Bird of Paradise

Let this elegant bird fly into your home by purchasing one at Fast Growing Trees in a three-gallon pot.

Learn more about growing bird of paradise indoors in our guide.

5. Cat Palm

Also known as cascade or cataract palms (Chamaedorea cataractarum), these take a few years to stretch to their full height of six feet, but they’re delightful even when they’re small.

A close up horizontal image of a cat palm growing in a black ceramic pot isolated on a white background.

The arching fronds are as elegant as any palm and while they like a lot of water, they don’t need direct light. Perfect if your windows are already crowded with all those sun-hungry species (or is that just me?).

A close up of a cat palm growing in a container indoors next to a sofa.

Cat Palm

Start your tropical staycation by grabbing this Mexican native from Home Depot in a nine-and-a-quarter-inch growers pot.

6. Citrus

Though they’re fun to have around in any climate, growing citrus trees as houseplants in cold climates is an extra-special treat.

Yours might not produce more than a fruit or two each year, but each juicy reward is far more exciting than plucking a thousand lemons off of an outdoor citrus.

But even if you don’t ever see any fruit, they’re beautiful plants in their own right. Depending on the species you choose, citrus can grow anywhere from four to 10 feet tall indoors.

You have lots of options, so choose one that you’ll actually use the fruit from when it appears. Just be sure to give them tons and tons of sun. Even better, take them out to your patio in the summer.

If you’re a fan of sweet lemons, a Meyer lemon (Citrus x meyeri) might be the way to go.

A square image of a meyer lemon tree laden with fruits growing in a terra cotta pot on a patio.

Meyer Lemon

Planting Tree has lots of options available, with one- to two-, two- to three-, three- to four-, four- to five-, and five- to six-foot-tall live plants, as well as bushes in gallon containers.

Limes more your style?

A square image of a key lime tree growing in a ceramic pot set on a patio.

Key Lime

Key limes (C. aurantifolia) make particularly good indoor plants. Planting Tree has three- to four- or five- to six-foot-tall plants available, as well as bushes in gallon-size pots.

7. Corn Plant

Corn plant is a variety of dracaena (Dracaena fragrans) that can grow up to six feet tall. It’s a tropical evergreen that has a thick central cane.

A close up of a Dracaena corn plant growing in a black container on a wooden plant stand with a metal balcony in the background.

From this cane, long, arching leaves emerge that somewhat resemble palm fronds. They’re drought-tolerant and pretty darn tough.

A square image of a Dracaena corn plant growing in a brown pot set on a wooden floor indoors.

Corn Plant

Bring a tropical vibe to your home by picking up a plant in a three-gallon decorative pot at Fast Growing Trees.

8. Dragon Tree

A close relative of the corn plant, dragon trees (Dracaena draco) grow to about six feet tall indoors, with attractive strappy foliage.

A vertical image of dragon trees growing in pots at a plant nursery.

Give them just about any level of light – as long as it isn’t exceedingly dim, they’ll put on a show.

The leaves can have a range of colors, including pink and red or even multicolor stripes.

A close up of a Madagascar dragon tree growing in a pot isolated on a pale background.

Dragon Tree

Fly away with a dragon tree in a four-inch pot from Walmart.

9. False Banana Tree

As delightful indoors as out, the false banana tree (Ensete ventricosum) doesn’t produce edible bananas, but it does grow some pretty impressive green and red leaves. They’re huge!

A close up horizontal image of the foliage of false banana plants at a garden nursery.

Each individual leaf can be up to six feet long – that’s a lot of drama packed into one houseplant.

If you put one in your yard the plants can grow to 20 feet tall, but indoors they stay closer to six feet in height.

A close up of an Abyssinian banana plant in a small pot isolated on a white background.

False Banana

Make this tall plant yours by snatching a four-inch pot at Home Depot.

10. Ficus Alii

While not one of the most common houseplants, ficus alii (Ficus maclellandii) is worth hunting down.

A square image of a Ficus alii houseplant growing in a container next to a sofa with a brick wall in the background.

Ficus Alii Braid Plant

In fact, you can find one at Fast Growing Trees, where they carry two- to three-foot trees in grower’s or decorative pots, three- to four-foot plants in grower’s or decorative pots, or four- to five-foot plants.

Also known as banana leaf figs, these plants are much easier to care for than their weeping and fiddle-leaf cousins.

A close up horizontal image of the foliage of Ficus alii growing outdoors.

The long, banana-shaped leaves won’t fall as readily as those of its cousins either. Just place it in bright, indirect light, and watch it grow up to 10 feet tall.

Find tips on banana leaf fig care here.

11. Fiddle-Leaf Fig

You knew there would have to be a fiddle-leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) on this list, right?

A vertical image of a large fiddle-leaf fig tree growing in the corner of a room.

And I know I just mentioned that it can be a bit finicky. But these plants remain a perpetual favorite because it’s hard to match those Jurassic-looking leaves when it comes to making an architectural statement in your space.

While they aren’t super fast growers, they can stretch to your ceiling – and beyond! – if they receive good light. Despite what you may have read, they can handle some direct morning light and they’ll be better for it.

A square image of a fiddle-leaf fig growing as a houseplant next to a blue sofa.

Fiddle-Leaf Fig

For a three- to four-foot tree in a plain or decorative pot, or a four- to five-, five- to six-, or six- to seven-foot-tree, pay Fast Growing Trees a visit.

Learn more about fiddle-leaf fig plants here.

12. Fishtail Palm

I need to preface this by saying that I am completely in love with fishtail palms (Caryota spp.).

A close up horizontal image of the foliage of a fishtail palm.

The leaves are so unique and elegant, it’s like having a bright green betta fish swimming around in your living room. So this is not an unbiased description. To be totally honest, they’re a little fussy, but don’t write them off.

Fishtail palms can grow over 12 feet tall indoors and they make a huge statement with all that pretty foliage.

I’ll level with you, though – they do much better if you can put them outdoors for part of the year. At the very least, give them direct morning light but protect them from the afternoon sun.

A close up of a fishtail palm growing outdoors pictured on a blue sky background.

Fishtail Palm

Walmart has live plants available in 10-inch grower’s pots.

13. Hawaiian Ti

Green is lovely, but sometimes a little color is what you need. If that’s the case, check out the Hawaiian ti (Cordyline fruticosa).

A horizontal image of a colorful Hawaiian ti plant growing in the garden with a brick wall in the background.

The violet, red, or pink leaves are a stand-out against all the greenery you often find in houseplants, though there are green cultivars, too.

While these tree-like shrubs can grow taller outdoors, indoors they stop at about 10 feet tall. Just be sure to give them bright, filtered light. These shouldn’t be left in a dark corner.

A square image of a Hawaiian ti plant growing in a green pot indoors next to a dining room chair.

Hawaiian Ti

Find some color at Fast Growing Trees. They offer two- to three-foot plants and plants in three-gallon nursery pots.

Find tips on growing Hawaiian ti plants here.

14. Lady Fern

Lady ferns (Athyrium filix-femina) might not immediately jump to mind when you’re thinking of tall houseplants, but they can grow up to five feet tall.

A close up horizontal image of a lady fern growing in a wooden half-barrel pot set on a wooden surface with a dark wall in the background.

Add a foot-deep container and a plant stand, and you’re stretching to the ceiling.

They thrive in low light and average humidity, so these aren’t fussy ferns.

A close up of a lady fern growing outdoors under a tree with a stone wall in the background.

Lady Fern

If you’re hoping to bring a forest vibe into your space, invite this lady into your abode. Home Depot carries three-packs of bare root plants.

15. Majesty Palm

Majesty palms (Ravenea rivularis) are truly majestic.

A vertical image of a majesty palm growing in a decorative wooden cachepot in the corner of a living room.

The strappy, massive, pinnate leaves sway in even the gentlest breeze and they can grow up to an astounding 20 feet tall indoors if you let them. Keep the pot smaller if you don’t want that kind of growth.

Just remember that if that breeze is coming from your HVAC system you might want to run a humidifier in the room. These palms like things humid. Also, give them partial sunlight but protect them from the hot afternoon sun.

A close up square image of a majesty palm growing in a decorative wicker pot set on a wooden floor indoors.

Majesty Palm

Up for the challenge of growing this persnickety palm? It’s worth the effort. Perfect Plants Nursery carries live plants in 10-inch pots.

16. Money Tree

Money trees (Pachira aquatica) are popular houseplants because they don’t ask for much from you in terms of maintenance, but they offer up a lot in terms of display.

A vertical image of a money tree growing in a small container set on a wooden surface with a white wall in the background.

They often come with three braided stems, and they’re always topped with glossy, large, feather-shaped leaves.

A square image of a money tree growing in a small black pot.

Money Tree

They’re fairly quick-growing and top out at about eight feet within about a decade or so. Bring home the money by heading to Nature Hills Nursery.

They carry live plants in four-inch containers.

17. Natal Mahogany

Feeling adventurous? Natal mahogany trees (Trichilia emetica) are gorgeous but they’re a bit fussy. I don’t tell you that to scare you off but to prepare you.

A horizontal image of a large Natal mahogany tree growing in the veldt pictured on a blue sky background.
Photo via Alamy.

The feather-shaped leaves covering a seven-foot-tall plant make a real statement in the home, so those who aren’t afraid of a gardening challenge shouldn’t hesitate.

This species needs moderate light and lots of moisture, plus warm temperatures.

18. Norfolk Pine

Outdoors, Norfolk pines (Araucaria heterophylla) can reach hundreds of feet in height, but indoors, they stay closer to 10 feet tall when mature.

A vertical image of a Norfolk Island pine tree growing in a large terra cotta pot.

These lovely miniature Christmas trees bring an evergreen forest vibe to your interior. They’re happiest in bright, direct light and are sensitive to overwatering.

A close up of a Norfolk Island pine tree growing in a pot indoors by a curtained window.

Norfolk Island Pine

Pick up a 36-inch-tall tree in a pretty seagrass planter at Walmart. Alternatively, you can found eight-inch trees available at Wayfair.

19. Olive

Olive trees (Olea europaea) can grow indoors as houseplants, but be aware that they need a lot of sun to produce fruit.

A horizontal image of a beige living room interior with a large sofa flanked with olive trees growing in containers.

They might not produce many olives, or any at all. But they’re beautiful houseplants when grown for their foliage alone.

Indoors, they stay about seven feet tall.

A close up of a 'Koroneiki' olive tree growing in a terra cotta pot outdoors in bright sunshine.

‘Koroneiki’ Greek Olive

Planting Tree carries ‘Koroneiki’ Greek olive trees in one- to two-, two- to three-, three- to four-, and four- to five-foot sizes if you’re dreaming of bringing the Mediterranean into your home.

20. Parlor Palm

If you love palms but want something easier to care for than, say, a majesty palm, parlor palms (Chamaedorea elegans) are where it’s at.

A living room scene with a large chair with a throw and parlor palms and a wicker mat.

They can reach up to 12 feet tall but stay smaller if you keep the roots constrained.

They aren’t demanding about humidity and if you forget to water one week it won’t turn into a crumbly mess, unlike some palms I could mention (looking at you, areca!).

A square image of a parlor palm in a white ceramic pot with a wooden wall in the background.

Parlor Palm

If you agree with the Victorians that having a palm in the home is a sure sign that you have taste and class, pick one up at Home Depot in a six-inch pot.

21. Rubber Tree

Rubber trees (Ficus elastica or F. robusta) live up to their name.

While you often see them as smaller specimens, given a big pot and several hours of direct light each day, yours can grow into a 10-foot-tall tree-like plant with those characteristic, huge, fleshy leaves.

A vertical image of a large rubber tree growing in a white container next to a mirror indoors.

You have lots of options when choosing the perfect one for your decor, from those with solid-colored green leaves to highly variegated multicolored leaves.

The ‘Ruby’ cultivar is a variegated type that features new growth in a bright ruby shade with magenta midribs.

As they age, the color changes – green leaves are striped with white and light pink. Be sure to give this cultivar some bright light to preserve the variegation.

A square image of a 'Ruby' rubber plant growing in a decorative pot next to a white sideboard.

‘Ruby’ Rubber Tree

Fast Growing Trees carries ‘Ruby’ in six-inch as well as one- and three-gallon nursery pots, as well as several different three-gallon decorative pot options.

22. Tree Philodendron

For a dramatic statement, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a specimen that’s more impressive than a big, healthy tree philodendron (Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum, syn. Philodendron selloum and P. bipinnatifidum).

A horizontal image of a tree philodendron houseplant set on a wooden chair.

These plants can grow up to 10 feet tall with massive, elegant leaves that are unmistakable – though it’s worth noting that they can take 20 years to reach maturity.

The secret to success with this plant is to flush the soil regularly to remove any salt buildup. Tree philodendrons don’t like salt one bit.

A close up of a tree philodendron growing outdoors in the garden.

Tree Philodendron

For a live plant in a 10-inch pot, run to Home Depot.

23. Triangle Ficus

Triangle ficuses (Ficus triangularis) are named for their triangle-shaped leaves, which come in solid and variegated types.

A close up vertical image of a triangle fig with variegated foliage growing in a large white pot set on an indoor wooden floor.

While good old F. benjamina and F. lyrata have a reputation for needing a bit of babying, this particular ficus isn’t going to drop its leaves whenever so much as a slight breeze moves through the room.

This slow grower reaches up to eight feet in height, but it takes some time. Keep your plant in bright, indirect light for the best growth.

Triangle Ficus

To make a triangle ficus a part of your houseplant collection, pick one up at Amazon in a four-inch pot.

24. Umbrella Tree

Umbrella trees (Schefflera actinophylla) are incredibly forgiving.

A vertical image of a variegated umbrella tree growing in a white pot on a wooden plant stand.

I had one that moved with me across thousands of miles, was left in my office for weeks in a dark corner before I remembered it, had a visiting cat pee in its pot, and fell off my patio.

None of these misadventures even caused it to flinch. It’s still cooking after 35 years.

They grow up to 10 feet tall indoors and all they want is some indirect light and a little water now and then. You can find them with solid or variegated foliage.

A square image of a potted umbrella tree growing as a houseplant.

Umbrella Tree

Bring home this easygoing tree in three- to four- or four- to five-foot-tall heights from Fast Growing Trees.

25. Weeping Fig

Weeping figs (Ficus benjamina) are fabulous despite their reputation for being demanding. In reality, these plants are pretty resilient and forgiving.

You just need to understand that they can and will drop their leaves at the merest breath of change.

A close up horizontal image of a weeping fig tree growing as a houseplant pictured on a soft focus background.

If you even think about moving yours to another part of the room, expect this houseplant to drop those leaves in a huff. But don’t worry, they’ll come back – it’s just the tree’s coping mechanism. We all get stressed out sometimes, right?

Indoors, these figs can grow up to 10 feet tall if you let them.

A square image of a weeping fig tree with a braided stem growing in a container in a minimalist living room.

Weeping Fig

For a traditional houseplant with a tree-like form, weeping figs are perfect. Sound like just what you’re looking for? Grab a tree with a braided trunk in a three-gallon container at Fast Growing Trees.

Bring the Forest Indoors

Tall houseplants bring height and texture to your interior decor. Plus, they make a much bigger statement than your average pothos or African violet.

A close up horizontal image of a tall houseplant growing next to a wooden sideboard with two light blue decorative vases.

Better yet, they don’t demand more care than smaller houseplants to keep them happy and healthy. Find the right light conditions, supply the water and food they need, and you’re off to the races.

Which species is calling your name? Tell us about your favorites in the comment section below. And feel free to share your photos – we love to see what you’ve got growing indoors!

The houseplant goodness doesn’t stop here. We have a bunch of other guides to help you bring even more nature indoors, starting with these:

Photo of author
Kristine Lofgren is a writer, photographer, reader, and gardening lover from outside Portland, Oregon. She was raised in the Utah desert, and made her way to the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two dogs in 2018. Her passion is focused these days on growing ornamental edibles, and foraging for food in the urban and suburban landscape.

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aga (@guest_24592)
1 year ago

I had to laugh out loud at this comment: You knew there would have to be a fiddle-leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) on this list, right?

Great article for someone like me, getting a taste of what these plants might need to thrive!