The Best Trees for Indoors and How to Care for Them
Many people bring the beauty of outside spaces into their homes with a collection of houseplants. But did you know you can also grow some species of trees indoors? Don’t get your hopes up for an oak or maple in your living room; instead, use our guide to beautiful trees that can thrive indoors without outgrowing your home.
What Trees Can Grow Indoors?
Determining which indoor trees you can grow depends on light conditions and the space available for greenery.
Bright Light and Lots of Floor Space
The fiddle leaf fig loves indirect sunlight and grows beautiful, large-leafed branches that spread farther the more the tree grows. The umbrella tree and dwarf banana tree species produce glossy green leaves that add bold color to any room. Both grow well in direct sunlight without spreading as far as the fiddle leaf fig. Bathe the rubber plant in indirect sunlight, and it can grow up to ten feet tall if given enough space.
Indoor Low Light Trees
Not every home has abundant natural light. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have plants inside! While palms aren’t technically trees, the parlor palm is so pretty that we don’t think you’ll be upset it made the list. A weeping fig offers the most classically tree-like silhouette, with woody branches and smaller leaves than other tropical trees. If remembering to water your plants isn’t your strong suit, the dragon tree forgives a skipped watering or two (and a wide range of light options).
Space-Saving Indoor Trees
Are you pressed for space? You need a smaller tree that doesn’t branch out quite so much or dominate your living space. The Calamondin orange tree produces both sour fruits and beautiful flowers without taking up too much room. If orange isn’t your color, try the range of citrus trees that grow indoors in full sun. Norfolk Island pines thrive in acidic soil and cool temperatures, bringing a woodsy feel to your home. You can also choose the lemon cypress for its uplifting scent. And while the jade plant is technically a shrub, its woody stems branch out, looking more tree-like as it ages. It’s also under three feet and a low-maintenance plant perfect for beginners.
How to Care for Indoor Trees
The care each indoor tree needs varies by species. Research your chosen plant to determine its needs, or ask an expert at your local nursery.
Choosing the Ideal Indoor Tree Pot Size
Trees and other plants large enough to go on the floor rather than a table or desk generally need a pot at least 10 inches in diameter to grow, though a 16-inch minimum is better. Avoid overly-large containers since the soil won’t drain water entirely, leading to root rot. Most indoor trees won’t need a pot larger than 24 inches.
Where to Place Indoor House Trees
You’ll need to research the kind of light your tree needs to thrive before buying it. Here’s a guide to what different light levels mean:
- Full sun. Also called “high-light” plants, these plants need at least six hours of light a day but should probably get closer to eight hours when possible.
- Medium-light. Provide these plants with a mix of sunlight and shade throughout the day. These plants may also thrive with longer hours of filtered or indirect light.
- Low-light. Place these plants in rooms that don’t get much sunlight, such as bathrooms or rooms with north-facing windows.
- Direct sun. Direct sun hits plants without any obstructions, diffusion, or filtering.
- Indirect sun. Some plants prefer diffused light that’s passed through outdoor tree branches, sheer curtains, partially-open blinds, or some other barrier.
How to Water Indoor Trees
As with sunlight levels, different trees need different watering schedules. Most plants thrive in clay and ceramic pots that allow them to drain excess moisture between waterings. Whenever possible, use a pot with drainage holes and a saucer to catch excess water. Watch your plants for signs of over-watering (mold, mildew, and limp leaves) or under-watering (dry, crispy-looking leaves and stunted growth).
Let Us Take Care of Your Outdoor Trees
Need help with your outdoor trees? We've got your back. Call Monster Tree Service to assist with tree trimming and pruning alongside other care and maintenance services like Soil Health Care. Call (888) 744-0155 or request a free estimate online for expert tree care that keeps your outdoor spaces as beautiful as your indoor ones.