If you want to add a touch of natural color to the living room, why not a plant? The right kind can add beauty while being easy to care for - even if you have a black thumb. Pick one well-suited to live as a houseplant, and it can grow to fill in a whole corner.
Plus, plants offer the opportunity to live with cleaner air, and who doesn't benefit from that? We curated a list of the best options for tall plants from various sources to help you choose one that works best for your home!
Some great choices for tall plants to grow in the living room are:
- Rubber plant: easy to care for in most light with weekly water.
- Weeping Fig: also weekly water.
- Parlor Palm: a mid-sized plant about 4 feet tall.
- Monstera: which can grow up to 8 feet tall and 2 feet wide.
- Money tree: a plant that often has a braided stem.
- Cat palm: great for cleaning the air.
- Yucca: a desert plant that is easy to care for
- Norfolk Island Pine: a thick, bushy plant that resembles a Christmas tree.
- African Milk tree: the perfect plant for people who can't grow anything.
- Croton: a more colorful option.
Read on for more information and tips on caring for each of these plants. We'll also cover how to keep large houseplants from overtaking the room, how and when to prune, advice on staking spindly plants, and more.
1. Rubber Plant
The rubber plant, or ficus elastica, is a fast-growing plant that is glossy, beautiful, and easy to take care of. As long as you keep the soil moist but not saturated and offer some light, it will do fine. Overwatering will cause yellowed or dropping leaves. Rubber plants aren't very particular about light - they will grow in anything but shade.
2. Weeping Fig
Another plant that is relatively easy to care for is the weeping fig. This one is particularly tolerant of poor lighting. Plant in well-draining potting soil and keep it moist but not soaked. It can grow up to 6 feet tall with enough light, though you may need to prune once in awhile.
3. Parlor Palm
Unlike some of the other options on this list, parlor palms are more like a mid-sized plant. They'll grow to about 4 feet, which means it's a good choice for a smaller space. You won't have to worry about this one outgrowing the room. It's tolerant of most lighting, but it does require humidity. You can accomplish this by putting a dish of water underneath and then elevating the plant. Don't let the roots sit directly in the water, as this causes rot.
With beautiful, glossy heart-shaped leaves, monstera is a popular choice for a houseplant. Just be sure that you have plenty of room - it grows to as much as 8 feet tall and as wide as 2 feet. However, because of its size, it certainly makes a dramatic accent for any room.
Monstera thrives with humidity, like parlor palm. It also does best in full sun, though it can tolerate low lighting if needed. Water weekly.
5. Money Tree
Supposedly, this tree comes with a bonus - it brings financial luck along with it. Whether or not that's true may be debatable, but the beauty of this 6-foot tall plant is not. It's common to find ones with their stems braided together for a more intricate, interesting design.
6. Cat Palm
This palm has dense fronds so that it looks a bit fuller than others. It also does a great job of cleaning the air. Cat palm grows tall, so eventually, you'll need to trim to keep it fitting in your space. Does best in bright, indirect light with weekly watering.
For a desert or southwestern vibe, yucca is a perfect choice. It's an excellent plant for improving air quality. This plant is drought and shade-tolerant, with a distinctive look due to the leaves' spiky, fanned pattern.
8. Norfolk Island Pine
This is the one that you see passing as a fake Christmas tree every holiday season. But, its pine-like appearance is also what makes it unique year-round. It does best in bright, indirect light, although it can stand anything but shade. Keep it moist by watering about once a week - water when the soil's top is dry. This is, surprisingly, a tropical plant. It won't tolerate low temperatures and prefers humid conditions.
9. African Milk Tree
This is, literally, the no-fail plant for people who can't keep plants. It can thrive with nothing but proper placement and monthly watering. Don't overwater - too much care will kill this one. It requires bright light - in other words, find a nice sunny corner and leave it alone.
Most houseplants come in various shades of green - pretty but predictable. Croton's popularity has a lot to do with one simple fact - the foliage comes in multiple colors and leaf patterns. It prefers bright morning sun and plenty of indirect light the rest of the day. Fully grown, it can be as tall as 9 feet.
What Do You Do If Your Plant Is Too Tall?
To keep a plant at the desired size, there are two main methods. The first is root pruning. As a plant grows, the root system grows as well. By reducing the size of the root system, you'll consequently limit the growth of the plant.
You can do this by simply sliding the root ball out of the pot. Examine it. If you see thick roots or roots extensively circling and webbing around the root ball, it's time to cut it back. Use a sharp knife to cut off roots from around the ball. How much you cut will depend on how "severe" the roots seem to be compacted. It can be appropriate to take anything from a half-inch off the root system to several inches.
Then, loosen the remaining roots. Return to the pot, adding soil as needed. Water well and keep the soil moist for a few weeks while the plant is recovering.
The second method goes along with root pruning. It can be done on its own, as well. This is pruning and cutting from the stems of the plant. You'll want to do this, both to reduce the overall size of the plant and also to reduce stress on the reduced root system.
Every leaf, stem, or growth off of a plant requires effort from the roots. If the roots have been reduced by, say, 10%, you'll want to compensate by reducing about 10% of the plant's mass accordingly. Aim to cut back a little smaller than you ultimately want, which leaves some room for the plant to grow before you need to prune again.
How Do You Stake A Large Indoor Plant?
Before you stake, try pruning. If one or two straggly branches can be removed, you may not need to stake at all. However, if you do, there are a few tricks:
- Use stakes near the center of the plant.
- Don't be afraid to use multiple stakes if multiple branches need staking. Trying to tie several branches to one stake can be problematic, messy, and an eyesore.
- Consider twining a weak branch to another, stronger one. In essence, the plant is staking itself.
- Use natural-looking stakes and ties. Or, consider using green florist tape to mask the stake.
Is It Okay To Move Indoor Plants Around?
Rotating plants about a quarter-inch every week is one of the best ways to reduce uneven, spindly growth and the need for staking. This helps the plant get light from every direction. Just be sure to turn it the same way, every week.
There's nothing wrong with relocating a plant, though you may not want to do it often. For one thing, it's inconvenient - especially when a plant becomes large and cumbersome. Secondly, it can be hard to make sure that the plant receives even balanced light from all sides when it keeps moving. This can lead to strange, asymmetrical growth.
Do You Need To Dust Houseplants?
Every so often, you will want to wipe the dust and dirt off your houseplants. It's not just aesthetic; it's practical - too much dust will block the plant from turning sunlight into chlorophyll. This job can be performed every month or two. Typically, winter months when the furnace runs frequently increase dusting a bit, decreasing a bit in the summer with added ventilation.
Simply spraying with a mister might be adequate - a job you might already be doing for houseplants that like humid conditions. You can also use a feather duster or a wet rag to wipe the leaves.
For a lush, green focal point in your living room, try palms such as cat or parlor palm. Croton offers more colorful foliage. Yucca, Norfolk Island Pine, or African Milk plants are a little less traditional if you want something unique. Popular plants such as Monstera and Rubber Tree plants are glossy and gorgeous. Money tree can be found with an eye-catching braided stem. Finally, weeping fig is easy to care for and grows up to 6 feet.