When it comes to growing houseplants, many imagine the tall and large sprawling trees and bushes that many see on TV and in the movies. These are the beautiful, draping and long stemmed leaves that which most people are accustomed to looking at.
Large houseplants are what people envision when they think of indoor greenery.
On this site, I spend a lot of time talking about the small varietals such as air plants and succulents because they are great for indoors. These small plants work wonders for city dwellers and suburbanites alike, who may not have a lot of space or a lot of time. However, the allure of large houseplants is palpable—they are big, beautiful, elegant and something to talk about. They give a space a sense of purpose and literally give life to a room.
Below are some of my favorite large houseplants, some being wonderful citrus trees, fig trees, and the wonderful rubber tree. All of them are unique and fun, and will bring a sense of home and calm to any urban or suburban environment. Make your home a wonderful oasis and fill your floors with greens, yellows, and oranges and more.
The Dwarf Meyer lemon tree is an exciting option for anyone who loves a good spritzer and if you didn’t think it was possible to grow lemons indoors then you are in luck. One of the most versatile types of lemon trees, it works as a wonderful houseplant as well as a great outdoor tree. They grow fabulous in containers and adjust to most conditions, so don’t be afraid if you are new to the indoor gardening arena.
Dwarf Meyer’s are able to reach up to 10 feet tall, but indoors are able to adjust to below 4 ft. What I love about these plants is a constant reminder of summer. Just when you are about to settle into your seasonal depression in November, a new harvest of lemons will pop up and remind you that you don’t have to be so depressed after all! Go ahead, have a lemon spritzer and think of warmer times. They will also have a repeat bloom in the spring, right when you are about to go crazy from being indoors all winter long.
Another great thing about having a lime tree inside is their wonderful citrus scent, which cats hate! Yet another reason to get a citrus tree for indoors! The Meyer lemon trees have a less acidic and sweeter taste to them and is often used by chefs for culinary delights.
Rubber plants are incredibly exciting to me, and offer up an exotic feel to my home that no other large house plants are able to accomplish. Native to northeast India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, China, Malaysia and Indonesia, it’s no wonder I find this tree incredibly tropical and exotic. Technically a fig tree, it’s a common house plant and used worldwide as decoration for people’s homes, offices and places that want to impress.
Good thing to know about these plants, they need bright light but not in the hot sun and make sure to sponge off and clean its leaves. You can read more about this exotic plant from a previous post on this site. Rubber plants are absolutely wonderful to have around and make your room so much more delightful and fun.
Did you ever think it would be possible to grow a Gingko tree in your home? The name evokes medicinal cures for memory and far east explorations, but the Ginkgo tree would do just fine inside your house. Not convinced?
Also called the Maiden hair tree, the Gingko is a truly unique plant that can tolerate almost anything. Gingko belongs to the Ginkgophyta division of the plant world and is one of the oldest surviving species around. Even more amazing is it has no relatives—-no other plants are like the dear old Gingko! This is why it’s sometimes also called the living fossil or fossil tree. In fact, the oldest known living Gingko is around 3,000 years old in the Shandong province of China but fossilized Gingko trees go as far back as 200 million years. Holy longevity!
It does well in bad soil, winter salts, snow and wind damage, and is so hardy it is said to have survived nuclear explosions. So if you think you are a bad caretaker, try competing with a nuclear eruption. As a houseplant, proved it with loamy soil, my favorite is the Black Gold Organic Potting Soil and provide it with good drainage and a place where it can get good sunlight for a few hours per day.
And of course, you can use the Gingko medicinally helping with memory, PMS, asthma, hypertension and more. Are you convinced yet? This is one of my absolute favorite large houseplants around, even if I am a little biased on its medicinal uses.
If you love tequila, then you’ll love having a lime tree in your home. Instant margarita fun! I like the Bearss lime tree as it does great indoors as well as outdoors. This is a dwarf variety that will grow fast and easily adapt to any shape you want—well almost any shape. What’s fun about this tree is the amount of fruit it produces, with the heaviest production being during the winter and early spring—just like our lemon tree friend.
The trees I like to buy are a minimum of 3 years old and thus have extensive branching and root systems, making them less likely to die in your hands. These trees are great for those of us living in colder climates and will thrive in a container near a sunny window. They’ll thrive year round and you get to make all your friends jealous with your fresh citrus cocktails in the middle of November.
I may be partial to the Chicago Hardy tree because I live in Chicago, but this one is a surprising winner when it comes to container gardening indoors. As the name implies, the Chicago Hardy tree originates from…Chicago! This is a high yielding fig tree and will produce medium sized, purple figs that can be enjoyed right from the tree. I love the idea of picking off my own local figs, wrapping them in prosciutto and drinking wine with friends. How, elegant!
The figs will ripen in August until the first frost in the fall and once the weather turns, you can bring them inside for enjoyment. This fig tree can grow up to 12 feet tall, making it a wonderful large houseplant if you have 16-foot ceilings. But don’t worry, if you decide to only make it a container tree, it won’t grow so large. Even the Chicago Botanic Garden recommends the Chicago Hardy tree for container gardening, making it approved by the highest source!
Just for fun I linked to a combined lemon and lime tree, because why should you have to decide? Both producing lots of fruit this is great for someone who doesn’t have enough space for two separate containers full of citrus. These are two of the easiest citrus to grow and as I mentioned before, are able to thrive indoors in cold climates.
Edit: The Combined Lemon/Lime tree is no longer sold on the Nature Hills Nursery Site.
|Meyer Lemon Tree||Lots of Sun||Infrequent deep waterings||Yes|
|Rubber Plant||Bright, indirect light.||Needs humid and moist environment. Spray leaves often, keep soil moist.||No|
|Gingko Tree||Full Sun||Keep Soil Moist||No|
|Lime Tree||Lots of Sun||Infrequent deep waterings||Yes|
|Chicago Hardy Fig Tree||Full sun with partial shade. The more sun the sweeter the fruit.||Water well, don't let sit in wet soil.||Yes|