These indoor tropical plants are popular for a reason and were sharing exactly why you’re going to want them in your home and how to take care of them.
The first time I moved away from home was for college. I remember the dorm was cold and uninviting with the concrete walls and a single bed. Naturally, I craved being back at home, missing the comfort you can only get from being in a happy and warm environment.
Since I couldn’t bring our family pet to live in my dorm room I figured the next best thing would be to buy a plant. So later that evening I drove to Ikea and bought my first Snake Plant. In a lot of ways, adding a plant made my cold dorm almost instantly feel more inviting and cozy.
While the vast majority of indoor plants at nurseries are tropical, we also know deciding which plant to buy is hard. So we’ve gathered a list of the most popular indoor tropical plants for people looking to make their space feel more like a home should. Plus some advice on how to care for tropical plants, and which ones will best suit your home and lifestyle.
That way it’ll be easy to breathe some life into your home or add to it. You’ll also know exactly what to do and how to take care of your new plant friend.
18 Indoor Tropical Plants
The Monstera is also known as the Cheese Plant for the noticeable holes in its green leaves. It’s risen in popularity over the past few years, seen in many notable homes and magazines. It’s also been a favorite of mine for quite a while, and it will most likely be the next addition to the family.
Monsteras can be kept in both medium and bright areas, however, they need to be kept out of direct and harsh sunlight so they don’t burn. Because they prefer indirect light their watering schedule is every week or so.
The second plant I ever bought for our home was a baby fiddle leaf fig from a local shop. I am so happy I did because he has grown so big and tall that he is now a focal point of our dining room. But it wasn’t easy.
Fiddle Leaf Figs are notorious for being a hard plant to manage. They are called the teenager of the plants for a reason. They prefer to be in areas of indirect sunlight, rotated and even shaken every 6 months to make their roots stronger. These plants also need the perfect amount of water, too much water they don’t like and too little will also make them unhappy.
Almost everywhere I look I see people with Birds of Paradise in their homes. These beautiful tropical flowering plants are best kept in an area with either indirect or direct light. Holding true to their tropical heritage, these humid-loving plants prefer humid conditions, but also hold up well in drier situations.
If your home is drier, the birds of paradise will be happiest when watered and sprayed weekly.
Perfect for a college dorm, a snake plant is a hardy option for people who haven’t had plants before. They can withstand low light pretty well, as well as low water.
The only thing the Snake Plants don’t like is being overwatered. The best way to know if your snake plant needs to be watered is to check with your finger.
Pothos is the ultimate indoor hanging plant. It’s fun for bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, or on top of shelves. Like most vining plants, the Pothos can tolerate low light but will grow fast in indirect light.
These cute Pothos are hanging plants that do not like to be in wet soil, so ensuring they aren’t overwatered is key.
6. Parlor Palm
Im a huge fan of jungle plants like The Parlor Palm. It’s a tropical foliage plant that has grown in popularity for its look.
The Parlor Palm is not like other palms in the sense of it loving direct sunlight. Instead, it prefers indirect, and like the Fiddle Fig, this plant needs to be soaked fully once a week.
The Norfolk Island Pine is most popular around Christmas, but I think it would look beautiful in any home all year long. Unlike most pines, these are actually topical loving plants, that thrive in humid, sunny climates.
This means the Norfolk Island Pine will need a lot of extra care, and you’ll need to make sure you mist it weekly. Keeping up with watering and making sure it’s getting enough light. But I love the idea of switching out a regular Christmas tree for this beautiful plant and reusing it year after year.
The Umbrella Plant is another plant lover favorite. It’s found in homes with indirect bright light, which may sound a little confusing. But this plant will actually become droopy, letting you know it’s not getting enough light.
A fun fact about the Umbrella Plant is that they come in a ton of different shapes and sizes. They can get huge or stay small. It’s a really unique and pretty plant to have in your home.
The Amazon Elephant Ear is a popular tropical indoor plant for obvious reasons. It is a very standard-looking tropical plant, and I love how beautiful its leaves are.
However, the Amazon Elephant Ears are very finicky to care for which makes them great for expert plant parents. A lot like the Fiddle these plants, exotic tropical plants need a lot of care. They want to spend time between bright indirect light (not direct) and shade. Keeping the Elephant ears indoors means it will want to be watered, but not overwatered. So it’s a guessing game until you get to know your new plant.
The cutest of the indoor tropical plants, and one of my favorites. These plants are also known as the Chinese money plant and are quite special with their fun-shaped leaves.
Pilea’s prefer indirect, not direct, or bright sunlit areas. They also are similar to other vining plants and want to be watered only when their soil is dry. Making sure these steps are followed, the Pilea is a relatively easy tropical plant to take care of.
I’ve always loved the Yucca plants, and see them at almost every store with plants. They are popular because of spikey leaves, hardy behavior and are a great option for tropical garden plants.
Since the Yucca is a tropical plant, they prefer to be in hot environments which means they also like bright or indirect sunlight. Also, they need good drainage and want to avoid being overwatered.
The Bromeliad plants are tropical flower plants that are very beautiful indoors. A lot of people love them for their beauty and easy nature. These hardy plants are a bright and fun way to add color to a home.
Bromeliads are notorious for being able to grow in soil or with other plants. Making them a great companion for plant boxes. Since they are tropical loving plants, they like to be in an area with indirect sun, can be kept indoors or outdoors in the summer months. In the winter months, these plants need less watering making them really easy to care for.
The Finger Palm is also known as the Rhapis Palm and they are known as tropical foliage plants. This plant gets its name from its leaves that are long and thin, almost finger-like. But instead of acting more like a regular palm, this one prefers a little more shade.
These plans are great for low-light situations. Plus they are so easy to take care of in the winter because they only need to be watered once a month! However, because they are really easy plants, they tend to grow really fast and quickly overrun areas of a home.
Peace Lily’s are very popular for designers for their beauty. They are best when kept in areas of a home with indirect sunlight, but require more attention to the water levels. They want to be watered but not overwatered. This means you’ll probably like to take advantage of a moisture meter for measuring the amount of water in the soil.
The Philodendron is unique, but a very popular plant with plant lovers. They have this great shape to their leaves and surprisingly long-living plants. While the Philodendrons come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, they are all really easy to take care of.
This plant likes to be watered when the top of its soil feels dry and tends to prefer areas with bright light.
Aloes are another popular option and great for beginner plant lovers. People who want a plant that is easy to take care of, watered when the soil is dry which is around every 2-3 weeks. The Aloe Vera also prefers to be in areas of sun, and these hardy plants can be taken outdoors during the summer months.
I’ve always loved Money Trees, and I actually got mine (pictured above) when we first bought our home. At the time that I bought the plant it was maybe a foot or two tall, now it’s grown into a 6-foot tree! It’s beautiful and hardy, and very easy to care for.
The Money Tree is popular for obvious reasons, and whether you believe in the folklore or not this tree is quite beautiful. It’s a nice addition to brightly lit spaces but needs to be rotated often to prevent leaning. Like many other tropical plants, this one needs to be watered when the soil is dry.
Olive trees have certainly exploded in popularity in the last few years. They are very aesthetic and suit a lot of styles of homes. While they are a bit more difficult to keep, they are worth the trouble for their beauty.
The European Olive trees want to have sun for 6 hours a day and prefer drier climates which means letting the top of the soil get fully dry before watering.