Indoor Tree Plants

The Green Elegance: Benefits and Care of Indoor Tree Plants

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Indoor tree plants have become increasingly popular in recent years, adding a touch of nature's splendor to our homes and workplaces. These elegant and verdant companions not only beautify our indoor spaces but also offer a host of benefits. From purifying the air to reducing stress, indoor trees provide a refreshing and calming ambiance. Our article will explore indoor tree plants' benefits, popular varieties, and essential care tips to help you create a thriving and lush indoor garden.

Let's get started!

1. Ficus lyrata (Fiddle-Leaf Fig)

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The Fiddle-Leaf Fig is known for its iconic large, violin-shaped leaves that create a dramatic presence in any indoor space. It is a prevalent choice among plant enthusiasts and interior designers alike. Native to tropical regions, the ficus plants require bright, indirect light to thrive.

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It is important to avoid sudden changes in its placement, as it can be sensitive to drafts and fluctuations in temperature. The Fiddle-Leaf Figs prefer regular watering but should not be overwatered to prevent root rot. This stunning tree can grow tall properly and become a focal point in your home.

2. Schefflera arboricola (Umbrella Tree)

The Umbrella Tree is an attractive and resilient indoor plant with glossy, umbrella-shaped leaves. It can grow to impressive heights, making it an ideal choice for filling vertical spaces. This plant favours bright, indirect light but can tolerate lower light conditions.

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It requires regular watering, allowing the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. These popular indoor trees appreciate slightly higher humidity levels, which can be achieved through misting or placing a tray of water nearby. The Umbrella Tree plant for the bedroom adds a tropical touch to any indoor setting with its lush foliage and compact growth habit.

3. Pachira aquatica (Money Tree)

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Money Trees, also known as the Guiana Chestnut or Malabar Chestnut, are visually striking indoor trees with braided trunks and vibrant green foliage. It is thought to bring good luck and prosperity, making it a popular choice for homes and offices. The Money Tree is a low-light indoor plant that thrives in bright, indirect light and requires moderate watering.

Image credit: housebeautiful.com

It is important not to overwater this plant, as it can be sensitive to excessive moisture. Well-draining soil is essential to prevent root rot. With its unique appearance and symbolism, the Money Tree adds a touch of charm and positivity to any space.

4. Ficus elastica (Rubber Plant)

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The Rubber Plant is another excellent choice for indoor gardening. It's a robust tree with large, shiny, dark green leaves. Native to Southeast Asia, it has become a beloved choice for indoor gardening due to its easy care requirements and adaptability. The Rubber tree can grow tall and develop a thick trunk over time, adding a touch of elegance to any space.

Image credit: thespruce.com

This tree thrives in bright, indirect light but can adapt to lower light conditions, making it a versatile choice for different areas of your home. The Rubber trees can flourish and become a stunning focal point in your home or office with moderate watering and occasional misting to increase humidity.

5. Chamaedorea elegans (Parlor Palm)

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The Parlor Palm is a graceful, slow-growing palm that can thrive in lower light conditions, making it ideal for indoor use. With its delicate feathery green fronds and slender stems, it adds a touch of elegance to any interior setting. Parlor Palms thrive in low to medium light conditions, making them suitable for areas with limited natural light.

Image credit: thespruce.com

They prefer regular watering, allowing the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. This resilient plant is easy to care for and can adapt to various indoor environments. The Parlor Palms are excellent for those seeking low-maintenance and visually appealing indoor plants for their bathroom.

6. Chamaedorea seifrizii (Bamboo Palm)

Its slender, bamboo-like stems and graceful arching fronds add a touch of tropical elegance to any indoor space. Bamboo Palms are known for their air-purifying qualities, removing toxins and improving indoor air quality. They thrive in indirect sunlight but can tolerate lower light conditions.

Image credit: plantshopseattle.com

This low-maintenance plant requires regular watering to keep the soil evenly moist. With their lush green foliage and adaptability, the Bamboo palms are a fantastic choice for those seeking resilient and visually appealing indoor trees.

7. The Meyer lemon tree (Citrus × Meyeri)

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These citrus trees variety are known for their aromatic and flavorful fruits. It is a hybrid between a true lemon and a mandarin or orange tree, resulting in a sweeter and less acidic fruit than traditional lemons. The Meyer lemon tree is a compact and evergreen tree that can be grown indoors and outdoors, depending on the climate.

Image credit: fast-growing-trees.com

The fruit trees feature glossy, dark green leaves and fragrant white flowers that develop into round, yellow-orange fruits. These citrus trees require well-draining soil, bright light, and regular watering to thrive. With proper care, they can provide abundant harvests and bring a touch of citrus delight to your home or garden.

8. Banana trees

These are iconic tropical plants that belong to the Musaceae family. While commonly referred to as tropical trees, they are technically giant herbaceous plants due to their lack of woody tissue. Banana trees are known for their large, broad leaves and produce clusters of delicious, elongated fruits known as bananas.

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They thrive in warm and humid climates, requiring rich, well-draining soil and full sun. Banana trees are not frost-tolerant and are typically cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. They provide a lush and tropical ambiance and are valued for their ornamental appeal and nutritious and versatile fruits.

Benefits of Indoor Tree Plants

Indoor trees offer numerous benefits that extend beyond their aesthetic appeal. Here are some of the key advantages:

1. Air Purification

One of the significant benefits of indoor trees is their ability to purify the air. Plants naturally absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. Moreover, indoor trees, such as the Areca Palm, Peace Lily, and Snake Plant, have been found to remove harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air, including formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene. This can improve indoor air quality and create a healthier living environment.

2. Stress Reduction and Improved Well-being

Indoor trees have a calming and soothing effect on our mental well-being. Numerous studies have shown that being in the presence of nature, even indoors, can reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. Greenery in our living spaces has been linked to improved mood, increased productivity, and enhanced cognitive function. Indoor trees connect with nature, impacting our overall well-being and helping create a more serene and inviting atmosphere.

3. Increased Humidity

Image credit: theplantrunner.com

Many indoor trees release moisture through transpiration, which helps increase the humidity in the surrounding air. This is especially beneficial in dry indoor environments or during winter when heating systems dry out the air. The increased humidity provided by indoor trees can help alleviate dry skin, respiratory issues, and dryness of mucous membranes, promoting better respiratory health and overall comfort.

4. Noise Reduction

Indoor trees can also act as natural noise barriers. The leaves and branches of these plants can absorb and diffract sound waves, reducing noise pollution in indoor spaces. This is particularly useful in busy environments, apartments, or urban areas where external noise can be a concern. By creating a more peaceful and quiet environment, indoor plants contribute to a more relaxed and enjoyable living or working space.

5. Aesthetics and Interior Design

Most indoor trees are beneficial not only for their health-related advantages but also for their aesthetic appeal. They add a touch of natural beauty, elegance, and visual interest to any indoor space. Large and lush indoor trees, such as the Fiddle-Leaf Fig or the Kentia Palm, can become focal points in a room and create a statement piece. Additionally, indoor trees can be used strategically to enhance the overall interior design by adding height, texture, and a sense of tranquility.

6. Connection with Nature

Indoor plants provide an opportunity to connect with nature, even in urban or confined living spaces. They bring a sense of the outdoors indoors, allowing individuals to experience nature's calming effects and beauty firsthand. Caring for indoor plants, tending to their needs, and watching them grow can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience, fostering a deeper appreciation for the natural world and promoting a sense of responsibility towards the environment.

Caring for Indoor Tree Plants

Proper care is crucial for the health and longevity of indoor plants. Here are some essential care tips to keep in mind:

1. Light Requirements

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Understanding the light requirements of your indoor plant is crucial for its overall health and growth. Most indoor plants thrive in bright, indirect light. Place them near a window where they can receive filtered sunlight or use sheer curtains to diffuse direct sunlight.

However, some varieties, such as the ZZ or Cast Iron Plant, can tolerate low-light conditions. On the other hand, a few tree plants also require bright, direct light, such as the Ficus lyrata (Fiddle-Leaf Fig). It's important to research the specific light needs of your plant to ensure it thrives.

2. Watering

Proper watering is essential for the health of your indoor plant. However, different species have varying watering requirements. Generally, water your plant thoroughly when the top inch of soil feels dry. Use room temperature water and ensure proper drainage by allowing excess water to escape from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot. Conversely, underwatering can cause stress and stunted growth. It's important to balance and adjust your watering frequency based on your plant's needs.

3. Humidity

Many indoor plants are native to tropical regions and prefer higher humidity than typically found indoors. Dry air can cause leaf browning or drying. Increase humidity by misting the leaves with water, placing a tray of water near the plant (ensuring the bottom of the pot is not submerged), or using a humidifier. Grouping plants together can also create a microclimate with increased humidity. Regularly check the humidity levels around your plant and adjust as necessary to provide optimal growing conditions.

4. Temperature and Environment

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Indoor plants generally prefer temperatures between 60-75°F (15-24°C). Avoid placing them near drafty windows, heating or cooling vents, or areas with extreme temperature fluctuations. Sudden temperature changes can cause stress and damage to the plant. Additionally, keep them away from direct heat sources, such as radiators, as this can lead to dehydration. A stable, moderate-temperature environment will promote healthy growth and plant well-being.

5. Fertilization

Indoor plants benefit from regular fertilization during their active growth period, typically in the spring and summer. Choose a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer specifically formulated for indoor plants. Follow the instructions on the package for the correct dosage and frequency. Over-fertilization can lead to salt build-up in the soil, which can harm the roots. Avoid fertilizing during the plant's dormant period, usually in winter when growth slows.

6. Pruning and Maintenance

Regular pruning is important for maintaining the shape and health of your indoor plant. Remove dead, yellowing, or diseased leaves and branches to promote new growth. Pruning can also help control the size and density of the plant, prevent legginess, and encourage bushier growth. Additionally, wiping the leaves with a damp cloth periodically helps remove dust and allows the plant to breathe properly. Take care when pruning, ensuring clean and sharp tools to avoid causing damage to the plant.

7. Repotting

Image credit: mulhalls.com

Indoor plants may need to be repotted when they outgrow their current containers or when the soil becomes depleted. Signs that your plant needs repotting include roots coming out of the drainage holes, slow growth, or the soil drying out quickly. Choose a pot that is one size larger and uses well-draining soil suitable for your plant. Gently loosen the roots before placing the plant in the new pot, ensuring it is at the same depth. Water thoroughly after repotting and allow the plant time to adjust to its new container.

Conclusion

Indoor plants bring the beauty and vitality of nature indoors, enhancing our living and working spaces while providing numerous benefits. From air purification to stress reduction, these plants offer many advantages. You can create an indoor garden that flourishes year-round by selecting the right variety and providing proper care.

Consider each plant's specific light, water, humidity, and temperature requirements to ensure their well-being. With a little attention and nurturing, your indoor tree plants will thrive, transforming your space into a serene oasis of green elegance.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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