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What Are the Different Types of House Plant Trees?

Cindy Quarters
Cindy Quarters

House plant trees are one way of bringing the outside world indoors. Some of these plants can grow quite large and require quite a bit of space, while others will remain fairly small and can work in almost any location. Many different kinds of trees make good house plant trees, including palm, citrus, and fig. Often it is not so much the tree itself as how it is managed that will make some trees work well as house plant trees. Restricting growth by keeping the tree in a small pot is one of the more common ways of preventing it from growing too large to be kept inside.

The dragon tree, Dracaena marginata, is a tree with a unique appearance that is especially suited to life as an indoor plant. It has a central stem that is thick and woody and is covered by long, upright spikes of bright green leaves with vivid red edges. This hardy tree has a reputation for being hard to kill, plus it helps to clean the air in the house. It grows about 9 feet (3 m) tall, though it can sometimes grow even higher.

Woman with a flower
Woman with a flower

Palms can make excellent house plant trees and have been popular for their exotic appearance and easy care for many years. There are three main categories of palms that work well indoors: the lady palm, the Kentia palm, and the bamboo palm. These can sometimes become quite tall, over 21 feet (7 m); however, they are very slow growing and can be kept inside for years, often decades, before they outgrow the space. As a general rule they will also stay smaller when confined to smaller pots. When they get too big they can be transplanted to the outdoors in warm, coastal areas, giving a lush tropical feel to the yard.

It is not uncommon to keep dwarf citrus as house plant trees, but they sometimes require a bit more care than other trees, since they typically will produce fruit. Extra attention to watering and fertilizing will benefit citrus, and if fruit is desired they must be pollinated while in full bloom. Often when the trees flower it is warm enough to put them on the patio in the daytime, allowing nature to take care of the pollinating.

Another very popular indoor plant is the ficus, and several different varieties of these are kept as house plant trees. This plant comes in many different shapes and sizes, each with its own unique characteristics; one of the more popular of this group is known as the weeping fig tree. It has dark green leaves with slightly crinkled edges, is very tolerant of heat but does not do well with the cold, and can grow quite large if not kept pruned down.

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      Woman with a flower