Tall House Plants

Dress up a two story foyer or great room with a tall house plant. Many will grow well in indirect light, and others will happily grow in the bright sun of a south-facing two story window. Choose varieties of tall houseplants that grow slowly, and they will not outgrow your home for many years.


Palms come in many sizes, from a foot high to over 10 feet high. The Kentia palm (Howea forsterana) is a tall, slender palm that has gracefully arching fronds. Kentia palms prefer medium light levels and cool temperatures. Water when the surface of the soil feels dry to the touch. They are long -ived and will slowly grow to the height of your ceiling.

Bird of Paradise Tree

Related to the exotic cut flower of the same name, the giant bird of paradise tree (Strelitzia nicolai) and the white bird of paradise tree (S. alba) are native to southern Africa. Bird of paradise can eventually grow 18 to 20-feet tall with 3 to 4-foot long leaves that are 18- to 24-inches wide. The leaves are similar to those of banana trees, but they are not related. The leaves are so large that a bird of paradise tree will aptly fill a vacant corner of a large room, even if it only has three or four leaves on it. They will eventually bloom if grown outdoors when temperatures are above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Bird of paradise trees, unlike the smaller varieties grown for cut flowers, do not bloom until they are several years old. Put them in a south-facing window under normal room temperatures. Mist daily during the winter months and let them dry out slightly between thorough waterings.


Sometimes referred to as the corn plant, varieties of dracaena (Dracaena spp.) can grow up to 10 feet tall. One of the tallest and most commonly used in interior design is Dracaena deremensis 'Janet Craig.' Some varieties have trunks that eventually take on a woody appearance with age, and their long narrow foliage is often striped. They prefer bright, indirect light and are tolerant of low light, but new leaves will appear thin and weak. Water thoroughly when the surface of the soil is dry to the touch. Mist daily during winter. Low humidity is often the cause of the leaf tips turning brown.

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