The Easiest Tropical Plants to Grow Indoors


Anthurium in light blue planter on table at indoorplantsforbeginners.com plant room

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Finding out which tropical plants are the easiest to grow indoors might seem too much of a task to take on for many people. Lucky for you, I’ve compiled a list of the easiest & best choices for growing tropical plants indoors. When it comes to lighting and watering requirements, you may be surprised at how many species of tropical plants are easy to grow indoors. So, what are the easiest tropical plants to grow indoors?

The easiest tropical plants to grow indoors are: 

  • Philodendron
  • Monstera
  • Orchids
  • Lady palm
  • Umbrella plant
  • Rubber tree
  • Peace lily
  • African candelabra 
  • Kentia palm
  • Dumb cane
  • Yucca
  • Cordyline
  • Bromeliads
  • Corn plant
  • Bird of paradise
  • Anthurium

Which of these tropical indoor plants would make the best additions to your home or indoor garden? Keep reading to find out, as I’ll go through the list of the tropical plants to point out what makes each of them so easy to care for at home.

The 16 Best Tropical Plants for Your Home 

Philodendron

The beauty of the philodendron is mostly attributed to its leaf cutouts, but its true beauty lies in the fact that growing this plant is about as easy as can be. Beloved for its adaptability, the philodendron is accepting of whatever humidity is available in its environment. Philodendrons prefer bright, indirect sun or medium light such as the light that comes in through a South or West-facing window. 

What if your philodendron’s leaves turn yellow? That usually happens when the leaves are old on philodendrons, so it’s nothing to be concerned about.

As the leaves on the philodendron age, turning yellow is just a part of their life cycle. If the stem with a yellow leaf has plenty of other green leaves on it to absorb light, you can remove the yellow leaf without the worry of it hurting the plant. Once the leaf has turned yellow and limp it’s no longer a benefit to the plant.

Its mainly the lack of watering required as well as its resilience to low light environments that solidifies the philodendron as one of the easiest tropical plants to care for indoors.

Monstera

Another of the most common tropical houseplants is without a doubt the Monstera, which has decorative holes or fenestrations in its leaves rather than cutouts. The Monstera, aka the Swiss cheese plant, is highly desired for its hardiness, making it a very beginner friendly tropical indoor plant.

The Monstera’s flexible and forgiving light requirements make it easy for people who are just learning how to care for indoor plants the ability to grow a beautiful tropical plant in their home.

Bright, indirect light is best for the Monstera , but dimmer conditions are okay if you don’t mind slow growth. The Monstera’s soil can get very dry between watering, up to 75 percent dry before you need to fill up your watering can again.

If you can provide high humidity, that’s ideal, but lower humidity can be tolerated by the Monstera. 

Orchids

Imagine having pretty purple orchids in your indoor garden and not fretting about them much. This doesn’t only have to be a dream, as orchids are surprisingly easy to take care of, even if you’re not entirely sure what you’re doing.

I’d recommend moth orchids or Phalaenopsis Blume especially, which indoor gardeners typically have good luck with, including new gardeners. 

This indoor tropical flowering plant needs soil moisture to the point where it’s wet but not soaking. Bright, shaded light rather than direct sun suits the orchid.

Moth orchids only require six hours of light a day, which is doable year-round. It’s minimal light requirements as well as its forgiveness when it comes to overwatering makes it a perfect choice as one of the easiest tropical plants to grow indoors.

Lady Palm

The lady palm is part of the Rhapis genus that grows in such parts of the world as Sumatra, southern China, southern Japan, and other areas of southeastern Asia. When this plant is well cared for, it can reach heights of three to eight feet indoors (and 20 feet outdoors) with a width of two to 15 feet.

To get your lady palm to display its lush foliage, you only need to maintain temperatures of 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and not water the plant too often.

A steady schedule of sparse watering and keeping your tropical looking Lady Palm plant away from direct sun, is just about al you have to worry about when it comes to caring for this easy to grow indoor tropical plant.

Umbrella Plant

Umbrella plants or Schefflera produce long, teardrop-shaped leaves that are sure to jazz up that lonely corner of your indoor garden. There’s no need to adjust your thermostat at home or at the office when growing this houseplant.

The umbrella plant appreciates temperatures between 59 and 70 degrees, which is comfy room temperature. If you’re comfortable your Umbrella Plant is comfortable.

If the top inch of the plant’s soil is dry, then it’s time to water, so you might go a few days to a week between watering. Like the other tropical plants that I’ve discussed so far, the umbrella plant does not do well in direct light. Shield the plant from the brunt of the sun with a curtain instead. 

Rubber Tree

A cute complement to the umbrella plant is the rubber tree, as its leaves are rounded too. They have a textural advantage, as this species is called the rubber plant for a reason.

If you want green, healthy, rubbery leaves from your Ficus elastica, you don’t have to do a whole lot. At a young age, the rubber tree is especially adaptable.

Even the older Rubber Tree plants can adjust to new surroundings, including less-than-ideal environments. It’s the hard to kill nature of the tropical Rubber Tree plant and its ability to thrive in low light situations that makes it one of the easiest indoor tropical plants to care for.

Remember to keep the Rubber Tree plant’s soil moist, which usually means watering the plant more when it’s growing and/or when the weather is hot. Aside from its soil requirements, provide indirect, bright light for your Rubber Tree and it will be fine .

As an added boon, the rubber tree also isn’t particular about its humidity, so you don’t have to worry about misting the plant or creating a humid environment to keep it happy.  

For more about misting houseplants for humidity: Which Houseplants Should Be Misted and Why

Peace Lily

Although they don’t look it at first glance, peace lilies are simple to care for. I mean it! You only have to fertilize yours during the active growing season, and even then, you can do it about six weeks apart.

Temperatures over 60 degrees are considered warm enough for the peace lily, although obviously, the warmer the better. 

The peace lily can shift from low light in the warmer season to brighter light when the temperatures cool down. If the autumn and winter days fail to produce as much sun as you need, you can always use a grow light. The closer you stick to these care habits, the greater the chance of your peace lily blooming

African Candelabra

The African candelabra is native to Saudi Arabia. This Euphorbiaceae family member is a cactus species, which should already tell you that its care won’t be exceedingly difficult.

For example, this is one of those tropical houseplants where you don’t have to freak out if it gets direct sun. While it can handle direct sun, it’s not something you want to allow for too long.

It’s a BIG misconception that cacti need to be in full sun for as long as possible to thrive.

F.Z.

As a cactus, the African candelabra appreciates the bright light. It can also do well in indirect, bright sun.

Since it’s a succulent, the African candelabra doesn’t need to be watered often. The plant can store water in its thick cactus arms so its soil can be dry for weeks at a time.

The biggest facet of the African candelabra’s care is that you shouldn’t wet its arms, as this houseplant is prone to developing powdery mildew when the plant itself is wet.   

Kentia Palm

If the Kentia palm can survive natively in the sweltering heat of Australia, then it would take a lot of mistakes on your part to harm this plant. Once your Kentia palm has a chance to get established, it’s okay if you forget to water your palm for a few days or even a few weeks.

Just make sure the Kentia palm doesn’t dry out for months, as it then needs water sooner than later. Attesting to its nature as a tropical plant, the Kentia palm prefers temperatures of at least 55 degrees.

Yet if somehow your heater went out and it took days for the repair people to show up and the temperatures in your home or apartment dropped down to 25 degrees, your Kentia palm wouldn’t die. That’s pretty extraordinary! 

Dumb Cane

Growing natively in Argentina and Mexico’s tropics, the dumb cane certainly meets the requirements of a tropical plant. Humidity will make this plant happy, but don’t worry, you don’t need to make your home or office into a sauna.

Relative humidity of around 60 percent is suitable. For comparison’s sake, the average relative humidity in a home is between 30 and 50 percent humidity.

The dumb cane is highly recommended for new indoor gardeners who are looking for an indoor tropical plant but struggle to remember their plant’s watering schedule.

If you forget to water your plant a time or two, the tropical dumb cane is forgiving. You can even grow this plant in full shade or dim light, although only for the plainer dumb canes. Variegated dumb canes require diffused light.  

Yucca

As an indoor potted plant, the tropical yucca tree makes quite an impact. It can become the centerpiece of your living room or the first thing someone sees when they walk into your office.

To keep your yucca plant healthy, you only need to water it every few weeks. The soil should be completely dry before you water, which you can ascertain by sticking your finger into the soil about knuckle deep.

REMEMBER: If the soil is moist at all, wait to water your Yucca palm.

If you have a bright, sunny window in your office, that’s the perfect spot for a yucca, as it gladly drinks in full sun. Westerly-facing windows are a good alternative.

Even in indirect but bright sun, your yucca will live on. It’s worth mentioning that, the less light your Yucca receives, the thinner it will grow. So, while it will live in lower light for long periods of time, it will have almost no chance of seeing it flower. 

Having an easy to grow, tropical flowering plant growing in your home is so rare and beautiful that not giving it enough light to thrive and bloom in your home feels like a missed opportunity.

If your Yucca plant appears limp and thin as it grows through the warmer months, consider purchasing a small grow light to help make up for the natural light it’s not receiving. I can assure you that your plant will show its thanks by creating beautiful blooms and vibrant green leaves.

Cordyline 

As part of roughly 15 plant species, the cordyline has a look akin to the yucca, but its long fronds are often pink or maroon instead of green. Whether you choose the cordyline over the yucca or you mix both indoor tropical plants in your home, you’ll love how easy the cordyline is to care for.

Cordyline are so easy to care for when grown indoors that there are really only 3 rules to remember.

  • Maintain moist soil
  • water the plant about weekly
  • keep the leaves dry when watering the plant.

You can grow the cordyline in full sun or partial shade, whichever is more accessible to you.

The cordyline doesn’t need any special temperatures, doing just fine in temps over 62 degrees. If you can crank up the humidity in your apartment or cubicle, you’ll have one healthy cordyline! 

Bromeliads

Bromeliads are a flowering houseplant, originally from the tropical Americas that can produce such gorgeous colors as neon pink, canary yellow, and sunset orange.

As if the beautiful colors of the Bromeliad weren’t enough incentive to start growing this tropical plant indoors in your own home, the Bromeliads plant grows so easily that it almost feels like you’re cheating.

I recommend using distilled water or rainwater for the bromeliad to keep chemicals out of its soil. Tap water seems to always make the tips of my Bromeliads turn brown and eventually black.

This is another plant that prefers to keep its leaves and flowers dry as well, so water it carefully. You can fertilize the bromeliad about monthly when it’s actively growing, using a half-strength fertilizer. The stiffness of the bromeliad’s leaves determines how much light it needs, with harder leaves requiring more sunlight. 

Corn Plant

The corn plant is an indoor plant that’s native throughout Africa. The drama of its long, hanging leaves makes it a great tropical indoor plant addition to your home.

Corn plant care also comes together quite easily. If the corn plant’s soil gets a bit dry, that’s fine so long as you don’t let the soil dry out completely. When you do water your corn plant, just remember to avoid overwatering that can easily lead to root rot in the Corn Plant and you’re good.

Daytime temperatures up to 80 degrees and nighttime temps as low as 65 degrees are an acceptable range for the corn plant. This plant is pretty tough in that it can survive in lower light, but bright, indirect light is more preferable. You’ll certainly see more growth out of your plant. 

Bird of Paradise

With a name like the bird of paradise, it should come as no surprise at all to see it on this list. The jaw-droppingly beautiful Strelitzia with its sharp leaves will produce more of that vivid orange color if it has bright sun.

However, the Bird of Paradise plant is perfectly capable of surviving in low, indirect light as well. Low light just means your vivid colors won’t be as pronounced.

When deciding if it’s time to water the bird of paradise, put your clean fingers three inches deep into the soil. If the soil is dry at that depth, then water the plant until the soil is moist but not soaking.

To easily recreate this tropical plants natural environment, run a humidifier when you have time to keep the bird of paradise’s conditions moist throughout.    

Anthurium

How about a splash of red in your indoor garden? The anthurium has more than 1,000 species to choose from, many of which are lovely and colorful.

You won’t have to do much to keep your anthurium in good shape. Provide plenty of light, but not direct sun so you don’t scorch the leaves. Water the plant when at least two inches of its soil have begun to dry out.

The anthurium needs standard temps of 65 to 80 degrees. The part of its care that does require a modicum of your attention is its humidity.

The Anthurium plant thrives in 80 percent relative humidity. If you turn on a humidifier before you leave for work, you shouldn’t have to do too much else to make conditions moist enough for the anthurium. 

The Anthurium plants are really that easy to care for!

  • Just water on occasion
  • don’t burn the tips by exposing them to direct sunlight
  • and create a humidity if you can.

Follow those tips and your Anthurium will thrive and bring an element of the tropics into your home for a long , long time to come. 

Fred Zimmer

I'm a lover of plants, animals, photography, & people, not necessarily in that order. Currently, I'm focused on photographing indoor plants & chachkies. I write & rewrite articles about creating an environment where indoor plants can thrive. I'm good at listening to music but bad at shopping to muzak.

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