As we dream of warmer weather, there are plenty of small ways to bring sunny, tropical vibes into our everyday winter realities. One of those is to invest in fresh greenery. Indoor plants can do everything from making a space feel more lush to cleaning the air, boosting productivity, improving our mood, and even helping to reduce stress.
If you’re looking for a planty pick-me-up, we invite you to browse our list of 10 tropical plants that will turn your home into a relaxing, island-inspired oasis.
Bird of Paradise
As the name suggests, the Bird of Paradise is a tropical plant native to South Africa. With their striking, banana-like leaves, these perennials are the gold standard in indoor tropical plants. They can grow up to 20 feet tall in the wild and typically stand three to eight feet high at home, making them a great statement plant in any space. Despite their impressive stature, they’re surprisingly easy to care for—they prefer a sunny spot and weekly waterings during times of active growth.
Nothing says “tropical staycation” like a Bromeliad Pineapple plant. These unique Bromeliads produce one tiny, ornamental pineapple fruit per plant, even when grown entirely indoors. Best of all, each plant will produce baby plants that will eventually grow into mature, fruiting pineapple plants themselves. Native to South America, Bromeliad Pineapples prefer conditions that mimic their natural habitat—yours will thrive in bright, indirect sunlight by an east or west-facing window, and love added humidity if possible. Although not grown for edible consumption, it’s still a fun and unique plant to have in your collection. The pineapples have reached maturity when the outer skin turns yellow, soft, and fragrant.
Ponytail Palm Tree
Native to the southeastern desert of Mexico, the Ponytail Palm Tree is actually not a palm or a tree! It’s closely related to the Agave plant and is a type of succulent. Long, graceful leaves arch off the top of its bulbous trunk that serves to store excess water, making it extremely drought-tolerant. The ponytail palm thrives in full sun and requires infrequent watering and very little care—it’s perfect for anyone with limited time or those who travel regularly. Its unique look adds lots of warm-weather character to a room and will serve as a fun conversation piece.
Bromeliad Aechmea Pink
These vibrant Bromeliads are famous not for their fruit, but for their brilliant blooms that can last up to six months. This variety boasts beautiful silver-green leaves and bright pink flowers that will lend a tropical flair to your home or apartment. Native to Brazil, Aechmea-type bromeliads actually grow on trees in the wild and absorb most of their nutrients through their leaves. At home, our Bromeliad Aechmea Pink is happy in a soil-filled pot and prefers bright, indirect sunlight with added humidity. You actually water Aechmeas at the center of the plant, keeping the “vase” full of water, instead of watering the soil.
Thanks in part to Instagram, Monstera plants have surged in popularity over the past few years and remain a staple for plant parents. Native to the tropical rainforests of southern Mexico, these eye-catching plants love bright, indirect sunlight and the occasional morning mist. Despite their easy care, they can get impressivly large and stately in a relatively short time, and are easy to train to a moss pole for an added element of interest. Above all else, they’re known for their distinctive, swiss cheese-like leaves—it’s no wonder they’re a favorite among design-conscious plant lovers!
Kimberly Queen Fern
Ferns are a must-have for lush looking decor, and the Kimberly Queen Fern is one of the easiest fern species to care for. Happy in any level of indirect light, this fern has thick fronds resistant to drying out. It’s native to Australia, so it’s tolerant of hot weather and would love to live outdoors on your covered patio, porch, or balcony for the summer. Keep it well watered, but if you miss a watering due to being away, not to fear—it won’t mind at all. Try displaying this beauty on a shelf, coffee table, or hanging pot near a bright window where you can appreciate its textural fronds.
For the perfect low-maintenance leafy houseplant, meet the Money Tree. This tropical plant is native to Mexico and northern South America and features verdant palm-like leaves and a unique braided stem. According to ancient Feng Shui practice, Money Trees can enhance the wealth and prosperity of its owners and therefore make a great addition to a home office. To help your money plant thrive, place it in low to bright indirect sunlight and water deeply but infrequently.
Chinese Fan Palm
With dramatic fronds that resemble a folded paper fan, the Chinese Fan Palm adds brilliant green color and tropical texture to any sunny space. Native to the tropics of Southern Asia, this plant is full thanks to its broad, bold leaves, but with an overall compact size that makes it suitable for even small spaces. It naturally resists drought, meaning it can survive a missed watering here and there and still look great. Slow-growing and requiring minimal care, you can kick back and relax as you enjoy its lush leaves.
One of the easiest-care vining plants in our arsenal is the Heartleaf Philodendron. Native to Africa and the Canary Islands, this plant trails softly over the sides of a pot or hanging basket, or can be trained to climb a trellis or other structure. With glossy heart-shaped leaves on long stems, it grows fast and is easily propagated. The Heartleaf is incredibly forgiving and will tolerate all kinds of neglect including low light and inconsistent watering. It’s a great choice for a low-stress, first houseplant purchase or gift.
For a traditional leafy look, opt for the Bamboo Palm. Sporting dark green fronds and sturdy bamboo-like stems, this plant will add an authentic tropical touch to your space. Native to the forests of Central America and Mexico, the Bamboo Palm is extremely tolerant of low-light conditions and will easily adapt to your home or apartment. Place it in a well-lit corner and water only when 50 percent of the soil volume is dry.