Recommendations for tall indoor tree?
August 9, 2009 8:25 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for recommendations for a tall indoor tree--6-7 feet- -I have very high cathedral ceilings in my family room, and just bought a large leather sectional couch. I realized that the couch now dwarfs the plant I currently have--I would like a tall indoor tree to balance the whole look. Help me hive mind! I don't have a clue what to look for, and my google fu is not helping me
posted by chaoscutie to Home & Garden (19 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Try the Ficus. As long as you keep re-potting it, it can grow really tall.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:28 AM on August 9, 2009

Seconding ficus. They don't mind being indoors.
posted by bolognius maximus at 8:30 AM on August 9, 2009

What kind of light will the plant receive - how much daily and from which direction(s)?
posted by iconomy at 8:30 AM on August 9, 2009

Monstera deliciosa (swiss cheese plant) will grow as tall as you like, as well as having probably the coolest latin name there is.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 8:32 AM on August 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

I had a corn plant in the corrner of my dining room when I lived in a house with 13' ceilings. It balanced the heavy Victorian furniture in the room, and my notorious brown thumb didn't kill it, either.
posted by immlass at 8:32 AM on August 9, 2009

I have a beautiful dried, palm arrangement that a decorator friend got for me several years ago. It's large, 7 feet or so, and looks real. I'm googleing to try and send you a link and I can't find anything close that doesn't look terribly fake. I paid about $300 and that was the wholesale cost so I'm guessing that replacing it would be pretty pricey. Now it's bothering me that I can't find anything similar online. I'll keep digging.
posted by pearlybob at 8:35 AM on August 9, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for all the recommendations so far. Lots of eastern light--and the plant will be in a corner right next to a window--I really should have included that info!
posted by chaoscutie at 8:36 AM on August 9, 2009

In my parents' house, the living room has an 18 foot ceiling, and they have a couple of ficuses (ficii?). They have grown considerably over the years, and are probably a good 12 feet tall by now. They're really nice!

Nthing the recommendation for a ficus!

Alternatively, you could try bamboo?
posted by just_ducky at 8:52 AM on August 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have a nine foot ficus. I love the tree except I have to say that it really needs light. In fact, if you only have one window (instead of a corner or windows on two walls), the leaves on the ficus will fall off on the non-window-side. At least, that's what happened with mine. It's otherwise healthy but kinda naked looking.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 9:16 AM on August 9, 2009

An alternative to a ficus would be a Norfolk Island pine. We had them when I was a kid, and I always loved them. And they thrive in bright indirect light.
posted by kimdog at 9:31 AM on August 9, 2009

Dragon Tree. I have one that I bought in a 4" pot in 1993 - it grew 8' tall in 10 years. I had to chop it down to around 1' tall to fit it into the moving van when we relocated. It sprouted new leaves. They are very tough plants.

Norfolk Island Pines are nice, too, but you have to stay on top of watering and humidity. If they dry out too much the tips of the branches will turn brown and growth will stop from that point.

Ficus trees are pretty, but they occasionally shed leaves.
posted by Ostara at 9:37 AM on August 9, 2009

Seconding the "corn plant," or Dracaena fragrans. Mine looks a lot like this, with completely green leaves and a stem that resembles green bamboo, only on mine most of the lower leaves have been removed, so it looks more treelike. Mine was under six feet tall when I bought it a couple years ago, and it's now at least seven feet. It'll grow slower or faster on the basis of how much you water it. I keep mine on the far side of a bookcase, about three feet away from a west-facing window, and even in that sort of indirect light it's done fine.
posted by limeonaire at 9:56 AM on August 9, 2009

For years I had a Fishtail Palm and I loved it. It grew to about 9 feet before I had to give it away when I moved.
posted by trip and a half at 10:52 AM on August 9, 2009

Seconding the dragon tree. I have one that's about 11 feet tall now and has so far survived my occasionally inept treatment and not-full sun.
posted by PatoPata at 11:42 AM on August 9, 2009

An acquaintance of mine has been growing a copper beech inside her sun room in North Carolina for the last 10 years. Her tree's foliage is a rich brown in summer, with a metallic sheen to the leaves - not really copper colored, but certainly "bronze," very like these photos. Her tree is now about 12 feet tall, and does shed leaves seasonally. Light really does play instantaneously with the foliage colors of a copper beech, which makes it very visually interesting.

Eventually, such a tree will outgrow your home's interior, and become a nice candidate for transplanting to your yard or garden as a specimen tree.
posted by paulsc at 12:12 PM on August 9, 2009

Ponytail palms are nice when they get large.
posted by Brian B. at 12:39 PM on August 9, 2009

A dwarf lemon tree! Your living room will smell great, and you'll never run out of citrus for tanqueray & tonics.
posted by txvtchick at 2:02 PM on August 9, 2009

I was going to ask why no-one had recommended a rubber plant, until I realised that's what a Ficus is. My parents had one of those, and a Swiss cheese plant when I was growing up - both seemed really quite low maintainence.
posted by Coobeastie at 4:49 PM on August 9, 2009

Kentia palms are another great indoor tree that gets to the height you specified - however they are a very tropical-looking plant so that would need to suit your decor.
posted by shimmerbug at 8:37 PM on August 9, 2009

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