Tropical House Plants to Brighten Your Home

Exotic Plants to Bring the Tropics Indoors

Tropical houseplants can bring color and an exotic flair to your home. These 12 tropical plants can be grown indoors to bring a bit of the jungle or rainforest into your living room, bath, or bedroom.

  • 01 of 12

    Amazon Elephant's Ear

    Elephant ear plant

    Lazaregagnidze / Wikimedia Commons

    Amazon elephant's ear (Alocasia amazonica) are common but distinctive and almost regal. Large, arrow-shaped green leaves are ribbed with silver. They are much easier to grow inside than most Alocasia species and provide seasonal displays of wonderful foliage. This plant originated in Southeast Asia. It is poisonous, so use caution with children and pets.

  • 02 of 12

    Anthurium

    Anthurium Growing Outdoors
    Keren Sequeira / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Anthurium is a classy tropical that is highly prized for its stately, bright flowers. There are lots of anthurium cultivars out there, and while they are challenging, these are highly rewarding plants.

  • 03 of 12

    Bird of Paradise

    Bird of Paradise Blossom
    Richard A. Cooke / Getty Images

    Strelitzia (Bird of paradise) is one of the most tropical flowers in the world, with an almost gaudy array of blue and orange plumage. Fortunately, they're also surprisingly easy to grow indoors.

  • 04 of 12

    Bromeliads

    Close-Up Of Potted Bromeliad
    Marius Hepp / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Bromeliads are probably the easiest of all tropical plants to grow. These tropical epiphytes (air plants) are easily adapted to growing in pots, and they're much more tolerant than many of their lush-leaved colleagues. They come in a wide array of colors and textures.

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  • 05 of 12

    Cordyline

    Cordyling plant

    Thomas Tolkien from Scarborough, UK / Wikimedia Commons HTML

    Ask anyone who's been to Hawaii—cordyline are virtually synonymous with the tropics. These bold and colorful foliage plants are available in a wide array of leaf colors, and with proper care, can provide a dramatic accent. They are related to the ti plant.

  • 06 of 12

    Dumb Cane

    Dieffenbachia dumb cane plant
    Dennis McColeman / Getty Images

    Dumb cane (Dieffenbachia) are almost ubiquitous as houseplants, so it's easy to forget they're also a true tropical foliage plant. Watch out for the sap on these plants—it can be caustic. You should wear gloves when handling them.

  • 07 of 12

    Ficus

    Ficus plant
    Peter Chadwick / Getty Images

    Ficus are fussy, yes, but a well-grown ficus is near the pinnacle of houseplants. Large, glossy, and imposing, ficus plants are well worth the effort. The ficus is a member of the fig family.

  • 08 of 12

    Palms

    Palm tree indoors next to couch
    Daniel Sambraus / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Palm trees are the enduring symbol of everything tropical, and there is a selection of palms that are easy to grow indoors. You can enjoy them in your entryway or the corner of a sunny room and be taken back to your tropical vacation. You're in good company—Queen Victoria ensured kentia palms we used in her many residences.

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  • 09 of 12

    Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

    White peace lily flowers (spathiphyllum)
    YingHuiTay / Getty Images

    Peace lilies are lovely, especially when they're massed and in bloom. They aren't as hard to grow and maintain as they look and the blooms last for months. Even if they are a bit of a challenge to overwinter, it's still well worth the effort.

  • 10 of 12

    Philodendron

    A potted philodendron in a green planter
    Michael Westhoff / Getty Images

    For indoor use, there are climbing varieties and the self-heading (non-climbing) types of Philodendrons. Newer hybrids have been bred that mix the vigor and ease of the climbing varieties with the convenience of the self-heading varieties. It's easier than ever to grow them.

  • 11 of 12

    Schefflera

    Schefflera pueckleri foliage
    DEA / C. SAPPA / Getty Images

    Sometimes called umbrella plants, Schefflera leaves are broad, glossy and abundant. Use them as background plants, or use a big one in a bright, warm corner for a nice canopy effect.

  • 12 of 12

    Orchids

    Orchid Festival At Kew Gardens
    Oli Scarff / Getty Images

    Orchids are the most varied of all plant groups—they range all over the world, from deserts to woodlands to tropical forests. But the orchids most people love are the tropical and subtropical ones, and what says "tropics" more than a flowering orchid?