Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > August 2015 > The Great Indoors-Big Plants for Big Spaces

The Great Indoors-Big Plants for Big Spaces

For those of you who have the space…soaring ceilings or grand foyers…there are some wonderful houseplants that either sport large showy foliage or just get pretty darn big!  The drama of large plants gives you a sense of being in a botanical garden.

The Tree Philodendron (Philodendron selloum) has long been popular for its giant, hand-shaped leaves on long petioles, as well as its strange adventitious roots that will worm their way across the room if not controlled.  The common name refers to the thick woody vine that forms over time.  This vine works its way up the trees in the jungle until the huge leaves can receive all of the sunlight they need.  In south Florida you will see these plants used in the landscape, their sunny location keeping them a little more compact, but in your home they will stretch out wildly in search of more sunlight.  Leaves, with their many finger-like lobes, can be as large as two feet across.

Another aroid reminiscent of the jungle is the Split-leaf Philodendron (Monstera deliciosa), its leaves having splits and holes that allow it to cast very interesting shadows on floors or walls when the sun shines on it.  It too is a woody climber, thick-stemmed and robust.  The juvenile form of this plant is called Philodendron pertussum, with leaves smaller and sporting fewer holes and splits.  This plant really needs staking when it begins to vine.  The leaves of the Split-leaf can be as large as three feet in width.

The trendy Fiddle-leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata) will grow to the cathedral ceiling, filling quite a bit of space with its large, glossy leathery leaves that are “fiddle-shaped.”  Like its relative, the Weeping Fig, the lyrata needs very bright light to keep its trunks and stems sturdy and its foliage dense.  With less light, the plant will stretch out and become what we like to call “airy.”

If you want an “islands” look, try the White Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia Nicolai).  Sometimes mistaken for a banana plant, the White Bird’s large banana-like leaves fan-out from its trunk.  Its bloom, rarely seen when grown indoors, is similar to that of the popular cut-flower from the Orange Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae), except that its boat-shaped inflorescence cradles white sepals with blue petals.  This plant can reach ten to twelve feet in a container.

Back to aroids, there are several birdsnest types of anthuriums that have leaves growing to three feet or more in length, and, with a wide growth habit, make spectacular specimens.  They will also produce a flower that has the same configuration as that of the peace lily, but with a smaller, less colorful spath (modified leaf) yet a longer, more interesting spadix.
And speaking of peace lilies, the Spathiphyllum ‘Sensation’ has both very large leaves and large flowers.  This plant can get to be six feet tall by six feet wide in its container.  Who doesn’t love a peace lily?

These are just a few of the larger-growing indoor plants that will add some “wow” to your home.  And, while they do take up a lot of space, there are some of us “plant crazies” who use them in our tiny spaces…we just work around them!
Posted: 8/11/2015 by Margot | with 0 comment(s)
Filed under: Great, Indoor, Indoors, Large, Margot, Plants, The
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