Houseplants make a great addition to any living space, but who said they have to be small and dainty? Some of the most appealing and eye-catching indoor plants are those that sport larger than life foliage and may not even need flowers to allow for a striking appearance.
In this article, we’ve provided 15 exotic examples of houseplants with big leaves that are sure to make a conversation worthy centerpiece for your household décor. From tropical plants such as the Monstera and croton plants to beautiful flowering plants such as bird of paradise and peace lilies, check out which plant suits your home best.
Elephant Ear Plant
Elephant ear plants (Colocasia esculenta) are usually found outdoors but can make great indoor plants as well. Their overly large leaves resemble pachyderm ears as the name indicates and in its native tropical environment, the leaves can reach up to five feet long! Be aware that the raw leaves are poisonous but if properly cooked, the entire plant can be consumed.
Banana Tree Plant
Banana trees make excellent houseplants especially considering their low tolerance for colder temperatures. Banana trees are considered the largest flowering herbaceous plant as they do not actually possess a woody trunk like other tree species. The indoor banana tree can grow up to 20 feet tall with leaves that reach 10 inches long. In its native tropical environment, a banana tree’s leaves can grow up to 9 feet long!
Monstera plants are truly monstrous in size as the name implies. The leaves can grow up to 3 feet long and the plant itself commonly reaches a height of 6-8 feet. You may notice that Monstera leaves are riddled with holes, but these are not the result of disease. In its native rainforest environment, these holes help it survive heavy rainfall.
Bird of Paradise Plant
Bird of paradise plants are beautiful tropical plants with lush dark green foliage and striking orange and purple flowers. The leaves usually grow up to 18 inches long and the plant itself can reach a height of 3-5 feet. There are five different species of the bird of paradise plant and all of them hail from southern Africa.
The croton plant is also a tropical plant, with the indoor version possessing more shrublike features than the wild native tree. Despite this, its leaves can grow up to 12 inches long. Croton plants are unique in that their leaf color can vary greatly including solid and hybrid versions of white, yellow, orange, pink, red, green, and purple.
The Kentia palm has a history of being associated with the fashionable elite. It featured prominently in the ‘Palm Courts’ of the best Edwardian hotels including The Ritz in London and The Plaza in New York. In fact, you will still be able to see them if you take Afternoon tea at either of these hotels today.
Luckily, these plants are more affordable now, so anybody can enjoy their beautiful long leaves. They are also easy to care for, making them popular with both houseplant owners and interior landscapers.
Rubber plants are excellent houseplants for those who are just starting to dabble in plant care. They are easy to maintain and make a bold statement with their large leathery leaves which can be maroon or dark green and grow up to 12 inches long. Wild rubber plants can reach up to 100 feet in height, but your houseplant is likely to be a much more manageable 6-8 feet tall.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Plants
Fiddle leaf fig trees are on the smaller side, but their round fiddle-shaped leaves can grow up to eight inches long. While the indoor plant will not flower or fruit due to lack of pollination, the beautiful leaves more than make up for it in appearance. These plants make great companions and if properly cared for can live up to 50 years.
Peace Lily Plants
Peace lily plants are a popular addition to any room and can even withstand windowless quarters if given the proper artificial lighting. Their leaves can grow up to 9 inches long and are a beautiful glossy green in color. Not only are they pretty, but peace lilies are also functional in that they naturally purify the air from toxic gases such as formaldehyde and carbon monoxide.
Corn plants (Dracaena fragrant) not only sport large leaves that reach up to five and a half feet long but are also tall plants that can max out at 6 feet in height. The leaves have a gorgeous striped appearance with a wide yellow band in the middle flanked by green bands. This indoor plant is native to tropical environments and can be toxic to cats and dogs.
Philodendron Xanadu Plant
Philodendron xanadu plants have uniquely shaped leaves which sport finger like lobes and can grow over a foot long. Each leaf can have up ten to fifteen lobes and are usually a rich dark green in color. There is a rare version of Philodendron xanadu known as the lime gold variety whose leaves are actually a golden lime color.
Sansevieria is a large succulent houseplant whose leaves can grow up to three feet in length. Other common names for this indoor plant include mother-in-law’s tongue and the snake plant. Unlike most plants that expel oxygen during the daytime, Sansevieria releases it at night. Sansevieria plant fibers are also popularly used in making bowstrings.
African Mask Plant
The African mask plant (Alocasia) has elongated heart shaped leaves that are a dark green on the top and a rich purple underneath. The leaves can reach up to 18 inches in length. African mask plant can also be referred to as elephant’s ears although they are a different species than the elephant’s ears mentioned earlier.
Calathea Orbifolia Plant
Calathea orbifolia plants are short but their round striated leaves can grow up to a foot in diameter. These houseplants have a unique ability maximize their light absorption by raising their leaves up during the night and lowering them in the daytime. Calathea orbifolia is also known for its ability to cleanse the air of unwanted toxins.
The Aspidistra or ‘cast iron plant’ is an easy to grow plant that can survive even in gloomy corners or north-facing rooms. Its long, elegant leaves give rooms a lush appearance. This is a plant for foliage lovers…although it’s a flowering plant, the flowers produced are very small and at the level of the soil. If you have a side table or plant stand, these are ideal for showing off an Aspidistra.
Final thoughts on houseplants with big leaves
If you’re looking for impact, there are few things that can beat a large leaf indoor plant. Whether it’s for your home or office, they are sure to create a buzz.
Houseplants with big leaves come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. The croton plant offers a variety of colors to choose from while the African mask plant has a bold contrasting color scheme. Philodendron xanadu have unique fingerlike lobes on their leaves while Calathea orbifolia are rounded like dinner plates.
No matter what style you’re looking for to complete the ensemble in your house, there is a wide variety of large-leafed houseplants from which to choose.