These Tropical Houseplants Will Make Your Home Feel Like a Jungle

palm tree growing in living room with gray couch, white carpet and wicker furniture

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We love houseplants for the way they can change the mood of a room. Succulents and cacti can create a desert-inspired feel, while trendy, multicolored plants add contemporary charm. But tropicals—many of our most beloved houseplants—might be the most transformative of all. These are some of the best tropical houseplants for creating lush, jungle-like vibes in your space.

Meet the Expert

Alexandra Jones is a certified master gardener in Philadelphia. As an indoor and outdoor gardener, Jones is an author in topics like gardening, climate, urban farming, and sustainability.

01 of 13

Pink Anthurium

pink anthurium plant in orange pot in front of pink and white wall

@beardsanddaisies

  • Botanical name: Anthurium andraeanum
  • Sun exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil type: Orchid soil or free-draining soilless mix capable of holding water
  • Soil pH: 5.5 - 6.5

With shiny, heart-shaped green leaves and blooms ranging from pink to deep red, anthurium is the perfect tropical to add a pop of color to your houseplant collection. Also known as flamingo flower, tailflower, or pigtail plant, anthuriums are epiphytes and will grow best with orchid mix or soilless mix of half fir bark and half sphagnum moss. Like many humidity-loving tropicals, they make great bathroom plants.

02 of 13

Aglaonema

four chinese evergreen plants in wicker baskets against dark gray wall

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  • Botanical name: Aglaonema commutatum
  • Sun exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil type: Peat-based potting soil
  • Soil pH: 5.5 - 6.5

Another colorful tropical, aglaonema—also known as Chinese evergreen—comes in deep greens, bright pinks, and other colorful patterns. Cultivars with green leaves, sometimes called Phillippine evergreen, are best for lower-light areas. You'll want to give brightly colored aglaonema more light to keep their showy look and speckled patterns.

03 of 13

Avocado

sprouted avocado pit with leaves and roots in mason jar on white wood background

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  • Botanical name: Persea americana
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil type: Rich, well-draining potting mix
  • Soil pH: 5.0 - 7.0

Yes, it is possible to grow a scaled-down avocado tree in your home! You can purchase mature avocado plants from nurseries and garden centers, but it's also fun to propagate your own. It's possible to root a cutting from a friend in water, or you can save your next avocado pit and use it to grow a new plant from seed.

04 of 13

Coffee Plant

small potted coffee plant in blue pot in front of pink wall

@my.little.house.of.plants

  • Botanical name: Coffea arabica
  • Sun exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil type: Peat-based potting soil
  • Soil pH: 6.0 - 6.5

We love coffee for all the usual reasons, of course—but it also makes a lovely, low-maintenance houseplant. While you probably won't get any coffee berries from an indoor coffee plant, you will get lush, glossy green foliage. Take care not to overwater this plant, and make sure to keep it in a place away from cold drafts or hot, dry air.

05 of 13

Umbrella Plant

dwarf schefflera plant in front of cream wall with white paper streamers

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  • Botanical name: Schefflera actinophylla or Brassaia actinophylla
  • Sun exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil type: Peat-based potting mix
  • Soil pH: 6.0 - 6.5

This tall, elegant houseplant gets its common name from the umbrella-like shape of its lush green leaves. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings to avoid root rot. If you're short on space, look for dwarf varieties, which are smaller and more compact.

06 of 13

Dumb Cane

houseplants in wooden shelf against white wall

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  • Botanical name: Dieffenbachia
  • Sun exposure: Low, medium, or bright light
  • Soil type: Moist, well-draining potting mix
  • Soil pH: 6.1 - 6.5

This well-loved houseplant gets its name from the effect of a toxic compound in its stems and leaves. If it's chewed, calcium oxalate will cause the mouth and throat to swell—take care to keep this plant far out of reach of curious children and pets. Other than that, it's very versatile, able to accommodate low to bright light.

07 of 13

Monstera

monstera deliciosa displayed in living room with TV and other houseplants

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  • Botanical name: Monstera deliciosa
  • Sun exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil type: Well-drained potting mix
  • Soil pH: 5.5 - 7.0

The crown jewel for many a plant lover, monstera plants are known for their wide green leaves bordered with attractive splits. Be sure to give this jungle plant a moss pole or other support to climb on. Give the leaves an occasional rinse in the shower or wipe them with a soft, damp cloth every so often to remove dust buildup.

08 of 13

Money Tree

money tree in front of window blinds in white pot on brown table

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  • Botanical name: Pachira aquatica
  • Sun exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil type: Moist potting mix
  • Soil pH: 6.0 - 7.5

One of several species said to bring good financial fortune to their owners in some cultures—jade plants and Pilea peperomioides are the others—money tree is often used for this purpose in feng shui. It's frequently sold in plant stores and gift shops with several stems braided into one trunk, topped with a spray of palm-shaped leaves. With proper care, these plants will grow as tall as six to eight feet in height.

09 of 13

Kentia Palm

green kentia palm in black container on wooden kitchen table with books, towel, small succulent, white coffee mug

Coco Lapine Design 

  • Botanical name: Howea forsteriana
  • Sun exposure: Low to bright, indirect light
  • Soil type: Well-draining potting mix
  • Soil pH: 6.0 - 7.5

Also known as sentry palm, paradise palm, or thatch palm, the kentia palm is about as low-maintenance as they come. It can grow in low light, making it great for darker corners where other plants won't thrive. However, they're susceptible to overwatering, so it's better to err on the side of letting the soil dry out a bit rather than watering too frequently.

10 of 13

Orchid

pink orchid on bathroom counter

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  • Botanical name: Orchidaceae
  • Sun exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil type: Orchid mix
  • Soil pH: 5.5 - 6.5

While these beautiful tropical blooms have a reputation for being tricky to grow, you can help them thrive with a few key tips. Orchids are epiphytes, meaning they don't typically grow in soil but on the branches of trees, absorbing nutrients and moisture from the air through their roots. An orchid pot and the proper orchid mix, which includes chunks of bark or lava rocks, will help give your plant's roots the aeration they need.

11 of 13

Bromeliad

pink and purple bromeliad plant with green leaves

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  • Botanical name: Bromeliaceae
  • Sun exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil type: Aerated, well-draining soil or orchid mix
  • Soil pH: 4.0 - 7.0

Another epiphyte, bromeliads feature elegant, rosette-shaped foliage and bright, colorful blooms that emerge from the center of the plant. Be sure to keep the plant's central cup filled with water rather than watering the growing medium. Add a few drops of houseplant fertilizer to the cup each month, which will give it the nutrients provided by trapped insects in the wild.

12 of 13

Peace Lily

peace lily in bathroom

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  • Botanical name: Spathiphyllum
  • Sun exposure: Low to bright, indirect light
  • Soil type: Well-draining potting mix
  • Soil pH: 5.0 - 6.5

This lush, flowering tropical is a common sight in homes, offices, and other interior spaces because it's so low-maintenance and easy to grow. It's able to adapt to a wide range of light conditions, although specimens with brighter light are more likely to send up blooms—creamy, teardrop-shaped spathes surrounding tiny protruding flowers.

13 of 13

Bird of Paradise

living room with white couch and bird of paradise plant in background

Black & Blooms

  • Botanical name: Strelitzia reginae
  • Sun exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil type: Rich, well-draining potting mix
  • Soil pH: 5.5 - 7.5

This tall, tropical stunner makes an excellent statement plant for just about any room. Enjoy them for their long, upright stems supporting wide, sometimes split leaves. Plants that are potbound are more likely to grow the species' signature spiky, orange-and-blue flowers, so wait until the plant is at least three years old to repot, and then only go up one size container.

Article Sources
MyDomaine uses only high-quality, trusted sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Poisonous Houseplants. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. October 31, 2012

  2. Zhang S, Yang Y, Li J, et al. Physiological Diversity of Orchids. Plant Diversity. 2018;40(4):196-208. doi:10.1016/j.pld.2018.06.003

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