Ready to add a little more life to your indoor space? Big leaf plants are popular among plant enthusiasts and collectors because of their striking appearance and unique characteristics. They often have large, lush foliage that can create a dramatic and tropical feel in a garden or indoor space. But also surprisingly easy to care for - making them the ideal addition to any indoor space.
Benefits of Having Big Leaf Indoor Plants
Indoor plants with big leaves have a lot of advantages that can make them an ideal choice for any indoor space. They can help clean the air by removing harmful toxins and pollutants, as well as promote relaxation, reduce stress levels, and boost productivity. These plants can also act as natural humidifiers and add a touch of beauty to any room with their eye-catching large leaves. In addition to improving air quality and creating a peaceful ambiance, these plants can also boost morale and satisfaction in the workplace (Han et al., 2022).
Top 10 Big Leaf Indoor Plants
- Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa) - has large, glossy green leaves with unique holes or splits that give it a distinctive appearance. It's a relatively low-maintenance plant that thrives in bright, indirect sunlight and can grow up to six feet tall with proper care.
- Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata) - has large, violin-shaped leaves that are thick and leathery, making it a visually striking addition to any space. While it can be a bit finicky when it comes to its care, with the right amount of sunlight and moisture, it can grow up to 10 feet tall!
- Selloum or Tree Philodendron (Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum) - has large, deeply lobed leaves that give it a tropical appearance, and it's known for being relatively easy to care for. It can tolerate a range of lighting conditions and prefers to be kept slightly moist.
- Alocasia or African Mask (Alocasia amazonica) - has striking leaves with dark green, arrow-shaped leaves and prominent white veins, making it a standout addition to any space. It requires bright, indirect light and regular watering to thrive.
- Umbrella Tree (Schefflera actinophylla) - has large, shiny leaves arranged in an umbrella-like pattern, which give it its name. It prefers bright, indirect light and moderate watering.
- Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia seguine) - has large, patterned leaves that come in various colors, including green, yellow, and white. It prefers moderate lighting and requires regular watering to keep its leaves looking lush and vibrant.
- Prayer Plant (Calathea orbifolia) - has large, round leaves with bold stripes of green and silver, making it a popular choice for its unique appearance. It prefers low to moderate light and requires regular watering to keep its leaves from drying out.
- Dwarf Banana (Musa acuminata) - has large, paddle-shaped leaves that give it a tropical feel, and it can produce small bananas in the right conditions. It requires bright, indirect light and regular watering to thrive.
- Giant White Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia nicolai) - has large, paddle-shaped leaves with a white flower that resembles a bird in flight, making it a striking addition to any space. It prefers bright, indirect light and regular watering to keep its leaves lush and vibrant.
- Elephant Ear (Colocasia esculenta) - has heart-shaped leaves that come in various colors and patterns, including green, purple, and black. It prefers bright, indirect light and regular watering to keep its leaves looking healthy and vibrant.
How to Care for Big Leaf Indoor Plants
Big leaf indoor plants generally prefer indirect light, as too much direct sunlight can scorch their leaves. A bright, well-lit room is usually ideal. Also, these plants prefer a warm and humid environment. So it's a good idea to keep them away from cold drafts or dry air.
Avoid overwatering or underwatering your plants. Big leaf plants need more water compared to other plants because they have large leaves which evaporate more water. To water them properly, you need to make sure the soil drains well and holds enough moisture.The easiest way to determine when it's time to water is to stick your finger about an inch into the soil. If the soil feels dry, it's time to water. Most big leaf plants require about 1-2 inches of water weekly (Wang et al, 2019).
These plants grow quickly, and they will eventually outgrow their containers, which hinders their growth and health. Repotting can provide them with the space they need to continue to thrive.
Terra cotta and ceramic pots are popular choices for their stylish and traditional look. However, they may not be the best option for all climates. In hot, dry climates, terra cotta pots can absorb moisture, which can be beneficial for the plants but also may cause the soil to dry out too quickly. On the other hand, ceramic pots can provide insulation for the roots in cooler climates, but may not be suitable for outdoor use in areas that experience freezing temperatures.
If you're looking for an eco-friendly option, sustainable pots that are made of stone, wood, and recycled plastic can be a great choice. These pots are lightweight, durable, and can be used both indoors and outdoors. The added stone or wood can provide insulation and regulate soil temperature, making them ideal for both hot and cold climates.
Big leaf indoor plants benefit from a regular dose of balanced fertilizer during the growing season (spring and summer). Follow the instructions on the fertilizer package and avoid over fertilizing, which leads to burned leaves.
Regular pruning can help keep your plants looking neat and tidy, while also promoting healthy growth. Remove any yellow or dead leaves, as well as any stems that are growing in an undesirable direction. Just use clean and sharp pruning tools to avoid damaging your plants.
Be mindful of pests, as big leaf indoor plants can be susceptible to insect infestations. Common pests include spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. Regularly inspect your plants for signs of pests, such as webbing or sticky residue on the leaves. If you notice an infestation, treat it promptly with an appropriate insecticide.
Big leaf indoor plants can add a touch of natural beauty to any indoor space. By providing the right care, including proper watering, fertilizing, pruning, and pest control, you can enjoy healthy and vibrant plants for years to come. So bring some greenery into your home with these stunning and easy-to-care-for plants.
Han, K. T., Ruan, L. W., & Liao, L. S. (2022). Effects of Indoor Plants on Human Functions: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analyses. International journal of environmental research and public health, 19(12), 7454. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127454
Wang, C. et al., (2019). The smaller the leaf is, the faster the leaf water loses in a temperate forest. Front. Plant Sci. 10:58. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpls.2019.00058/full
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