One of the best things about indoor trees is they add color to your house while cleaning the air you breathe. While there are several indoor tree plants to choose from, some make better choices than others, especially if you are a cat owner.
As a cat lover, you know that there are a few individual plants and trees that are toxic to cats, but there comes a time where you want more than just cat grass and catnip. Being toxic to cats is only one consideration for picking out indoor trees; you also want something that is going to look beautiful in your home.
From small to large indoor trees, we have several recommendations on beautiful trees that won’t kill your cat. As long as you select the right indoor tree and provide it with the proper care and right conditions, it will thrive indoors.
- How to Care for Trees Indoors
- Planting Tips for Small and Large Indoor Trees
- Common Problems in Indoor Trees
- Beautiful Indoor Trees
- Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) – Low Light Indoor Tree
- Alli Ficus (Ficus binnendijkii)
- Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica)
- Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina) – Large Indoor Tree
- Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)
- Madagascar Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)
- Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans) – Low Maintenance Indoor Tree
- Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata)
- Kentia Palm (Howea forsteriana)
- Forgiving Indoor Tree – Yucca Cane (Yucca elephantipes)
- Umbrella Tree (Schefflera)
- Rubber Tree (Ficus elastica)
- Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla) – Indoor Christmas Tree
- Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis)
- Majesty Palm (Ravenea rivularis)
- Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa) – Easy to Grow Indoor Tree Plant
- Olive Tree (Olea Europea)
How to Care for Trees Indoors
Caring for indoor trees involves finding out what kind of attention they need. Look into lighting requirements of the tree you wish to plant. Does it require direct or indirect light?
Does it prefer morning sun or full sun? You also need to look into watering and fertilizing requirements. Although you may not repot your indoor tree every year, you will want to provide it with new soil yearly.
Avoid moving your indoor trees as much as possible as they will acclimate to their surroundings and moving them could cause undue stress. When watering your indoor trees, avoid getting water on the foliage and do not overwater.
Overwatering can lead to root rot, which is a sure way to kill your tree. Unless the tree calls for a specific temperature of the water, you should use room temperature water rather than cold. Wipe the tree foliage with a damp cloth regularly and look for common pests while wiping down the leaves.
Planting Tips for Small and Large Indoor Trees
When planting indoor trees, consider the size of the tree so that you can select the right size pot. As small indoor trees grow, you will need to repot them in bigger containers until they have reached the size you want.
Plant the trees in high-quality soil in a pot with drainage holes. The drainage holes and knowing the watering requirements prevent overwatering.
Common Problems in Indoor Trees
One of the biggest problems with indoor tree plants is watering. Some people overwater the trees, while others don’t give the trees enough water. Lighting can also be an issue – too little, too much, or the wrong kind of light can wreak havoc on indoor trees.
Other common problems with indoor trees include pests, drafts, incorrect temperatures, and repotting. To avoid these common problems, research them carefully and know the exact care that they require. Ensure that if you want desk plants that do not need sunlight that you choose the right variety. Plants that need light should be placed by a window or a lamp that is on frequently to provide the appropriate nutrients for the plant.
If your indoor trees are suffering from root rot due to overwatering or fungal infection, you can fix the problem before your tree dies. Hydrogen peroxide for house plants solves many issues, including root rot and fungal infections. The extra oxygen in hydrogen peroxide puts additional oxygen into the overwatered soil.
Solving fungus problems require you to spray a hydrogen peroxide solution directly on the foliage. Hydrogen peroxide may also be used to sanitize new pots, repel pests, and fertilize your indoor trees.
Beautiful Indoor Trees
Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) – Low Light Indoor Tree
If you are looking for indoor tree plants that require low light conditions, consider the Parlor Palm. As a popular low light indoor tree, it also does well in lower temperatures. The Parlor Palm grows in clumps, although you can find single specimens. The clumps show lightly textured foliage that hides the thin trunks of these indoor tree plants.
With year-round growth, the Parlor Palm can reach six feet tall and 3 feet wide when grown indoors. Repotting may become necessary later, but growth is slow. These low light house plants are sensitive to overwatering and too much light, so pay attention when giving these plants care.
Alli Ficus (Ficus binnendijkii)
Long slender leaves dangle from the branches of this beautiful indoor tree. The Alii Ficus is more robust than other ficus trees so it can withstand a variety of lighting conditions. The tree can grow up to 8 feet tall and works wonderfully in living rooms, as indoor bedroom plants, or in offices inside a bigger container.
Unlike some indoor trees, the Alli Ficus isn’t known for continually dropping leaves, which means less mess for you to clean. This nontoxic tree grows best when watered with lukewarm water.
Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica)
The Money Tree got its name because it is supposed to bring good luck to those who grow it. One of the best features of this indoor tree is its slender trunk, which usually comes braided. Although the trunk starts thin, it does thicken over time and acquires more texture for an exciting look that adds interest to any room in which it sits.
The Money Tree brings a tropical feel to your home with its hand-shaped leaves. It is relatively easy to take care of and requires bright to medium light. The tree prefers slightly moist soil.
Although the Money Tree can grow up to 60 feet outdoors, when kept indoors, it will only reach up to five feet, making it one of the best small indoor trees. This tree may require repotting occasionally so keep an eye on it to make sure it does not become root-bound in its current container.
Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina) – Large Indoor Tree
The Weeping Fig is one of several favorite trees you can grow indoors mainly because of how it looks. The boughs of the tree arch slightly and feature teardrop leaves that are bright green. The color of the leaves pairs nicely with the charcoal gray bark on the braided or non-braided trunk.
The tree will drop leaves when it is not being cared for properly, so keep it away from dry, hot air and cold drafts. When caring for your Weeping Fig, expose it to bright, indirect light and keep the soil barely moist.
One of the large indoor trees, the Weeping Fig can reach heights of up to twelve feet if not pruned. Pruning the tree allows you to keep it at the perfect height for any room.
Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)
Ponytail Palms are not only safe for cats and other household pets, but they are also easy to take care of. This is one of the few indoor trees that doesn’t require regular watering. The bulbous base of the tree stores moisture for the tree, allowing it to go weeks without needing any water.
Even under the harshest conditions, the strap-like cascading leaves never seem to wilt or drop. Be aware the tree is slow growing, so if you want it to be tree-sized, you will need to find the largest plant you can.
Eventually, the tree will grow to six feet tall, even indoors. For optimal growing, place the tree in an East or West-facing window where it will receive plenty of bright, indirect light.
Madagascar Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)
If you are after something that is safe for pets and works with just about any kind of indoor décor, the Madagascar Dragon Tree is an excellent choice. Grassy looking green leaves with a pink or red margin provide a dramatic look in any setting. The Madagascar Dragon Tree also comes in various forms, including clump, single stem, triple braid, or a double braid.
This tree can survive in dark corners; it will thrive when placed in bright light. The less light the tree receives, the more likely it is to lose its red or pink coloring. With the ability to reach up to six feet tall, the tree only requires water when the soil is dry to the touch.
Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans) – Low Maintenance Indoor Tree
If you have seen this “plant,” you can quickly tell where its common name came from and why its one of the most popular house plants to grow. The broad leaves offer a dark green color with a lime-green band down the center, which is similar to how sweet corn leaves appear. Although technically a houseplant, it can be considered an indoor tree as it can grow up to 6 feet tall.
The thick cane-like stems require a liquid fertilizer every three weeks during spring and summer. The Corn Plant will tolerate a variety of light conditions and thrive, but you need to keep it away from full, direct sunlight. Watering is only required when the soil’s surface is dry to the touch.
Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata)
The Fiddle Leaf Fig adds interest to any home décor with its bold foliage. The violin-shaped leaves of the Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree are huge with a waxy, dark green color. The tree can grow to an impressive 10 feet indoors when cared for adequately.
The tree thrives in a variety of lighting conditions and only requires watering when the soil dry. This indoor tree will need a quick dusting or a shower to keep the large leaves in their best shape. As the tree and leaves are on the large size, the tree works best in extensive entryways or living rooms.
Note that the Fiddle Leaf Fig is better in homes without pets or young children. While attractive, this plant’s leaves are toxic if ingested.
Kentia Palm (Howea forsteriana)
As far as an indoor palm tree goes, the Kentia Palm is the best choice for many. The tree is safe for household pets, easy to grow, and is tolerant of various indoor conditions. The tree offers a dark-green frond that provides an elegant look.
These Palms do cost a little more than other palms, but their looks and ease of care makes it worth the expense. A Kentia Palm doesn’t require any pruning or repotting throughout its life because of its slow growth rate.
It has been shown to live longer than other indoor trees and does best in a spot that receives bright light. Only water this tree when the soil feels dry.
Forgiving Indoor Tree – Yucca Cane (Yucca elephantipes)
Not all of us are plant gurus; some of us are more forgetful when it comes to plants or trees than we want to be. If you fall into the second category, the Yucca Cane is an excellent choice for you. This indoor tree thrives in dry, hot conditions and requires very little care for its sword-like, bright green leaves and woody trunk.
The tree can grow indoors from four to eight feet tall, but it does have a slow growth rate, so buy the tallest one you can find. Water the Yucca Cane when the dirt is dry and place it in bright light. For optimal growth, fertilize twice a year.
Umbrella Tree (Schefflera)
Considered a tropical shrub, this attractive plant is easily trimmed to look like a tree. The attraction many homeowners have with this tree is it requires little care as long as you place it in an area that receives bright light. When placed in lower light conditions, the Umbrella Plant will require some pruning to keep it compact.
The Umbrella Plant comes in dwarf and standard forms. Dwarf Umbrella Plants grow to no more than three feet tall, while conventional plants can grow up to six feet tall. Variegated hand-shaped leaves require random inspections for pests and scale.
Rubber Tree (Ficus elastica)
If you are looking for large indoor trees that make a statement, look no further than the Rubber Tree. The large leaves of this popular tree can be a lovely shade of green, bronze, or variegated. A little known fact about these easy to grow trees is they seem to do better when neglected than carefully cared for.
The Rubber Tree can reach heights of up to eight feet tall when grown indoors. For optimal growing, the tree requires bright indirect sunlight paired with regular watering. Minor pruning is necessary to encourage bushier growth in these trees.
Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla) – Indoor Christmas Tree
The pyramidal shaped Norfolk Island Pine is often referred to as a living Christmas tree, as they are frequently sold in stores during November and December. The Norfolk Island Pine features horizontal branches that are home to dark green, soft needles. Repotting will be necessary down the road, as the tree will need some extra space to stretch out.
Norfolk Island Pines require bright sunlight, and the soil needs to be kept slightly moist. Placing it near a window will ensure that it gets the light it needs, even in the colder months.
The tree can grow as high as eight feet tall outside but is slow to grow indoors and is ideal as one of the best dwarf evergreen trees for the home or office. Lower branches are prone to dying back the longer the plant lives but this doesn’t affect the appearance of this particular pine tree.
While some people claim that this Christmas tree doesn’t have an aroma, others love it as one of the fragrant indoor plants that you can enjoy all year. Whether you are looking for something a little different to add to the decor in your rooms or simply like the atmosphere this wintery-type tree offers, you can’t go wrong with a Norfolk Island Pine.
Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis)
If you want the best indoor trees for an atrium, sunny family room or kitchen, consider the Fishtail Palm. The beautiful tree features arching branches with corrugated blue-green leaves shaped like triangles.
The tree needs water when the top inch of soil is dry but is a tougher tree so it will still survive if you do forget to water on occasion. The Fishtail Palm can grow as tall as ten feet inside the house, so if purchasing one ensure you have tall enough ceilings for it.
Majesty Palm (Ravenea rivularis)
The Majesty Palm produces arching fronds with bright green foliage that looks elegant in a variety of rooms. When purchasing this indoor tree, bear in mind that it does best in places that expose it to bright indirect sunlight rather than direct sunlight. The tree requires minimal watering and does best in slightly moist soil.
Majesty Palms thrive in humid environments, so rather than place this beauty in the living room, consider adding it to a bathroom or shower room. Whether you place the tree in your house or on your front porch, it will not get over six feet tall.
Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa) – Easy to Grow Indoor Tree Plant
A multi-stem species of palm, the Lady Palm requires less light than other indoor palm trees. The lower light requirement allows it to be adaptable to its environment, so you can add it to just about any room in the house and enjoy it year-round.
The Lady Palm does well with only interior lighting, so windows aren’t a concern. If placed in front of a window, opt for a North or East facing window.
The Lady Palm is known for its finger-like fronds that are dark green with thick branches. The tree only grows to about five feet but will need to be repotted as it becomes wider. Water the Lady Palm when soil is dry.
Olive Tree (Olea Europea)
Citrus trees, such as the lemon tree, are toxic to cats; to grow fruit trees in pots indoors you have to rely on olive trees if you have furry felines. If you choose to grow a tree in a container you want to opt for the dwarf variety as they only reach heights of six feet tall, but can be pruned to keep them shorter.
As easy fruit trees to grow indoors, olive trees require six hours of direct sunlight and do best with southern exposure. To prevent leaves from accidentally burning, never let the leaves touch the window glass, as it can get too hot for the leaves when the sun hits it. Olive trees are small fruit trees that can tolerate dry air but are considered slow growing, so be careful not to over water.
It’s easy growing fruit trees in pots if you pay attention to the care instructions and provide what the plant needs. Only water your olive tree when the soil feels dry about an inch down. You’ll have delicious olives before you know it!
As a cat lover finding indoor trees and plants can be hard as many have toxic leaves. Having cats doesn’t mean you have to give up owning beautiful greenery; it just means you have to make your selections a little more carefully. Doing just a little bit of research will provide you with plenty of attractive indoor trees that won’t kill your cat.
Thank you for reading about attractive indoor trees that won’t harm your cat. If you found this post on indoor trees helpful, please take a minute to share our nontoxic tree ideas with others on Facebook and Pinterest.