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As with any kind of home decor, a houseplant collection looks best when you’ve got variety—of leaf, shape, texture, color, and size. And that means sometimes you have to go big. Large leaf houseplants can tie a room together and lend an air of tropical tranquility your desk cactus just can’t achieve, no matter how hard it tries (sorry, cacti! We love you for other reasons). Looking for inspiration? You can’t overlook these big leaf beauties.
Let’s start with the obvious. Fiddle leaf fig, that darling tree beloved by millennials and trendy offices, just wouldn’t be the same without its oven mitt-sized leaves. The fact that they sit comically atop a spindly trunk makes it all the more adorable. Fiddle leaf isn’t difficult to grow, but it’s not exactly easy going either. Lots of bright light, evenly moist soil, and a good dose of humidity are key.
Buy: Large Potted Fiddle Leaf Fig, $195 at Bloomscape
If you want a seriously big plant, elephant ear is for you. With its dinner plate-sized (or larger) leaves, you can always count on elephant ear to make a statement. Elephant ear is the common name for two related plant families, Colocasia and Alocasia. Alocasias are more frequently used for houseplants, and Alocasia ‘Polly,’ or African mask plant, is a particularly hot commodity these days. Give them bright but filtered light (they’re prone to scorching), perpetually damp soil and high humidity.
Buy: Small Alocasia Polly, $38 at The Sill
If you don’t have the space for oversized plants but still want something that makes its presence known, try a croton. These fall-colored beauties have medium-large leaves highlighted by hues of red, orange and yellow. Know that they’ll need some direct sun to keep their color, however, as well as evenly moist soil and—you guessed it—high humidity.
Buy: Pure Beauty Farms 1 Gal. Croton Petra, $12.95 at Home Depot
Rubber plant rivals fiddle leaf fig for style, without the fussy temperament. The leaves are large, though not huge, though it can grow quite tall—up to 10 feet—if given the head room. Rubber plants come in dozens of beautiful colorful and variegated cultivars so you can have one in every room and not be bored. Care is simple: give it a medium to bright light and let the soil dry out an inch or two down in between waterings.
Buy: 6-inch Burgundy Rubber Plant, $24.99 at Garden Goods Direct
Banana plants have large, lush leaves that scream tropical paradise. And yes, we are talking about plant that produces actual bananas, though don’t expect that to happen in your home. These beauties need a lot of light—we’re talking 4-6 hours of full sunlight every day—so only bring one home if you’re sure your space can deliver. They like when their soil dries out between waterings and have a strong preference for high humidity.
Buy: Hirt’s Gardens Dwarf Banana Plant, $8.99 at Walmart
This one’s a biggie—tree philodendron’s leaves can be up to four feet long. The leaves are similar in shape to Alocasia, except they’ve got deep notches all around the edges, giving them a fern-like vibe. But for all its impressive size, tree philodendron is a gentle giant. All it asks is for medium light and that you remember to water it regularly.
Buy: Tree Philodendron, $42 at Plantvine
Last but not least, monstera deliciosa always demands to be the center of attention. Its large, uniquely notched and perforated leaves are anything but boring. Caring for it is manageable for advanced beginners if you can meet its demand for medium to bright light and discipline yourself not to overwater.
Buy: Monstera Deliciosa, $55 at The Sill