The idea of growing trees indoors is not new, but it is distinctly wonderful. Since the Renaissance, when fabulous orangeries were created to protect delicate citrus trees from cold winter weather, people have loved the idea of enjoying trees year-round. The crisp and sweet fragrance of orange and lemon blossoms can be almost magical when enjoyed during the winter. As technologies evolved to allow glass makers to create larger expanses of clear window glass, orangeries became status symbols for those wealthy enough to afford them.
Eventually, architectural design embraced glass in a wide diversity of homes, and the extra light allowed many indoor plants to grow. While architects have found new ways to incorporate conservatories, greenhouses, skylights and larger windows in homes, interior designers have enjoyed adding plants to many rooms. Indoor plants are a significant part of interior décor. But including large trees is one way to satisfy the yearning for nature in a bold way.
Grow Orange and Lemon Trees in an Indoor Porch
For the ultimate in natural, seductive fragrance, flowering orange and lemon trees are at the top of the list. That’s one reason why they’ve been housed in orangeries for centuries. The second reason is that they bear delicious and healthy citrus fruit. It’s no wonder that many now grow citrus trees inside year-round. Citrus trees can grow in large pots indoors with plenty of light available. For fruit, the flowers must be hand-pollinated, but the process is easy and the rewards are tremendous.
Bring a Ficus to a Dining Room
Ficus trees doe well in bright indirect or filtered light. They’re not fond of temperatures below 60 F, and they appreciate a misting of water now and then. For the extra care they require, they’ll offer a beautiful living piece of art for your dining room. Recently, it’s been popular to braid their pliable trunks as they grow. This gives the trunks the appearance of a very graceful strand of braided licorice. The tallest trees have a full sprinkling of trees floating at the tops of slender branches which grow out of their slender and lovely trunks. Place them by a window and enjoy the variations of light and shadow which you’ll see throughout their leaves.
Place the Willowy Schefflera in Front of a Mirror
For delicate beauty, the Schefflera is a wonderful choice. Placing one in front of a mirror in an entry hall will double the green color in the space. The reflection in the mirror will make it seem as if there is a mini-forest in the entry way, and this can create the feeling of more space.
Give a Shiny Rubber Plant the End Table’s Spot
It’s not necessary to have end tables by sofas and chairs. Giving a rubber plant that space can dramatically reshape the character of the room. Rubber plants grow tall and the branches spread out like fans. These medium sized trees can provide a calming place to visit or read. Their broad leaves also are good for the indoor environment because they breath in carbon dioxide and release fresh oxygen in its place. Locating it near seating areas literally provides a breath of fresh air.
Position a Lacy Olive Tree in a Library for Timeless Elegance
Olive trees are a lovely grayish green in color. Their leaves and branches have a fragile quality which almost gives them a lacey appearance. They can be placed in front of a library shelf or cabinet when there is plenty of room to access the books and items behind. Their muted color can frame a library wall in any room without detracting from the keepsakes stored there.
Locate a Wild Banana Tree in Front of a Sunny Window
Wild banana is often called the giant white bird of paradise. The species Strelizia nicolai does well placed in front of a sunny window. It can provide some shade inside a typically warmer room, but its beauty comes from the way the light filters through its leaves. It will do well even if it is situated near a window, which gives more decorating options for the space available.
Let Some Palm Trees Nestle in the Living Room Corners
Corners can be difficult places. They’re usually dead spots because most furniture won’t fit well in them. That makes these tight spots the perfect places to feature plants as sculptures. Palm trees come with a wide variety of leaf shapes. While the classic outdoor tropical palm trees have long, pointed leaves, there are other varieties such as the Fishtail Palm which has small leaves and shorter heights which allow it to fit well inside homes.
Allow a Fiddleleaf Fig to Spread it’s Leaves in a Sitting Area
Fiddleleaf Figs have been very popular for several years. It’s hard not to love the way their large, floppy leaves fill corner spaces which need visual softening. Their broad leafy canopy adds a lush green pop of color without overtaking the entire ceiling. They look great housed in large, natural woven baskets and add a relaxing contribution to any room.
Create an Evergreen Topiary for a Sunroom
Evergreens come in all sizes from tall trees to bushes. They make excellent topiaries. Though it’s tempting to think of topiaries as trees clipped into fanciful animal shapes, it’s also possible to trim trees into clearly defined geometric shapes. A pair of geometric topiaries can add soothing green to a sunroom space and look great next to casual furniture upholstered in stripes or complementary geometric designs.
With all of that said, here’s a gallery to give you some great ideas!