5 of the Best XXL Houseplants to Splurge on for Big-Impact Style

updated Mar 12, 2021
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Houseplant lovers agree on at least one thing: It’s an absolute thrill to watch the plants in your collection grow from small baby houseplants to large, mature specimens. Because most houseplants are from the tropics, indoor settings aren’t always the exact ideal places for them — which means that odds are that your tropical houseplant isn’t going to grow as quickly as it would in its natural habitat. This can lead to some frustration if you’re trying to coax a houseplant to grow to fit the size of a certain space. 

The solution: Buy that extra-large plant you’ve been eyeing. Is it more expensive? Yes. Is it worth that extra money? Absolutely. Watching a houseplant grow is about the same as watching a pot of still water come to a boil. It’s tedious. It feels like it takes a long time. 

That fact aside, it’s a scarcely known fact that the more mature the plant is when you buy it, the hardier it will be. Plants that have strong, established root systems are easier to care for in the long run — and can be more forgiving when it comes to missteps in care. 

No matter the reason — whether it be economical, time-saving or care-driven — consider this permission to go out and buy that XXL houseplant you’ve been pining for.

Credit: Minette Hand

Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae)

The Bird of Paradise is a plant that makes the most impact in its mature form. Yes, you can find various other sizes at your favorite houseplant source, but think twice about purchasing a smaller plant. 

Generally, customers purchase a Bird of Paradise for its large, lush-looking oblong leaves. In order to usher a juvenile into its large, adult form you will need patience, a ton of humidity, and… more patience. If you’re buying this plant to fill a large space, you’re better off going with a mature one.

Strelitzia reginae is toxic to both dogs and cats.

Snake Plant (Sansevieria)

Sansevierias are notoriously slow growers. In fact, if you’re not measuring the growth, you might not notice any advancement in size for over a year. This is mainly because of misinterpreted care instructions. Snake plants can survive in low-light, drought-type conditions without a doubt. However, this type of environment does not promote growth. If you’re looking to boost your snake plant’s growth pattern, it needs to sit in indirect light with a regular watering schedule. 

So if you’re interested in an extra-large snake plant, you might as well bite it and spend the money on a mature plant. It could be decades before a smaller plant gets waist-high. 

Sansevieria are toxic to both cats and dogs.

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata)

Yes, the fiddle leaf fig is still going strong in the houseplant world. These days they’re slightly more affordable than they were during their heyday, and also easier to find. However, they’re still finicky to care for and if you’re looking to get ahead in the “successful fiddle leaf fig parent” category, it’s worth it to drop a few benjamins on a larger, established tree.

Ficus lyrata is toxic to dogs and cats. 

Credit: Minette Hand

Majesty Palm (Ravenea rivularis)

Palms are, as the kids are saying these days, such an aesthetic. An addition of one of these guys to a room immediately transports the space into a tropical, lush, luxe realm. Victorians loved palms for this reason, and so do lots of people.

For most, the best thing about majesty palms is that they’re so affordable. You can easily find a 6-foot-tall or larger plant for under $100. If you’re looking for big impact from a large plant that won’t break the bank, go with a majesty palm. You should also know that if you do purchase a smaller plant, majesty palms are slow growing — so you’ll be waiting a while if you want something large.

Ravenea rivularis is nontoxic to cats and dogs. 

Credit: Emma Fiala

String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)

Senecio rowleyanus has been hanging onto the trend-train for years. Now, folks are going wild over the variegated versions, but the rules are still the same. The string of pearls plant is a finicky diva. The smaller the plant you have, the more you’re going to have to coddle it.

Inexperienced owners tend to think that because it’s succulent, it doesn’t need to be watered but once a month. If you have a smaller plant, that’s not the case. The smaller the plant, the less-established the root system. This is a general houseplant rule but is extreme in Senecio rowleyanus’s case. Juvenile string of pearls plants need to be watered with smaller amounts of water in closer increments. So, if you want a plant with long, dangling strands of pearl-like leaves straight away, whip out that wallet and buy a large, mature plant. 

Senecio rowleyanus is toxic to dogs and cats.