If you’re a fan of the long, slender look, you may be curious about which houseplants have long, thin leaves – and we’re going to find out!
Or, if you own a houseplant with long leaves and you aren’t sure what it is, chances are you will find it on this list.
In this article, we will go over the best houseplants with long thin leaves and how to care for them:
1. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)
Spider plants are probably one of the most famous plants with long, thin leaves.
These can stretch to around 18 inches long at the most, and may be either plain green, or striped with white.
Spider plants are very popular plants and love to trail down surfaces.
They can grow even longer than their maximum leaf length, because they will output long stems with baby plants attached – and these can grow dangling from the main plant, their own leaves trailing down surfaces toward the floor.
They themselves can produce babies too.
- Light: bright, indirect sunlight is ideal, but they will tolerate lower light conditions.
- Water: these plants prefer rainwater, and like to be kept moist, but not soggy.
- Temperature: ideally above 50 degrees F (10°C), with minimal drafts.
- Soil: best in loose, well-draining soils that have an approximately neutral pH value.
2. Dragon Tree (Dracaena)
This plant has a long, thick stem, and grows all its leaves at the top, making it look like a miniature palm tree. The leaves are long, and can grow to over a foot when the plant is mature.
They sprawl upward from the thick trunk, overlapping with each other in all directions.
The leaves tend to be glossy and, like a spider plant’s leaves, they often have a colored stripe or colored edging running the length of the leaf.
This may be white or red, and it’s very attractive, instantly changing any room the plant is in.
- Light: semi-shade or filtered sunlight, but never direct sun, or the leaves will burn.
- Water: lightly mist the soil, but do not water deeply, as over-watering will cause root rot.
- Temperature: must be above 55 degrees F, preferably above 65 degrees F (18°C).
- Soil: well-draining, rich soil.
3. Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea Recurvata)
If you want truly thin leaves, the Ponytail Palm delivers; its foliage is extremely slim, and long enough to form curl-like waves all around its main stem.
It looks rather like a miniature weeping willow, and even an indoor plant’s leaves can reach 3 feet long – or up to 6 feet if you’re able to grow it outdoors.
That’s extremely impressive, although in proportion, since the main plant can reach up to 30 feet tall when growing outside, so it makes sense that its leaf length should match!
- Light: prefers direct sun, but will grow in half light or even light shade.
- Water: minimal watering; this plant prefers succulent soil and may only need a drink once a month, as it stores water in its trunk.
- Temperature: always above 45 degrees F (7-8°C).
- Soil: very well-draining soil, preferably for succulents.
4. Aloe Vera
Another famous houseplant with an iconic look, an aloe vera’s leaves are long, triangular spikes.
They can reach an impressive 18 inches long sometimes, although only the largest specimens will achieve this kind of length.
There are a few different kinds of aloes, but all are characterized by their triangular, elongated leaves that are full of gel.
Some aloes get several feet tall, while others remain smaller, so choose your variety with care.
- Light: plenty of bright light, but not too much direct sun.
- Water: about once every three weeks, or less in winter, allowing the soil to dry in between waterings.
- Temperature: above 55 degrees F (13°C), as this plant prefers warm temperatures.
- Soil: prefers cactus soil, or potting compost with sand or perlite mixed in.
Similar in appearance to the Dragon Tree, the Yucca has a very distinctive, palm-like appearance, with a froth of slim, long leaves at the crown of its trunk.
These can grow to a full 24 inches long, and sometimes they are almost as wide.
Yucca leaves lend the plant an impressive, unusual appearance but you need to be a bit careful, as the leaves are sharp and can puncture the skin if handled carelessly.
- Light: bright light, and will tolerate full sun without issue.
- Water: water lightly, allowing the top 1/3 of the soil to dry out, or even more if the plant is in shady conditions.
- Temperature: this plant should cope with a temperature range of around 40-90 degrees F (5-32°C), so it’s more tolerant than other plants.
- Soil: well-draining, with a high percentage of pebbles or sand.
There are many kinds of Bromeliads, but they are generally characterized by their elegant, slender leaves, that grow in a nest around their central, vivid flowers.
The leaf length will depend on the variety, but some may reach around 36 inches long, especially in good conditions.
They tend to grow in attractive, neat curves, making the plant highly appealing. Some Bromeliads can reach as much as 3 feet tall.
- Light: medium to bright light when grown inside.
- Water: water the plant by filling the cup at the base of its leaves. Empty it and refresh it weekly. Only mist or lightly water the roots.
- Temperature: generally between 60-80 degrees F (15-27°C) but check for each variety.
- Soil: well-draining, so mix in perlite, sand, peat moss, and tree bark. Bromeliads prefer acidic soil.
7. Medusa’s Head Plant (Euphorbia Flanaganii)
If you’re looking for a really unusual plant with long leaves, this air plant might be a top favorite. The name suggests a mop of sprawling, snake-like hair, and the plant lives up to it.
These amazing plants can grow to around 2 feet tall, and they are almost all leaf, so a single leaf could probably reach around a foot or so.
Most will not get this long, but regardless, the leaves are impressively long and thin, and seem to have a life of their own!
- Light: plenty of bright light.
- Water: mist the plant, allow it to dry, and then mist again. High humidity is important.
- Temperature: above 55 degrees F, but preferable over 65 degrees F (18°C).
- Soil: mounted on wood, cork, or rock, with no soil.
8. Himalaya Groundsel (Senecio Himalaya)
For those who love thin leaves but still like the plant to look “full” and bushy, the densely packed foliage of the Himalaya Groundsel should appeal.
This succulent is highly attractive, and its leaves are long, slim, and abundant.
Overall, the plant usually only reaches about 10 inches long (25 cm), so its individual leaves are not notably lengthy, but they are slim and form a springy, pleasing aesthetic.
- Light: 4-6 hours of daily sunlight is preferable, but these plants are shade-tolerant too.
- Water: soak the soil every 2-4 weeks and allow it to dry out.
- Temperature: it’s a tough plant tolerant of temperatures as low as 25 degrees F (-3°C) but prefers warmth and humidity.
- Soil: gritty, well-draining soil is needed so mix coarse sand, tree bark, and gravel with your potting compost.
9. Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea Elegans)
This palm’s fronds are made up of long, thin leaves, and it’s a particularly popular option, because of its soft, vibrant growth.
It can reach six feet tall in good conditions, although each of its individual feathery fronds is likely to be shorter than this.
The fronds are made up of individual leaves, branching off from the frond’s central stem to create the soft, fluttering look so many people love.
- Light: bright, indirect light.
- Water: sensitive to over-watering, so allow the soil to dry to an inch down before giving it another drink.
- Temperature: prefers 65-80 degrees F (18-27°C) but will briefly tolerate lower temperatures.
- Soil: peaty, compost-based potting mix with some drainage material.
10. Banana-Leaf Fig (Ficus Maclellandii)
Sometimes known as the narrow-leaf fig (for good reason), the banana-leaf fig’s leaves can reach up to 13 cm long, and tend to be narrowed on the lower parts of the plant, and broader further up.
This plant’s long, thin leaves look like eucalyptus leaves, and they can be very slim, or a little broader on the high branches.
This is a unique feature of this tree.
- Light: plenty of bright, indirect light.
- Water: prefers moisture, but not sogginess. Let the top 2 inches of the soil dry before watering.
- Temperature: above 45 degrees F (7°C), but preferably warmer.
- Soil: soil-based mixture with fine gravel for drainage.
11. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata)
The Boston Fern has leaves that can grow up to 3 feet long, with amazing, bobbly edges that give it an attractive, lacy appearance. These fronds curve downward and are bright green.
The plant produces copious amounts, springing in all directions from its central point.
It has a soft, feathery appearance that makes it look lovely in both homes and gardens.
- Light: lots of bright, indirect light.
- Water: prefers to be kept moist, so water lightly once or twice per week.
- Temperature: between 60-75 degrees F (15-24°C), so grow indoors if the climate is cold.
- Soil: rich, loamy, well-draining soil.
12. Zebra Plant (Haworthia Fasciata)
If you love succulents, the Zebra Plant will wow you with its stripy, textured leaves.
This succulent starts out small, but its leaves can grow up to 13 cm long or even longer, although this will take a few years, as the plant is a slow grower.
It looks rather like an aloe vera, and also belongs to the succulent family, but its long leaves are ridged all over with horizontal white stripes and specks, giving it a mottled and striking appearance.
They are plump, since they are designed to hold water, but have the classic, triangular spike shape.
- Light: bright, indirect sunlight with no direct sun.
- Water: water the plant when the soil has dried out.
- Temperature: between 65-80 degrees F (18-27°C), as this plant prefers warm temperatures.
- Soil: cactus potting mix or potting soil mixed with sand and perlite.
13. Bird’s-Nest Fern (Asplenium Nidus)
Many of the ferns are long-leaved, and the bird’s-nest fern is no exception.
It is possible for this plant’s leaves to reach a full one meter in length, even when grown indoors, and they are attractively simple, with smooth, unblemished green.
They curve gently away from the central point of the plant, sometimes curling under themselves, in a haphazard fashion that has given them their name.
The larger leaves tend to be at the top of the plant, while smaller leaves grow beneath. The edges are gently frilled, giving the plant a rippled look.
- Light: filtered sunlight or moderate shade, no direct sun.
- Water: water when the top inch of the soil is dry; never leave them sitting in water. Avoid wetting the fronds while watering the soil.
- Temperature: between 60-80 degrees F (15-27°C), but will tolerate brief temperatures as low as 50 degrees F at times.
- Soil: loose, rich, well-draining soil. These plants are often grown in peat.
There are many plants with long, slender leaves, and they come in an amazing array of shapes and sizes.
If you’re looking for something beautiful to brighten up your home with, you have an extraordinary amount of choice with these specimens!