12 Houseplants for Small Spaces

Do you live in a small space, but still want to grow some amazing houseplants? The amount of room in your home doesn’t have to limit your plant choices. Lots of great houseplants are available that can fit into tight spots and still look gorgeous.

Whether you’re looking for something colorful, climbing or completely original to highlight your home, read on to find an indoor plant perfect for your living space.

Pteris ensiformis
Pteris ensiformis

1. Ferns

Ferns add a delicate flare to any room. Most indoor fern varieties are long-lived, but they grow slowly and stay fairly compact. They do best in higher humidity and indirect light, so they would do well in a corner of your bathroom or kitchen.

Scientific Name: Various. Some smaller varieties to watch out for are species of Adiantum (maidenhair ferns), Pteris (brake ferns) and Davallia (rabbit’s foot ferns).

Calathea makoyana
Calathea makoyana

2. Peacock Plants

Peacock plants stand out for their distinctive foliage, which comes in a wide array of attractive patterns and colors. Each variety of peacock plant is different, but they all stay under 2 feet (60 centimeters) tall and wide. Peacock plants love high humidity, so if your home is fairly dry, put a humidity tray underneath your plants. Keep them in low to medium light and don’t let the potting soil dry out too much between watering.

Scientific Name: Calathea species.

Cacti and succulents

3. Cacti and Succulents

Your options are nearly endless with cacti and succulents. Most garden centers, supermarkets and home stores carry an excellent selection of cacti and succulents in 2- to 4-inch (5- to 10-centimeter) pots. These are excellent as solitary specimen plants, or made into a small container planting.

Scientific Name: Various.

Related: How to Keep Your Indoor Cactus Thriving

Jade plant

4. Jade Plants

Jade plants are available in classic green or a few variegated cultivars. You can also find miniature varieties of both types. Whichever type you choose, jade plants are easy to care for and provide beautiful structure to an indoor space. Jade plants are traditionally said to bring good luck and prosperity to your home and are sometimes given as housewarming gifts.

Scientific Name: Jade plants can be called Crassula ovata, Crassula argentea or Crassula portulaca.


5. Chinese Evergreen

If you’re looking for a colorful plant to brighten up your home, Chinese evergreens are a great choice. They have a wide range of leaf colors with varying patterns of pink, yellow, cream, silver and red. Chinese evergreens typically stay under 2 feet (60 centimeters) tall and wide, so they’re easy to fit into tight corners. They’re also tolerant of low light and don’t need much attention. Cleaning off the leaves occasionally with a damp cloth will help maintain their natural glow.

Scientific Name: Aglaonema species

Philodendron cordatum close up

6. Heartleaf Philodendron

The heartleaf philodendron is a popular indoor vine with cute, heart-shaped leaves. It grows slowly and can be kept in the same-sized container for many years, although refreshing the potting soil periodically can be beneficial. Heartleaf philodendrons are easy to maintain and tolerate a variety of growing conditions. They make an excellent hanging basket or you can train them onto an indoor trellis or other frame.

Scientific Name: The heartleaf philodendron has a few synonymous Latin names, you may see it called Philodendron scandens, Philodendron hederaceum or Philodendron cordatum.

Cryptanthus bivittatus
/ Photo credit: Mokkie, from Wikimedia Commons

7. Earth Star

The distinctive shape of an earth star plant is very eye-catching in a small room. Earth stars naturally occur on rainforest floors, so they will enjoy similar conditions in your home. North-facing windows are ideal for earth stars. They also make excellent plants for terrariums because they love high humidity. They can be easily found in garden centers and plant stores in many different shapes and colors.

Scientific Name: Cryptanthus species

Nerve Plants

8. Nerve Plants

Nerve plants get their name from the stunning vein patterns on their leaves. Nerve plants are a groundcover native to South America, and they will only spread to a maximum of 12 inches (30 centimeters) wide. Pinching off the stem tips will keep your nerve plant bushy. Also remove any flower buds you see forming as these aren’t attractive and will weaken your plant. Nerve plants like high humidity and a stable temperature. Try to keep them out of cold drafts, which can cause them to drop leaves.

Scientific Name: Fittonia species

African violet

9. African Violets

A classic houseplant, African violets will happily live in a small, 4-inch (10 centimeter) pot and bloom repeatedly for years. The flower colors of African violets are almost unlimited and they require only basic care. They can easily fit on a window ledge as long as they don’t get too much direct sun. African violets may develop multiple crowns over time, but they can be easily divided and repotted to share with friends.

Scientific Name: Saintpaulia species


10. Air Plants

Air plants grow without soil. This may sound hard to manage, but air plants are actually a breeze to take care of. The key to keeping air plants thriving is providing good air circulation and watering them about once a week. Simply put them in a sink and lightly rinse each plant. Then let them dry off in the sink overnight and put them back in their place in the morning. You can put them nearly anywhere out of direct sunlight, such as bookshelves, spice racks, bathroom counters or anywhere else that needs livening up.

Scientific Name: Tillandsia species

ZZ plant

11. ZZ Plants

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance plant, the ZZ plant should be at the top of your list. The name of the ZZ plant refers to its Latin name, Zamioculcas zamiifolia. Its appearance is as interesting as its name, with arching stems and glossy green leaves that add instant character to a small room. It will do fine in low light, but will grow more in bright to moderate light. ZZ plants prefer drying out well in between watering and they don’t need much fertilizer because they naturally grow slowly.

Scientific Name: Zamioculcas zamiifolia

Venus fly trap

12. Venus Fly Traps

Venus fly traps are known for their ability to catch and digest small insects, but they’re also very attractive houseplants. The traps on the ends of the leaves are fascinating structures that can develop beautiful shades of red when grown in strong, bright light. Venus fly traps naturally grow in bogs and do best when kept consistently damp. They also prefer a nutrient-poor potting medium like their native bogs, such as peat moss used alone or combined with sand or perlite.

Scientific Name: Dionaea muscipula

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Pearl W
Pearl W11 hours ago

Hi All - Plant more of your successful plants - It's an easy formula for a beautiful display of food and flowers - Always be open to giving a new plant a go - I try to plant a new plant once a month - Cuttings from friends are big on my list - Succulents I find are easy - but I still manage failures - The rate of ones that keep on growing is far larger than the fails - Mostly enjoy yourself - The plants seem to know - One day they scientists will discover why, I hope I'm still around - smiles

Pearl W
Pearl W11 hours ago

I've just been looking at Masdar City in Abu Dhabi - It's touted as the City of the Future - Not finished until 2025, what is there is like a dream - The management have taken every aspect of technology and utilised it for future minimal energy uses - My 2 favourites are Shipping Container fitted out to grow and feed many - Also the much smaller indoor growing unit that you grow all of your herbs and spices in - Placed right in the kitchen is used hydroponics and air growing principles - The driverless vehicles was pretty amazing too - If you're building your own home it's certainly worth a look at all of the energy saving initiatives - smiles

Pearl W
Pearl W11 hours ago

Thanks Zoe - The first few plants, OK I've grown some of them with mixed results - The last few have always died on me - My style of gardening is very hit and miss - If they don't work for me (after a couple of goes) I move on and try something else - African Violets are one of those plants you either can or you can't - Like tomatoes, for some reason I just can't grow tomatoes? - I've tried and repeatedly failed - Lucky there are millions of plants I can grow - smiles

Kevin B
Kevin Byesterday

Good to know. Thanks.

Angeles Madrazo
Angeles M6 days ago

Thank you

Vincent T
William T11 days ago


Thomas M
Thomas Mabout a month ago

thanks for posting

Lizzy O
Past Member 1 months ago

cool thanks for this

Barbara S
Barbara S2 months ago

Thank you

Martha P
Mia P3 months ago

Thanks very much