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8 Best Indoor Plants For Small Spaces

Some indoor plants make excellent choices for those living in small spaces. Our top picks are African violet, air plants, aloe vera, anthurium, peperomia, snake plant, spider plant and the ZZ plant.

African Violet

Appearance: The African violet has dark green, thick, hairy leaves. Flowers can come in various colors, including blue, purple, red, and pink. They can have ringed or ruffled petals.

Size: Typically a compact, small plant, some variations can get as big as 16 inches.

Water: Most violets can be watered weekly and do very well on that schedule. Keep the soil moist but check it to prevent overwatering.

Sun: Place this plant in a north or east-facing window. They prefer indirect sunlight, as direct sunlight can burn the leaves.

Good For Beginners? This is an excellent indoor plant for beginner plant parents.

Air Plants

Appearance: The air plant (Tillandsia)has strap-like green leaves that grow in a rosette pattern from the center of the plant. Leaf color can vary, ranging from light to dark green, and even some pinks, reds, and silvers. Leaves can be shiny and smooth or velvety in texture.

Size: While air plants can range from two inches to seven feet, they will stay compact without an abundance of light.

Water: This unique plant does best when watered in a unique way. Soak your air plants in a bowl of water for 20-60 minutes every 7-10 days then let them dry upside down on a towel.

Sun: Airplants prefer bright indirect light. Too much sunlight can dry them out.

Good For Beginners? Considered an easy care plant, air plants are perfect for beginners.

Tiny air plants are perfect in little terrariums.

Aloe Vera

Appearance: The aloe vera plant has thick, fleshy leaves that grow up in a rosette pattern from a central stem. Colored green to grey-green, some have white flecks or white spots.

Size: The average size of an aloe vera plant is one to two feet tall, which makes them perfect for small spaces.

Water: A low-maintenance plant that needs to be watered deeply but not frequently. Water them every three weeks or so.

Sun: Aloe houseplants are succulents that need ample light to do well. Considered a full sun plant, a minimum of six hours of sun is best. They can do well in direct sunlight as well as bright but indirect light.

Good For Beginners? They are an excellent plant for beginners.


Appearance: An exotic flowering plant with dark green, heart-shaped leaves. The flower is called a spathe, and it is often red.

Size: This relatively small plant grows to about a foot tall, so it can easily fit on a bookshelf or table.

Water: The anthurium plant can be watered with half a dozen ice cubes weekly. Overwatering this plant can quickly lead to root rot.

Sun: Although they thrive on medium to bright light, they will survive (but not flower) in low-light conditions.

Good For Beginners? There is more than one kind of anthurium plant, but most are suitable for beginners.


Appearance: A small plant with textured or smooth leaves, they can be a variety of colors, including green, gray, red, purple, or variegated. There are over 1,000 varieties of Peperomia, and they can look so different that it can be hard to determine if they are the same type of plant.

Size: Many Peperomia species don't get very big, which makes them an excellent choice for small homes. Typically sold in tiny pots 2-6 inches in diameter, they are an adorable succulent-like plant.

Water: A plant that does not need a lot of water, water them every 1-2 weeks. Allow the potting soil to dry out between watering.

Sun: Although there are many varieties, most prefer medium to bright indirect light. Some do tolerate low-light, however.

Good For Beginners? Yes, Peperomia is classified as suitable for beginners.

Other small succulents include the jade plant, echeveria, and haworthia.

Watermelon Peperomia
Photo: PlantVineThe Watermelon Peperomia has dark green and white leaves reminiscent of watermelon rinds.

Snake Plant

Appearance: This plant has tall, sword-shaped leaves that grow up. The leaves are fleshy and some species have white or yellow variegated patterns.

Size: The snake plant grows taller rather than wider. This makes it an excellent choice for small spaces. Some varieties can grow four feet tall.

Water: Snake plants are succulents and only need to be watered about once a month.

Sun: Snake plants do well in almost any light but grow best in bright, indirect light.

Good For Beginners? Considered to be virtually indestructible, the snake plant is excellent for those new to plants.

Spider Plant

Appearance: This pretty plant has long, narrow light green variegated leaves that cascade downward—the plant's tentacles create baby spider plants.

Size: Although spider plants can get fairly big and bushy, they are typically displayed in a hanging planter. Hanging plants are nice in small spaces because they don't take up any tabletop or floor space. Spider plants are also easy to prune to control size.

Water: This plant will do well with a light drink every 5-8 days. Most people can set a weekly watering reminder and do just fine. Check the soil to be sure it is dry before watering.

Sun: Spider plants like bright, indirect light.

Good For Beginners? The spider plant is straightforward to grow.

Hanging spider plants take up little space.

ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

Appearance: This tropical plant has wand-like stems that taper to a point with thick, dark green oval-shaped leaves. 

Size: Although the ZZ plant can grow two to four feet tall, this is a very slow-growing plant.

Water: This plant needs water every 2-3 weeks, depending on how much light it gets and the warmth of the environment. If you see wilting or wrinkled leaves, it needs more water.

Sun: Direct light can cause the leaves to scorch, so put this houseplant in bright but indirect light.

Good For Beginners? The ZZ plant is another one that is great for newbie plant owners. It’s considered nearly impossible to kill.

Tips For Styling Indoor Plants In Small Spaces

Most people think of a standard terracotta pot on a counter or tabletop when they think about houseplants. There are so many more options than that!

Hanging Baskets

Hanging baskets save on counter or table space and are also lovely for plants that tendril down, also known as vining or trailing plants. Spider plants, ivy, string of pearls, string or hearts, and Pothos are popular vining plants. 

Wall Planters

Some planters can be mounted right to the wall, a beautiful way to display a plant and efficient use of space in a kitchen or living room.


Many plants can be trained to climb up a trellis or moss pole, which enables the plant to grow vertically instead of spreading. This allows you to have your plant in a smaller space.

Vining houseplants include Pothos, ivy, Philodendron, and Monstera

Even large plants can be grown in small places when trained to grow up a trellis or moss pole.


Since many plants thrive on bright, indirect light, placing them on a windowsill is another option. This helps save space while also ensuring they get natural sunlight.


A terrarium is an enclosed indoor garden space for plants that can help keep the humidity higher than the room. Some terrariums can be hung to further save space.

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