35 Indoor Plants for the Small-Space Gardener, and How to Care for Them
Your home will be a plant paradise before you know it.
If your home wasn’t blessed with tons of square footage, that doesn’t mean you can’t flex your green thumb. All of these indoor plants take up minimal space (but don’t worry, there are some trees if you have just a bit more room to work with) , and many even require less sun, which is a must when you only have a few windows to work with. And if you don’t have much of a green thumb—hey, you’ll get there!—most of these plants are fairly easy to keep alive. No matter your skill level, your taste, or how much space you have to spare, there’s a houseplant for you here. Your indoor garden paradise dreams are about to become a reality.
Care level: Easy
ZZ plants require less water than a lot of plants, so if you tend to neglect yours (rather than overwatering them) you’ll do well with this one. It’ll thrive in bright, indirect light, but it can also tolerate low light if you have a less-than-sunny spot you want to keep it in, according to Bloomscape.
Care level: Easy
A small arabica coffee plant won’t be able to cover your coffee habit, but coffee plants are beautiful and simple to take care of, and you might just obtain enough beans every once in a while to roast and brew your own cup. If they get too dry, they’ll let you know—you’ll see the leaves get super droopy, but they’ll go back to normal once you give them a good water. Coffee plants also like medium indirect light.
Care level: Easy
Not only does this plant feature pretty, bright pink stems and leaves, but it’s also super easy to care for. It’ll grow in low, moderate, and bright light, but you’ll likely notice more color when it’s grown in medium light, according to Costa Farms. It’s a forgiving plant, so if you forget to water it once in a while, it’ll be just fine.
Care level: Intermediate
Like most of the other plants on this list, the rubber plant requires bright, indirect light. You should only water it when the soil is dry. Rubber plants have the added benefit of being one of the best natural air-cleaners out there. Place them near your favorite seating area to enjoy fresh air.
All of these plants take up minimal space and require less sun (a must when you only have a few windows to work with). Plus, find out how to care for them so you don't kill them the second you bring them home.
Flowers for Small Pots
Walkways, porches, patios, decks and windowsills come alive with flowers bred for small pots. The collection of blooms acts as a miniature container garden and brightens otherwise drab areas. With regular watering, feeding and pruning the flowers last all season long and sometimes do well as indoor plants. The pots can complement the flower colors or be hidden by the foliage. No matter the color or material, it is important that each small pot have a drainage hole and a water reservoir to catch the draining water.
Flowers that are otherwise lost in the garden can make a dramatic appearance in a small pot. These tiny blossoms include forget-me-nots (Myosotis) that grow about 5 inches tall and self-seed. Another delicate flower that does well in small pots is sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima). This annual flower comes in a variety of colors and stays in continuous bloom when you dead-head the spent flowers.
Nothing says summer like a small flower pot topped with a mound of flowers. The flowers that grow in volume and consume the tops of the pots include French marigolds (Tagetes patula), dwarf Mexican petunias (Ruellia brittoniana) and impatiens (Impatiens wallerana). Pinch the plants as they grow to promote a bushier growth and more blooms. The flowers are long-lasting on all three of these annual plants. The marigolds and petunias are drought-tolerant and do well in the sun or partial shade. Impatiens thrive in shade, but certain cultivars tolerate full sun.
Pansies (Viola x wittrockiana) and Johnny-jump-ups (Viola cornuta) make charming small pots. Other old-fashioned varieties that do well in containers include geraniums (Pelargonium x hortorum) and wax begonias (Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum). The variety of colors available for each of these flowers makes mixing and matching bloom colors easy. Whether you want shades of blues, pinks and purples or vibrant reds and yellows, you will find the perfect color with one of these old-fashioned flowers.
Vining and Sprawling
Position your small pots on a banister or window ledge and plant them with flowers that cascade down. The result is an avalanche of color when the plants are in bloom. Vining and sprawling plants that work well for this type of display include painted tongue (Salpiglossis sinuata), a native of Chile, and lobelia (Lobelia). Painted tongue resembles stained glass windows, with several colors on one flower. The bright blue flowers of lobelia bring butterflies to your container garden.
- Perennials.com: Myosotis Sylvatica “Victoria Blue”
- Texas A&M University Horticulture Department: Sweet Alyssum
- North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension: Tagetes erecta, T. patula
- Texas A&M University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: Dwarf Mexican Petunia
- North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension: Geranium Culture for Home Gardeners
- Clemson University Cooperative Extension: Pansies and Johnny-Jump-Ups
- North American Farmer: Growing Salpiglossis — Impressive Blooms with Intricate Details and Elegant Luster
- Cornell University: Lobelia
- Clemson University Cooperative Extension: Begonia
Julie Richards is a freelance writer from Ohio. She has been writing poetry and short stories for over 30 years, and published a variety of e-books and articles on gardening, small business and farming. She is currently enrolled at Kent State University completing her bachelor’s degree in English.
Flowers for Small Pots. Walkways, porches, patios, decks and windowsills come alive with flowers bred for small pots. The collection of blooms acts as a miniature container garden and brightens otherwise drab areas. With regular watering, feeding and pruning the flowers last all season long and sometimes do well as …