plants that grow in small pots

9 Cute Small Indoor Plants

The Spruce / Kara Riley

Houseplants filter our air, raise the humidity in our environment, and add a touch of nature to our surroundings. However, not everyone has room to cultivate a fiddle leaf fig or an areca palm plant indoors. Grow one of these cute small indoor plants in a teacup, on a ledge, or anywhere you need a green boost.

Baby Tears

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The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

Everything about Soleirolia soleirolii is cute: the common name of baby tears elicits that “aww” reaction, and the myriad of tiny leaves gives character and charm to this easy houseplant. Grow baby tears in a small terrarium or under a glass cloche in bright filtered sunlight to give this small plant the humidity it craves to stay lush.

String of Pearls

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The Spruce / Kara Riley

The Senecio genus of succulents gives us so many interesting leaf forms, including the string of pearls S. rowleyanus, which so closely resemble every kid’s least favorite veggie (but isn’t at all edible). The plant’s unusual leaf form helps it thrive in its native South Africa, where the spherical leaves both maximize water retention while minimizing leaf surface area that would result in water lost to evaporation. String of pearls will trail daintily from a small hanging container in a warm room with filtered light; snip off the pearls as needed to shape and keep in bounds.

Air Plant

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The Spruce / Kori Livingston

Few plants are as forgiving as those in the Tillandsia genus. These epiphytes live perched on branches in frost-free environments, taking the moisture they need from the air using specially adapted scales on their spiky leaves. Mount them on driftwood, arrange them in a basket, or create a soil-free mini terrarium for these mess-free plants. They grow very slowly and need little more than partial sunlight and a weekly dunking in water to stay hydrated.

Donkey’s Tail

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The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

Sedum morganianum is the perfect houseplant for that person who has a bright sunny spot that has room for a small trailing or creeping plant. The fleshy, succulent leaves of the donkey’s tail are a clue to the drought tolerance of this plant. You should grow donkey’s tail in a sandy cactus potting mix to prevent root rot. If you accidentally break off one of the stems, don’t discard it; donkey’s tail is easy to propagate with cuttings. Just insert the cut end into some soil, and place under a clear enclosure until it forms roots.

Scotch Moss

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A patch of bright green Sagina subulata ‘Aurea’ conjures up notions of garden fairies, gnomes, or any woodland creature who might like to nestle in the ethereal mossy foliage of this one-inch tall plant. As a Scotland native, Scotch moss prefers the cool, moist conditions of its homeland. Frequent misting will keep your moss perky and bright. Indirect light from a north-facing window will help to maintain the chartreuse color without scorching the plant. If your moss produces tiny white flowers, you’ll know you’ve mastered its growing requirements.

Wooly Thyme

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Wherever you need a pick-me-up of aromatherapy, place a container of Thymus pseudolanuginosus. The soft, fuzzy leaves are so touchable and release a savory burst of thyme scent with every pinch. The slow-growing plants only reach three inches in height and creep slowly to form a dense, wooly mat in a full sun container (and may even flower). Water wooly thyme sparingly, when the soil’s surface is dry to the touch.

Venus Fly Trap

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Tim Forsström/Getty Images

Venus flytrap plants are sometimes billed as a novelty plant for kids, but with a little care, they make the perfect small houseplants. The leaves of Dionaea muscipula, with their teeth-like raspy edges, are equipped with trigger hairs that, when touched twice, snap shut on prey insects like those pesky fruit flies you’ve been trying to get rid of. These quirky plants have some equally quirky growing requirements: They do well in a peat moss growing medium, and being sensitive to minerals, need distilled water. Add bright light and cool winter temperatures to ensure a long life for your Venus flytrap.

African Violet

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What’s old is new again. African violets (Saintpaulia) were the “it” plant for your grandparents, but they are enjoying a resurgence, spurred perhaps by fun and funky new varieties with ruffled or picotee blooms and variegated foliage. One thing that hasn’t changed is the compact size of African violets, and their free-flowering nature. These plants like tiny pots, which spurs blooming. Keep your African violets moist and pot-bound, give them bright light, and feed them with a balanced flower fertilizer to keep them performing all year.

Purple Shamrock

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The Spruce / Kara Riley

The Oxalis genus contains several hundred clover species, some of which are weeds, and some of which are highly ornamental. The burgundy or red cultivars, which may produce yellow or white flowers, often appear in garden stores around St. Patrick’s Day. Plants grow six inches tall and eight inches wide in containers, which you should keep on the dry side.

The miniature trend is hot, and houseplants are hopping on the bandwagon. Add these small cute plants to your cubicle, apartment, or tiny house.

11 Common Plants for Small Container Gardens

Small container gardens are becoming more popular now that a lot of people are choosing to live in smaller homes and apartments. One of the things that really bummed me out when I first started living in my first apartment was having to give up my large backyard garden. However, I eventually learned that many plants can successfully grow in small containers and my balcony soon flourished with greenery.

If you’re looking to make your own small container garden, it’s good to know which plants are the easiest to grow with limited space. Fortunately a lot of varieties, including fruits, vegetables, and flowers will thrive even in small containers such as pots and baskets.

1. Tomatoes

A lot of people enjoy growing their own fruits and vegetables. Luckily for apartment dwellers and tiny home owners, tomatoes can easily be grown in any size container depending on which variety you prefer. For example, if you enjoy munching on cherry tomatoes, you can grow them in just about any size pot or basket, but if you like beefsteak tomatoes, make sure to get a sturdier container to accommodate its larger size. No matter what tomato variety you grow, make sure to add a cage to the outside of the container to give it extra support.

2. Herbs

Pretty much every herb can be grown in a small container garden. Basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage, and even chives can all thrive in individual pots, or one larger pot together. You can grow them either outdoors, or indoors all year round, but if you decide to grow them inside just make sure to put them in a window where they will get plenty of sun.

3. Strawberries

Strawberries are one of the best and easiest plants to grow in a container. In fact, they even do exceptionally well indoors, so you can enjoy fresh strawberries all year long. Just make sure when growing these fruits that they get plenty of sun and are harvested regularly to allow room for more growth.

4. Cucumbers

To grow cucumbers in a container, you should grow them vertically to get the most out of your plant. Add a cage or even a post to allow the vines to climb. Although any type of cucumber can grow in a container, the best varieties include midget picklets, spacemasters, and bush hybrids. And, like with most vegetable plants, you should harvest them often to allow more to grow.

5. Zucchini

Believe it or not, pretty much all types of squash can be grown in pots or baskets. They are very hardy plants and easy to grow, even for people who don’t have green thumbs. If you enjoy eating squash, like zucchini, just plant your seeds in any pot and watch them thrive!

6. Leafy Vegetables

If you enjoy making up fresh salads regularly, why not add spinach, kale, and lettuce to your urban garden? In fact, some garden centers actually sell containers with a variety of leafy vegetables already planted together. Or you can grow them separately if you prefer. Either way, give them lots of sunlight and water and you’ll be eating healthy greens as often as you like.

7. Spider Plant

Of course, not all plants for potted gardens have to be a fruit or a vegetable; sometimes it’s nice just to have something decorative. Spider plants are one of the most common plants for container gardens because they are easy to care for and are known for helping clean the air in your home. All you need to do is provide it with well-drained soil, bright sunlight, and a bit of water now and then.

8. Snapdragon

Another great plant to add to your small garden is a snapdragon. These are hardy plants that grow straight and tall, have colorful blooms that look fantastic when mixed with a variety of other flowers or on their own, and even self seed.

9. Pansy

Pansies are probably one of the most common potting plants ever, most likely because they can be planted alongside everything from vegetables to herbs to ferns and other flowering plants. These pretty flowers are easy to grow and can last all year long when kept inside.

10. English Ivy

English ivy is a fast-growing plant that looks amazing in hanging baskets because of its long, dangling branches. However, since it is a climbing plant, it looks really good when you give it a place to thrive as a vine as well. English ivy also does a great job at cleaning the air of formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide, making it a terrific houseplant to have around.

11. Fern

The last item on this list of common container garden plants is the fern. Ferns are leafy plants that do best in the shade, so if you have a balcony or apartment that doesn’t get a lot of sun, you can still enjoy the benefits of having a houseplant by getting a fern. One thing to remember when planting one of these in a pot is to add rocks to the soil to provide it with adequate drainage.

Now that you have a place to start, it’s time to fill your small home with vibrant greenery!

Fill your small home or apartment with greenery regardless of whether you have a balcony or a yard using these common container-friendly plants.