15 Must-Have Houseplants for Small Spaces

Kasey Spencer
Must-Have Houseplants for Small Spaces

With over 13 years of gardening experience, I’ve come to appreciate the beauty and benefits of houseplants in any living situation. They purify the air add a vibrant touch of nature to your home, and have been shown to boost mood and productivity.

Choosing the right plants for small spaces can seem daunting. It’s not just about finding plants that fit physically; it’s about selecting species that can thrive in the unique conditions small spaces often present.

In this post, we’ll cover 15 houseplants perfect for small spaces. These aren’t just any plants; they’re the ones that have proven themselves to be the most adaptable, easy to care for, and beneficial for your home environment. Whether you live in a cozy apartment, have a small office, or just want to greenify a tiny corner of your room, there’s something here for everyone.

Must-Have Houseplants for Small Spaces

Remember, introducing houseplants into your home isn’t just about decor—it’s about creating a healthier, more inviting space. So, let’s explore these 15 wonderful plants together and find the perfect green companions for your small but precious spaces.

1. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Spider Plant

Spider plants prefer bright, indirect light but can tolerate semi-shady spots. Water them thoroughly but allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Known for its resilience and rapid growth, the spider plant is a champion at purifying the air from pollutants like benzene and formaldehyde.

Also, its ability to adapt to various light conditions and its minimal care requirements make it an ideal choice for small living areas. Plus, its cascading babies can be easily repotted to greenify more of your space or shared with friends.

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2. Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Snake Plant
Image: Envato Elements

Thrives in low light to bright, indirect sunlight. Watering should be infrequent, allowing the soil to become completely dry between watering. The snake plant is virtually indestructible and makes a bold statement with its upright, variegated leaves.

Besides its low-maintenance nature, it’s a powerhouse for filtering indoor air, working hard to remove toxins and produce oxygen at night. Ideal for bedrooms or small offices where space and clean air are precious.

3. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Peace Lily

Prefers low to medium, indirect light and enjoys consistently moist soil—water when the top inch of soil feels dry. With its lush foliage and white blooms, the peace lily brings a touch of elegance to small spaces. It’s not just about looks; this plant is also a top performer in removing airborne toxins. The peace lily is relatively easy to care for, and its ability to thrive in lower light makes it perfect for rooms with few windows.

4. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Hanging pothos plant
Image: Envato Elements

Does well in a variety of lighting conditions, from low to bright, indirect light. Water when the soil has dried out completely. Its trailing vines make pothos an excellent choice for hanging baskets or elevated shelves, where its leaves can cascade gracefully.

This hardy plant is not only easy to care for but can also help purify the air. It’s perfect for adding a touch of green to high places, making the most of vertical space in small areas.

5. ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

ZZ Plant
Image: Envato Elements

Prefers low to bright indirect light, and infrequent watering, only when the soil is dry to the touch. The ZZ plant is known for its ability to withstand periods of drought and low light, making it an excellent choice for forgetful gardeners or dimly lit spaces. Its waxy, upright leaves add a modern touch to any room, and its toughness makes it nearly invincible, thriving with minimal care.

6. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera
Image: Envato Elements

Aloe vera thrives in bright, indirect sunlight and requires water only when the soil is completely dry. Beyond its ease of care, aloe vera is renowned for its medicinal properties, especially in soothing burns and skin irritations. Its compact size and minimal watering needs make it a great addition to small spaces like kitchen windowsills, where it can be easily accessed for its gel.

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7. Rubber Plant (Ficus elastic)

Rubber Plant
Image: Envato Elements

Prefers bright, filtered light but can adapt to lower light conditions. Water moderately, allowing the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. With its glossy, dark green leaves, the rubber plant is a striking addition to any room. It’s not just a pretty face; this plant is also a powerful air purifier, removing toxins from the environment. Its ability to grow large makes it a focal point, but it can be pruned to fit smaller spaces.

8. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)

Boston Fern

Enjoys indirect light and high humidity, with consistent soil moisture. The Boston fern is a natural humidifier, making it perfect for bathrooms or kitchens where the air can be dry. Its lush, green fronds add a soft, textured look to any space, and its air-purifying capabilities contribute to a healthier living environment.

9. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)

Chinese Evergreen

Thrives in low to medium, indirect sunlight, and requires watering when the top inch of soil feels dry. Known for its stunning variegated leaves, the Chinese evergreen is a decorative and versatile plant that can bring life to darker corners of your home. It’s forgiving and easy to care for, making it suitable for gardening beginners. Plus, its ability to filter out common household toxins adds a breath of fresh air to small spaces.

10. Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)

Jade Plant
Image: Envato Elements

Prefers full sun to partial shade and infrequent watering, only when the soil is dry to the touch. The jade plant, with its thick, woody stems and plump leaves, is often associated with good luck and prosperity. This succulent is incredibly easy to care for, requiring minimal water, making it a perfect low-maintenance plant for small, sunny spaces.

11. English Ivy (Hedera helix)

English Ivy

Thrives in moderate to full shade, with evenly moist soil. English ivy is prized for its ability to climb and trail, making it a perfect plant for hanging baskets or as a living curtain on trellises. Its dense foliage not only adds beauty but also filters out toxins, improving indoor air quality. Its versatility in styling makes it a great addition to small spaces needing a touch of green.

12. Lavender (Lavandula)

Lavender

Needs full sun and well-draining soil, with infrequent watering once established. Lavender brings the rustic charm of the outdoors inside with its fragrant flowers and silvery-green foliage. Ideal for sunny windowsills, this plant can help reduce stress and improve sleep quality, making it a perfect bedroom companion.

13. Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura)

Prayer Plant
Image: Envato Elements

Prefers bright, indirect light and consistently moist soil. Known for its striking leaf patterns and unique movement (leaves fold up at night), the prayer plant adds dynamic beauty to any space. It’s especially friendly for low-light conditions, making it a go-to for rooms with less natural light.

14. Cactus Varieties

Cactus Varieties

Most cacti require bright light and infrequent watering, only when the soil is completely dry. Cacti offers an incredible variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, allowing for a personalized touch in small spaces. Their need for minimal watering and love for sunlight makes them perfect for busy individuals or for placing on sunny windowsills where other plants might not thrive.

15. Dwarf Citrus Trees

Dwarf Citrus Trees
Image: Envato Elements

Prefer bright sunlight and regular watering, keeping the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Dwarf citrus trees, like lemons and limes, can bring a burst of color and fragrance to your space, along with the joy of growing your fruit. While they require a bit more care than some other plants on this list, their beauty and the promise of fresh citrus make them a rewarding choice for sunny spots in small homes.

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