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16 Best Indoor Plants For Small Pots

If you have a lot of small pots around that you want to use for something, or if you only have room for small plants in your space, you need to take a look at the best indoor plants for small pots. While any plant can start small, some will grow larger over time and need bigger pots and more space for their roots to continue to grow. But other plants will always remain small.

pale pink and white African violets

These small plants are great for small pots. It could be that you don’t have a lot of space to place your plants in your home, but you want to bring them in. Or it could be that you want to bring a couple of small pots to your office desk, or some other location where you don’t have a lot of room.

Small houseplants are good for a lot of reasons. Let’s explore.

Best Indoor Plants for Small Pots

small potted cacti sitting on a book

When choosing small pot plants, look for those who won’t grow more than about 12-15 inches or so. You also want to look for plants that don’t grow especially large roots, or that won’t easily become rootbound if you don’t move them to bigger pots. There are many beautiful plants to choose from that will stay small and do great in smaller pots.

When you choose the right plants for your space, you can appreciate them more. Being low on space doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice plants. You can place them:

  • On a bedside table
  • On a desk or bench
  • In a vertical planter
  • In a terrarium
  • From a hanging planter
  • From a wall planter
  • On a small wall shelf
  • In or around the bathtub (may need to move when bathing)
  • On a bookshelf
  • And many more!

Now, let’s take a look at those plants:

1. Painted-leaf begonia (Begonia rex)

Rex Begonia Variety Pack (4 Plants) (4" Pots) "Growers-Choice"

This is a great choice for small pots. The begonia is small, with beautiful colors that help it stand out against regular green plants. It’s called “painted leaf” because of the colors in the foliage of this plant.

This is not always the easiest plant for new houseplant hobbyists since it can be a bit finicky but if you put some time into learning its water and lighting needs, you will be very pleased with this one.

2. Peperomia (Peperomia obtusifolia)

PAPCOOL Hope Peperomia Lịvẹ Plạnt 2" for Gạrdẹning - No Pot

Peperomia is sometimes also called “baby rubber plant”. This flowering plant is native to Florida, Mexico, and the Caribbean. The best thing about this cute little plant is that there are so many different varieties, you could have a bunch of them, and they’d all still look different. They’re very easy to care for and just need to be watered when the first layer of soil gets dried out. They do well in bright, indirect sunlight.

3. Nerve plant (Fittonia)

Hirts: House Plants Red Veined Nerve Plant

Another great choice for small plants is the nerve plant. They are very pretty and come in a variety of colors and patterns. They do have high humidity and water requirements and they are not considered the easiest plants to care for. They can be a bit finicky but once you get the hang of it, they will thrive. They’re also really great for growing in a terrarium if that’s something you want to explore.

4. Moth orchid (Phalaenopsis)

3D Phalaenopsis Artificial Butterfly Orchid Flowers Fake Moth Flor Orchid for Home Wedding DIY Decoration Real Touch- Fuchsia Moth Orchid 2 Pcs

Orchids are great for small spaces, on a bedside table, or even in a bathroom on the counter. Moth orchids are very beautiful and the blooms last for months.

They’re easier to care for than you might think from looking at the delicate plant. A good rule of thumb: don’t overwater, and be sure to dilute a little fertilizer and add every few weeks. Keep it in a well-draining orchid soil and you’ll be all set!

5. Flamingo flower (Anthurium)

Lively Root Flamingo Flower | 6-Inch Grower Pot | Indoor House Plants for Experienced Plant Parents | Red Anthurium

The first time I bought anthurium was totally on a whim. I had no experience with this plant, and I saw it at my local grocer’s produce section. The shiny red flowers were so beautiful, I just had to bring one home with me.

They grow to about 12-18 inches tall and they are very low maintenance, making them a good plant for small spaces and busy plant owners. They enjoy bright, indirect light so keeping it near a window but not directly in it is a good idea. And they need well-draining soil but be sure not to water too much. This is the most common way that they are killed.

6. African violets (Saintpaulia)

Six African Violet Plants- World's Best Blooming House Plant by Jmbamboo

Another great plant for small pots is the African violet. They are small, green, and have flowers that bloom in shades of purple, pink and white, although purple seems to be the most commonly recognized. They grow easily in most soil types, but they don’t like it when their leaves get wet so don’t mist. Try bottom-watering instead. The plant will “drink” what it needs.

7. Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis)

Costa Farms Aloe Vera Live Indoor House Plant, Gift, 10-Inch Tall, Green

Most people are familiar with aloe as a plant that can soothe burns and small cuts and scrapes. It’s a low-maintenance succulent that looks good in any space and can fit in small pots easily. Because it can store moisture in its leaves, it doesn’t need to be watered too much. It’s very easy to propagate the small “pups” that grow at the base of the plant, and you can put those in their own small pots and have even more over time. They do well in a window but can also tolerate low light pretty well.

8. Baby toes (Fenestraria rhopalophylla)

Fenestraria rhopalophylla baby toes rare mesembs succulents cactus seed 20 SEEDS

Another cute little houseplant to consider for small pots is Baby toes. Called this because of how it looks, it’s perfect for a small space, or for adding to an arrangement of other succulents. It will tolerate a wide range of light conditions so you can have it in front of a bright window, or on a side table in a corner. Use well-draining succulent soil and don’t overwater.

9. Jade plant (Crassula ovata)

Jade Plant - Crassula - Easy to Grow - 4x4x2" ceramic Pot - unique from Jmbamboo

Next on the list is the Jade plant. These are low-maintenance plants that live for years in the same pot. They do prefer well-lit areas and the soil should be allowed to dry out in between each time you water. The small, well-rounded leaves are plump and cute and jade will look great in any type of pot.

10. String of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)

String of Pearls - 6'' from California tropicals

String of pearls is another type of succulent that gets its name because it resembles cascading green pearls. While they do have the ability to grow larger, they start small and you can keep them in a small pot and then propagate if needed, as it starts to get bigger. It’s a type of vine, so it will creep, or fall when placed in a hanging basket. It’s a very unique, attractive plant that requires little maintenance.

11. Chinese money plant (Pilea peperomiodes)

Raindrop Chinese Money Plant - Peperomia polybotrya - 3.75" Pot - Easy to Grow

Next on our list is the Chinese money plant. This cute little green plant has disc or pancake-like leaves that bring a new dimension to your other green houseplants. They look great alone on a desk or table or group up with other plants. Care is fairly easy, and they will produce offshoots that you can share with friends or propagate and put in more small pots.

13. Flaming Katy (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)

Kalanchoe Orange Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana c9 Full Mature 4in Pot

Another great blooming plant for small pots is the Flaming Katy. This is a winter-blooming succulent and it’s sure to bring some sun and smiles to your plant collection. It’s small and can flower for many months if you give it enough light and also prune the blooms that are spent/dead. While some people will treat it like an annual and toss it when the blooms are done, it is fairly easy to care for it so that it re-blooms for you. Plus, the green itself is just pretty in a small pot, even in between blooms.

14. Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya)

SmartMe Flowering Plant - 2” Pink Polka Dot Plant - Hypoestes phyllostachya. c8

The polka dot plant got its name for the obvious polka dot patterns on its leaves. The white pops out from the green and makes this plant a real beauty, no matter where you place it. The speckles can also be pink, red, yellow, or lighter green. It can grow in a small pot or in a terrarium. It really loves high humidity so if your air is dry, you’re going to need to mist frequently.

15. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

AMERICAN PLANT EXCHANGE Marble Queen Pothos Easy Care Live Plant, 6" Pot, Top Indoor Air Purifier

While pothos can grow to a very large size, they are very easily trimmed back and can be propagated and made into new, smaller plants. I have lots of cuttings from my pothos in other small pots all around my house and I often give them to friends and family, too. Because it is such an easy plant to grow and it’s very forgiving of neglect, it’s good for even beginners.

16. Cacti

Altman Plants Assorted Live Cactus Collection mini real cacti for planters or gifts, 2.5 Inch,4 Pack

There are so many different types and varieties of cacti, and they all work wonderfully in small plants. They are low maintenance, super easy to care for, and pretty much a set-it-and-forget-it type of plant. Many grow slowly and stay small, meaning you can keep them in small pots for many years to come. They can tolerate different lighting levels but be sure not to overwater. This is the #1 reason for people killing their cactus.

Cute small pots for your plants

Now that you have a list of plants, you need a few cute pots. The Talavera planters are colorful and so cute. I especially like these frog planters: so colorful and happiness-inducing!

Maybe frogs are not your thing, but you LOVE elephants. Check out these elephant planters: so cute!

Or, maybe you want a giraffe planter or a dinosaur container.

Conclusion of the Best Indoor Plants for Small Pots

This is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to small pot-friendly indoor plants. There are so many species and varieties to choose from, that you will never fall short of great ideas. We hope that some of the ones on this list appeal to you and that you find some that fit your lifestyle and your decorative tastes. Plants add value to our lives and our living spaces in so many ways, and it doesn’t take a large plant to make a dramatic impact. 

Now that you know about all of these great indoor plants for small pots, you can start building or adding on to your own collection. The flexibility that you have with small pots allows you to get creative about what you use and where you place them. They’re perfect for anyone with limited space and you can enjoy them for many years to come.

best indoor plants for small pots
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Lisa Clark is a freelance writer who grew up on farmland, then moved to the city, and has now retired back to her rural roots. She's having fun teaching her kids about gardening, planting flowers, and collecting houseplants.

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Monday 6th of February 2023

[…] require quite a bit more space than small indoor plants […]


Sunday 26th of June 2022

Thank you for your ideas on plants for a small apartment along with the beautiful photos and care instructions!

Sue Maupin

Friday 18th of June 2021

I wish you could add which ones are safe for pets and children