These best houseplants for small spaces thrive even in teeny, tiny environments

From slow-growing climbers to non-needy succulents, these are the best small-space houseplants

The Sill Philodendron Green plant on a mantel next to artwork
(Image credit: The Sill)

A good selection of the best small-space houseplants can turn the most compact spaces into areas that are full of life. This is handy because plants are pretty inexpensive (compared to buying a new sofa, for example) and there’s a type of greenery for everyone. 

Whether you live in a super small apartment that doesn't get much light or only have a windowsill to house your leafy friends, there’s a plant out there for you — whatever your situation. 

Here, we've done the hard work for you to find the best indoor plants that'll work for a small apartment, dorm room, or tiny house. These don't need a lot of room to grow, can thrive in darker conditions, and are generally okay with a little neglect. After all, even the best plant parents have lives to live, right? 

Best houseplants for small spaces: Quick Menu

Green up your home with these best houseplants for small spaces

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Just because you don't have a spacious indoor greenhouse or a wall of shelves to style your own collection of houseplants, doesn't mean you can't still add greenery. We've compiled a selection of plants that will thrive even in small homes.

Snake plants

Snake plants are easy to spot as they have such a distinctive look. Their leaves are relatively rigid and pointy, like little (non-scary) swords, and tinted with a mix of green and yellow. Most people buy them for their aesthetic alone, but these little plants are actually great roomies because they don’t need much care. Snake plants are chill about having minimal sunlight, so you can pop them anywhere, from the top of a wardrobe to the bathroom. Plus, they don’t need a lot of love — no wiping down leaves weekly or spraying sessions here.

Spider plants

If you want to give your home a retro feel, a '70s-style spider plant is such a fun way to go. Pop it in a thrifted planter or even a macramé hanger for a seriously groovy look. Spider plants are extremely relaxed as they can adapt to a range of light conditions, even artificial light. They also prefer indirect light, so if you have a darker corner, this is a good place to put them. Spider plants are known for being good for beginners as they're very low-maintenance houseplants.

Aloe vera

You probably know this one already because of its sap’s healing benefits. If you decide to care for an aloe vera, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy some of its natural goodness, too. Yup, if you slice a mature leaf open you can actually squeeze the gel straight from it, treating irritated skin, soothing puffy under eyes, and even making your own face masks. It’s easy to grow and really hard to kill. As long as you don’t let it dry out too much and expose it to a little bit of light, you’ll be fine.

English ivy

You might think of ivy as outdoor plant but, actually, it works really well inside. Ivy can tolerate pretty much any light condition, but in a perfect world it would sit in a bright corner, not directly in the sun. Water-wise, it loves to be misted every couple of days to help with its lust for humidity and watered fully semi-regularly. While it’s not completely low maintenance, it can deal with a bit of neglect.


This is a great first pick for anyone learning how to care for a houseplant. Students and people with smaller apartments will also appreciate how easy it is to keep alive. It's most recognizable by its heart-shaped green leaves that grow outwards and trail around. Philodendrons are known for being inexpensive and come in a range of sizes, but they look particularly cute in a tiny pot. All you need to do for this one is weekly watering and position in a spot with medium sunlight. If it’s a little darker, or a little lighter, don’t worry — it’ll be fine.

False shamrock

Oxalis Triangularis — also called the false shamrock or purple shamrock — is known for its bright purple coloring. It's a great choice if you’re looking for something unique. I adore its tiny, petal-like leaves, which actually fold up at night and tuck themselves into bed before coming out again in the morning. Isn’t that the most adorable thing you’ve ever heard? These plants are low maintenance and prefer medium light but can survive in most conditions. They enjoy regular watering but with good drainage so they don't get root rot.

Mini Swiss cheese plant

When it comes to on-trend buys, Swiss cheese plants are where it’s at. Their large, open leaves and interesting patterns make them beautiful roommates and will help give your place a really layered aesthetic. While this one is low maintenance, it also loves a humid environment, so it's more suited to warmer states, but it’s not a big problem if you get some cold weather, too. Plus, because mini Swiss cheeses are purifying, they’ll clean the air in your apartment for you — double win!

Small houseplants make it much more manageable to have a leafy home. If you're still looking for more options, there are tons of other plants that'll spruce up an indoor or micro garden to choose from.