Top 20 Small Houseplants to Consider for Your Home

21 Aug 2022

When you choose a new houseplant to feature in your home it might not seem like a big decision on the surface but in reality, it is. Because this is something that you’re going to be taking care of for many years to come.

You want to make sure you choose the right kind of houseplant to buy. You’ll need to think of everything from care requirements to size. Some people might choose large houseplants and some people might choose smaller ones.

For many people, smaller houseplants are the correct choice. They don’t take up much space, which is ideal for people living in smaller spaces, and they’re typically quite easy to take care of.

But there are so many small houseplants to choose from, that it can get overwhelming.

This is why today we’ll be discussing twenty fantastic small houseplant options so that you can choose one that sticks out to you and make a decision you’ll be happy with.

1. Purple Shamrocks

The purple shamrocks plant is actually a variety from the Oxalis genus, and is more scientifically known as the Oxalis triangularis. Its scientific name sums up the shape of this variety’s leaves perfectly, they’re purple triangles that close and open in response to lighting.

This charming plant is quite small and will normally only grow to be about 6 inches (15 centimeters) in height and width, and at the very most it could mature to be about 12 inches (30 centimeters) tall and 12 inches (30 centimeters) wide.

2. Hens and Chicks

Hens and chicks actually refers to an entire genus instead of a specific variety, but each variety within this genus is only likely to grow to heights of about 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 centimeters) and widths of approximately 6 to 18 inches (15 to 46 centimeters). So each of the plants in this group count as small houseplants.

The hens and chicks genus has about 40 varieties for you to choose from. They’re all succulents, so no matter which one you pick it should be easy to take care of. This is the perfect small houseplant for beginners.

3. Peperomia

Peperomia is another genus that is full of notoriously small varieties, nearly 1,000 to be exact. Within these many varieties you can find several different textures and colors, so it’s easy to find one that suits your tastes.

Each variety is expected to grow to about 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 centimeters) tall and 6 to 12 inches wide (15 to 30 centimeters).

And it will grow to its mature size fairly quickly, regardless of most environmental conditions. In fact, this genus has been known to even grow under fluorescent lighting which makes it a great option for people looking for plants to have in their cubicles at work since these typically don’t have great lighting.

4. String of Pearls

The string of pearls is a climber that can technically count as a small houseplant despite its ability for its trailing stems to grow to lengths of 1 to 3 feet (30 to 91 centimeters) long. The reason why it could still be a “small” houseplant is because it can be trimmed back down to a manageable length quite easily.

As far as appearance goes, this plants name is quite apt. The stems that flow from this plant have small round leaves attached to them that resemble pearls.

Despite not really looking like one, it is important to note that this plant is actually a succulent. And as such, it’s a really easy climber to take care of.

5. Nerve Plant

The nerve plant can actually be quite difficult to take care of which is surprising due to its tiny size, but nevertheless you can still take proper care of this plant if you know what to expect. And for the most part, its largest requirement is the proper humidity level.

Even though it can be hard to take care of, its bright appearance is worth the trouble. This plant has bright green leaves that are streaked with various colored veins including red, white, and pink.

And at full maturity this miniature plant will only be about 3 to 6 inches (8 to 15 centimeters) tall and 12 to 18 inches (31 to 46 centimeters) wide. Plus, as with most plants on this list, you can trim it to be the desired size.

6. Aloe Vera

The aloe vera plant is quite a bit larger than the previous plant we mentioned, but it will still only grow to be about 1 to 2 feet (31 to 61 centimeters) tall which is still quite manageable in the scheme of things. And it’s leaves will be fairly short, growing to lengths between 8 and 10 inches (20 and 25 centimeters).

Speaking of its leaves, this plant is known for the fact that its leaves produce gel that can be used as skin care on your face, although you should never consume it because it’s toxic if taken orally.

7. Air Plant

The air plant is easily one of the most interesting houseplants on this list, the reason being that they aren’t grown in soil or in water! These tiny plants are actually grown on rocks or live branches, meaning that they can be placed in many more locations than the average plant.

And they’re also one of the smallest plants on this list, you can normally only expect them to grow to about 2 inches tall (5 centimeters) and the largest variety will still only mature to be 12 inches (31 centimeters) tall.

Extra Tip: Many people actually mount these plants on the wall and use them as wall decorations.

8. Pothos

The pothos plant is extremely easy to take care of, and is one of the most beginner friendly climbers that there is. Because of how easy is it to take care of, it can grow to longer lengths quite quickly, up to 10 feet (3 meters)!

But the nice thing about the pothos is that it’s super easy to trim and prune to be the length you prefer. And furthermore, you can weave it to be the correct shape and trail it around places that have the space for it in case you want it to be a bit longer.

And furthermore, there are many different varieties of this plant to choose from. They come in a lot of different colors, and the leaves come in many different shapes and sizes. So you’re sure to find one that you like.

9. Kenya Hyacinth

The Kenya hyacinth is a small variety of the popular snake plant. It has all the trademarks of the classic genus: the sharp, pointy leaves as well as the light green band surrounding each leaf. It just comes in a much smaller size that some of its larger counterparts.

Each leaf will grow to be about 8 to 16 inches (15 to 41 centimeters) long. And since the leaves are generally bunched together, you don’t have to worry much about the space it will take up horizontally.

And snake plants require very little care, so you can reap the benefits of this modern plant without putting in too much effort.

10. Christmas Cactus

Some cacti are big, and some are small. The Christmas cactus is one of the smaller ones! This small cactus will only reach heights of about 6 to 12 inches (15 to 31 centimeters), and a width anywhere from 12 to 24 inches (31 to 61 centimeters).

It is definitely wider than it is longer, but still a small plant in any case. And you could choose to specifically buy a matured Christmas cactus that has grown to the smaller end of the spectrum.

One of the most unique features of this houseplant is the fact that it blooms during the winter, which is the story behind its peculiar name.

11. Chinese Money Plant

The Chinese money plant can be quite the statement piece if you choose to display it in your home, because it’s actually quite rare. It hails from the rocky forests in its home country of China, so it’s perfect for people with Oriental décor.

This small plant will grow to 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 centimeters) tall and 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 centimeters) wide as well. In a years time it will double its size, so be prepared for fast growth to that mature size!

And this plant can be split and propagated again and again, so if you like having one in your home there’s no reason why you can’t have more for free!

12. African Violet

The African violet is a houseplant that can come in small… or extra small! There’s a large version of this plant, a standard version (which is honestly still quite small), and a miniature one.

The standard size African violet will end up being around 8 to 16 inches (20 to 41 centimeters) in diameter, whereas a miniature one will stop growing at about 3 to 6 inches (7 to 15 centimeters) in diameter.

Obviously the violet is the standout feature of this plant, so it’s important to note that the size of plant that you choose will determine the size of that flower as well. The bigger the plant, the bigger the flower, and vice versa.

13. String of Hearts

The string of hearts is another climber that can be trimmed down to achieve your target size. Its stems will grow out as long as you let them, but you can simply trim them off at whatever length you find suitable. That trait mixed with the fact that the stems and leaves are quite dainty, makes this a “small houseplant”.

This is also one of the more interesting climbers in terms of aesthetics since its leaves are indeed heart shaped. And keep in mind that although the names are similar, this plant isn’t related to the string of pearls houseplant that we mentioned earlier.

14. Baby Toes

The baby toes plant is a tiny little succulent that will only grow to heights of 3 inches (8 centimeters) maximum! It’s one of the smallest plants on this list, and honestly one of the cutest as well.

People see this plant as a big conversation starter because of its unusually shaped leaves, which resemble toes. The “baby” part was simply added to the name because of its small size. The scientific name of this plant is actually, Fenestraria rhopalophylla.

15. Dwarf Snake Plant

As you’ve probably guessed by the name, this is another snake plant variety. This one will mature to be about 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 centimeters) tall and wide. The leaves are each pretty small on their own, 4 inches (10 centimeters) long and 1/4 inch (0.6 centimeters) thick.

If you’re interested in plants on the opposite end of the spectrum, meaning plants with large leaves then check out this article.

But as far as this plant goes, its small size doesn’t take away from its stunning beauty. The small, delicate leaves feature green and white stripes as well as a contrasting reddish-brown tip on each leaf. And occasionally it might bloom with small white and pink flowers.

16. Button Fern

The button fern, or Pellaea rotundifolia, is slightly larger than other plants on this list, but it still deserves to be on this list because it is known as one of the smallest varieties of ferns to exist.

Mature button ferns are about 12 to 18 inches (30 to 46 centimeters) tall, which compared to the sometimes large sizes of other ferns, is actually quite small. So if you’re looking for a fern that won’t take up much space, this is it.

Plus this fern is really darling, the leaves of it are very charming and give the plant a unique look. They transform from small, button-like leaves to larger and more ovular ones as the stems get further away from the root.

17. Kalanchoe

The Kalanchoe genus is home to many different small varieties of succulents, so almost any plant you select from this species could be on this list. But since there are over 100 options, we’re just to talk about the genus as a whole here.

Typically Kalanchoe plants will reach heights of about 8 to 12 inches (20 to 31 centimeters) as well as a similar width. But if you’d like an extra small Kalanchoe then the smallest available variety is about 6 inches (15 centimeters) tall.

This family of plants are from areas in Madagascar as well as various locations in Africa, so they’re used to fairly dry climates and shouldn’t need to much moisture to thrive.

18. Zebra Haworthia

The zebra haworthia is a tiny succulent with one-of-a-kind foliage. Each leaf is striped with dark green, and it’s actually one of the only succulents that sport stripes on their foliage so you won’t find another houseplant quite like it.

And when the word “tiny” is used, it’s actually the best way to describe this small plant. Growth for the zebra haworthia can be expected to end somewhere between 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters) tall, and even smaller in width.

19. Cyclamen

The cyclamen is a beautiful plant that is actually endangered in its homeland which is the woodlands and rocky areas in the Mediterranean. But you can give it second life by growing it as a houseplant, and you’ll be rewarded with brilliant blooms in the wintertime.

It will grow to be about 6 to 16 inches (15 to 41 centimeters) tall and even less wide, about 6 to 9 inches (15 to 23 centimeters).

You should keep in mind that this plant is dormant during the summertime unlike other types of plants.

20. Lithops

We’re closing out this list with the most petite plant of all, lithops. Or as it’s also known, the living stone plant.

This miniature plant will only end up being 1/2 of an inch to 1 inch (1.2 to 2.5 centimeters) tall and 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 8 centimeters) wide. This means that they’re barely visible above the ground.

There are only two leaves per living stone plant, which is why many people plant them in groups. The two leaves form what looks like a hoof shape.

Final Notes

Small houseplants can be a really convenient option since they’re suitable for all sized living spaces. And collecting smaller houseplants can also enable you to have more different varieties in your home than if you stuck with larger options.

So hopefully this list of potential options was helpful to you. And remember that even if you see a plant that grows to be slightly larger than you’d like, that most of them can be pruned to a more optimal size to fit your needs.

Happy houseplant hunting!

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