Smaller container gardens are getting more popular now that the tiny house revolution has really caught on. One thing that really makes people sad when they move into studio apartments or tiny homes is that they lose garden space. However, there are several small pot plants you can get to spruce up your decor, and some of them even hang. You can fill your space with tropical plants, veggies, herbs, foliage, and more.
If you’re considering adding your own small pot plants, it’s good to know which ones are meant for small spaces and which ones don’t need a huge amount of room to spread out and thrive. We’re going to outline 28 popular small pot plants for you to consider adding to your home, office, or room below.
1. African Violets
African Violets are one small container plant that can bloom all year-round, and they’re famous for producing a lot of colorful flowers. You will water them from the bottom by allowing the plant to sit in ¾-inch of tepid water for five to seven minutes to give it time to absorb everything it needs. You can choose from a range of color varieties, including dark blue, light blue, purple, pink, white-blue, red, and white-pink. If you want an even smaller version, the mini African Violet is available.
African Violets by Emma L Brown / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
2. Aloe Vera
Most people are familiar with this small pot plant because it can smooth small cuts and burns or scrapes. Aloe Vera is a low-maintenance succulent that looks nice in virtually any space and it can fit into tiny pots. Since it stores moisture in the fleshy leaves, you won’t have to water it much to keep it happy. It’s also very easy to propagate the pups that grow at the plant’s base, and you can turn them into more small pot plants. They tolerate low light fairly well, and you can put them in a window too.
Aloe Vera by Alberto Alvarez-Perea / CC BY-NC 2.0
From the red veggie to the red fruit, beetroot is a small pot plant many people don’t think of using. No matter if you call them dinner beets, golden beets, garden beets, sugar beets, or table beets, when you eat beetroot, you’re eating nothing more than the taproot of the beet plant.
To make this small pot plant grow, use a deep container with holes in the bottom and add a sandy soil that is roughly 16 inches deep. Keep the beets one to a pot or at least a foot apart in the same pot to give them room to grow without competing. Each seed should be ¼-inch deep in the soil, and the temperatures should stay above 50-degrees Fahrenheit. You should see the plant growing within 17 days.
Beetroot by Gordon Joly / CC BY-SA 2.0
Carrots are known for being a bright orange color, but they also come in a huge range of other hues, including white, yellow, black, red, and purple. When you switch from traditional orange carrots to other colors, you’ll get subtle flavor changes. So, you can add several different ones as small pot plants.
A deeper pot is best for this vegetable as carrots need to be decently far down in the soil to do well. During the warmer months, you can water them when the soil dries out and make sure they get bright, direct sun. One very important part to successfully growing carrots as a small pot plant is to maintain the foliage. If bruising causes damage, insects called the carrot fly could hover around the plant and slowly destroy the roots. Eventually, they’ll kill the plant.
Carrots by Jonas Tana / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
5. Chili Plant
If you have a taste for hot plants, this small pot plant is one to consider for your indoor garden. This house plant will produce chili peppers. It’s a popular plant in the Solanaceae family, and chili peppers will help add a spicy kick to any dish you like. You can also grow poblana, sweet peppers, jalapeno, cayenne, peri-peri, and habanero. Each pepper will have a varying hotness degree, so it’s worth trying a few.
Place your chili plant on the windowsill, and you want to consider eventually moving it to a small indoor greenhouse later on. At the very least, try to generate heat using other methods like adjusting the humidity levels in the home or adding heat lamps. They are spicier if you grow them in a warm environment.
Red Chili Peppers by rpphotos / CC BY-NC 2.0
Chives or Allium schoenoprasum fall into the same family that the salad onion, leek, scallop, garlic, and shallots are, so they all have Allum in their name. These are perennials that look like grass when you use them as a small pot plant before you harvest them. You can take a handful of fresh chives, chop them finely, and allow them to add a savory taste to all types of dishes.
The bigger pot you use, the more chives you’ll get. However, even a small amount of chives is enough for a lot of garnish. Every day, you want this small pot plant to get a minimum of four to six hours of sunlight, and more won’t hurt it. Like the radish plant, you can set up grow lights for those cloudy days. If you have established chives, you’ll get a quick new houseplant. If you have patience, you can use seeds to start them.
Chives by John Munt / CC BY-NC 2.0
Coriander is a popular herb you can add to your indoor garden as a small pot plant. It’s a member of the Apiaceae family, and you may hear it called cilantro. It works like a garnish on many dishes. Cilantro comes from the stems and leaves of the coriander plant, and you get roughly 23 calories for each 100 grams you eat. You can eat the entire plant, and this includes the seeds.
To get this plant to the point of harvesting, you should pick out a small pot for the seeds to go in. Add potting soil that has a very rich consistency and avoid overwatering it at all costs. Also, watch where you place your coriander in your apartment or home. In the morning hours, it likes to get direct sunlight, but it shouldn’t be in direct sun for all day. Once the afternoon sun starts to come through the window, make sure you plant gets dappled light instead of direct.
Coriander by CerseB / CC BY 2.0
As a very common vegetable, cucumbers are part of the gourd or Cucurbitaceae family. If you’ve only seen this vegetable at your local farmer’s market or grocery store, here’s an interesting point. They actually grow on vines. Also, you can pick from three different cucumber varieties, including pickling cucumbers, seedless cucumbers, and slicing cucumbers. This green, long vegetable is a lot more interesting than many people give it credit for, and it works as a small pot plant.
Get a small or medium-sized container for this plant and make sure that they are vertical instead of horizontal when they begin to sprout. Even if you have a room where space is at a premium, you can wrap a cage around the plant or add posts so the vines have something to attach to and grow. This will also help keep it contained as it continues to grow.
For any small place, Echeveria is a small pot plant that will be a nice conversation piece. It’s a very distinct succulent that has oversized foliage that grows in a pretty rosette shape. It’s available in several colors, including reds, purples, blues, pinks, and even teals. It looks lovely in small pots, and it creates a focal point due to the big rosette growth habit. This plant needs indirect but bright sunlight for the majority of the day before you move it to partial sun. You don’t want to expose it to full afternoon sunlight as it can burn the leaves.
Echeveria by PINKE / CC BY-NC 2.0
You may or may not know a lot of about ferns in general, but they’re vascular plants with dozens of indoor varieties available, including bird’s nest fern, button fern, cretan brake fern, blue star fern, maidenhair fern, staghorn fern, holly fern, and the hardy Boston fern. No matter which one you pick, you won’t have to worry about it taking over your other house plants due to the compact size.
As a small pot plant, you want to place them in a shaded location throughout the day. If you choose potting soil as your growing medium, make sure that you pick out a type that drains well. Sometimes, you may want to add rocks to the container to improve drainage. However, it’s much easier to add coconut coir or peat moss into the potting soil.
Potted Plant in Window Light by Wayne S. Grazio / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
11. Flamingo Flower
A lot of people buy Anthurium or Flamingo Flower on a whim. You don’t need a lot of experience with this plant, and the shiny red flowers are one big thing that attracts many people to this small pot plant. They top out at 12 to 18 inches tall, and they’re a very low-maintenance small pot plant to have. They like indirect but bright sunlight, so place them by a window but not right on the windowsill. They also need a well-draining soil that you keep on the drier side because overwatering is the most common way this plant dies.
Anthurium by Gerard Stolk / CC BY-NC 2.0
Lettuce is a staple in any salad, and the lettuce plants fall into the daisy or Asteraceae family. You can easily grow more than a dozen types as a small pot plant, including:
- Arugula – You’ll get a very appealing but spicy taste
- Butterhead – This plant is also called Bibb or Boston lettuce
- Dandelion Greens – This is actually a type of lettuce, despite what the name would lend you to believe
- Frisee – A variety of endive
- Iceberg – A largely tasteless but very low calorie lettuce type
- Mesclun – It offers brilliant green leaves with red veining
- Mizuna – Also called Japanese Mustard Greens
- Radicchio – The dark red hue makes this lettuce stand out
- Romaine – A leafier, dark green lettuce variety
- Watercress – This lettuce goes great with soups and salads
Since there are so many varieties of lettuce available, you could fill up a whole indoor garden with it. No matter which ones you choose, they all work as small pot plants. You can start it from seeds by digging them into very shallow soil that is very rich. Once you cover them, moisten the soil and wait for them to germinate.
Lettuce by UnconventionalEmma / CC BY-NC 2.0
13. Lucky Bamboo
As a low-maintenance house plant, Lucky Bamboo isn’t actually bamboo. It’s a member of the lily family, and you won’t have to do a lot to make it thrive but deciding how you want to plant it, placing it in bright areas, and allowing it to grow. You can also plant it in water if you want to have a non-soil plant setup. It can get between two and three feet tall, and it’s possible to cut the top off using shears to keep it in a more compact form without damaging the plant.
Jan-2013 by Ray / CC BY-ND 2.0
14. Moth Orchid
Orchids are gorgeous small pot plants, and they go in a huge number of spaces, including on the bathroom counter or on a bedside table. Moth orchids offer stunning blooms that will last for months at a time. They’re also easier to take care of than you may imagine due to how delicate they look. Don’t overwater them, and make sure that you dilute a small amount of fertilizer to add every few weeks. Plant it in a well-draining soil meant for orchids.
Moth Orchid by Sid Mosdell / CC BY 2.0
15. Nerve Plant
Fittonia or the Nerve Plant is a nice small pot plant. They’re a very pretty choice that are available in a range of patterns and colors. They do have high water and humidity requirements, and they’re not the easiest plant to care for. They can also be finicky, but once you get the growing conditions correct, they do very well. They’re also fantastic to put in closed terrariums if this is something you want to set up.
Nerve Plant – found native in South America – Peru by Gary Smith / CC BY 2.0
If you’re after a space-friendly, small plant that is actually cute, it’s hard to go wrong with this particular small pot plant. It comes with very dark purple leaves that look like butterflies or shamrocks. Oxalis likes to be in a space that gets partial sun, and it doesn’t do well if the soil is too moist or wet. This is especially true in cooler climates.
Oxalis looks striking when you plant them in light colored or white pots since the dark purple leaves are a nice contrast. In the right conditions, it can bloom to produce pink, white, or purple flowers.
Oxalis by Grigoris Deoudis / CC BY-NC 2.0
17. Painted-Leaf Begonia
The begonia plant is a wonderful small pot plant, and it offers a beautiful range of colors to help it stand out against more traditional green house plants. The name is due to the color of the plant’s foliage. This isn’t the easiest plant for brand new gardeners to grow and keep healthy because it’s finicky, but if you put a little time into learning the lighting and water needs, this small pot plant will thrive.
Begonia Leaves by Stanley Zimny / CC BY-NC 2.0
Did you know that pansies are edible? While they don’t have a lot of taste to them, they’re a pretty garnish for cakes, soups, and salads. The pansy is actually a hybrid plant that offers a flower with darker and lighter patterns. A lot of pansies and purple and white, but there are dozens of other colors available. This pretty small pot plant can also come in shades of lavender and yellow, and you may even get both colors on the flower.
As a bonus, pansies get along well with ferns, flowers, vegetables, herbs, fruits, and just about another other plant you could put in an indoor garden. They only need a small pot and they’ll produce pretty flowers all year-round. Since you’re keeping them inside in a controlled environment, the pansy will never lose the pretty look.
Pansy by Rob Hodgkins / CC BY-SA 2.0
It’s common to hear Peperomia referred to as the baby rubber plant. It’s a flowering plant that is native to Mexico, Florida, and the Caribbean. One nice point about this cute small pot plant is that you can choose from dozens of different varieties. You could buy a bunch of them and they’d all have different looks. Peperomia is a very low-maintenance plant that just needs to get watered once the top layer of soil dries out. They do best when you plant them in indirect but bright sunlight.
Peperomia repens – Piperaceae by Kerry Woods / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
20. Polka Dot Plant
How the Polka Dot Plant got the name will be very obvious when you see it. It has polka dot patterns on the leaves, and the white dots really pop out from the darker green leaves, no matter where you put it. The dots can also be red, pink, lighter green, or yellow, and you can put it in a terrarium or small pot. It really likes high humidity, so if you have dry air, you’re going to want to mist it a lot.
Polka Dot Plant / Hypoestes phyllostachya by ヒポエステス by TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋) / CC BY 2.0
Since radishes grow very deep in the soil, you probably had no idea that you could plant them and have them as a small pot plant in your apartment. This Brassicaceae family member is one that you’ll enjoy adding to dishes or eating raw as soon as you start planting your own. Considering the color and crunch they add to salads, you won’t want to do without them.
It’s tricky to get the perfect amount of moisture for this plant to thrive. They need some moisture to keep the plant’s roots healthy, but too much moisture can kill the roots. You also have to make sure you don’t plant too many seeds and keep them an inch apart. If you have the space to upgrade how large the container is, you can easily add more radishes.
Radish by NancyLiza / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
You may have noticed herbs listed as a lot of small pot plants on this list, and rosemary is another addition because it’s easy to grow and doesn’t require a lot of room. Rosemary is Salvia rosmarinus, and it’s a perennial herb that offers a woodsy, natural scent with needles that mimic the look of a pine tree. In some cases, your rosemary plants can develop purple, blue, white, or pink flowers.
You can use a small container or pot for your rosemary plant, but you have to keep a sharp eye out for mildew. Poor air circulation can encourage mildew growth on the plant, and this can kill it. Allow the soil to dry out between watering sessions and always use potting soil that drains well. Finally, place it in a south-facing window for bright, strong light to help keep the plant healthy and thriving.
Rosemary by Akirikku / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
The snapdragon is called Antirrhinum, or you may hear people call it the dragon flower. The cone-shaped, tall flower spikes can resemble the face of a dragon if you squeeze them laterally. It gives the illusion of the dragon opening and closing its mouth. You get a huge range of colors with this small pot plant, and it’s an easy way to brighten up virtually any space. This is a very durable plant that looks delicate, and even inexperienced gardeners should have success with this plant. It needs a minimum of six hours of sunlight each day but prefers eight, and it likes well-draining soil.
Snapdragon by Peter Miller / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
24. Spider Plant
Many people know exactly which small plant pot we’re referring to when we say spider plant. This is a very hardy and durable but low-maintenance plant that is perfect for novice gardeners to grow because it does well when you neglect it. It’ll grow very long and dangling vines while keeping a compact profile. They do best in hanging baskets with a well-draining soil and medium moisture.
Chlorophytum comosum by Istvan / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Many people stop buying strawberries once summer ends, but you can grow your own strawberries as a small pot plant indoors all year-round. Falling into the Fragaria genus, this is a sweet, light treat that tastes good any time. You want to pick out a container and make sure that your plant gets a lot of sunlight with a minimum of six hours each day. You may need a grow light to supplement the light on cloudy days, or during the winter and fall months. Fertilize every few weeks and keep the soil lightly moist.
Strawberry Plant by Nathan Cooprider / CC BY 2.0
26. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is an acquired taste, and not everyone warms to it. Beta vulgaris or the chard plant is in the common beet family. It is very low in calories, and you’ll get roughly seven calories per cup of swiss chard you eat. Chard does taste better cooked, especially if you add some nutmeg, pepper, salt, thyme, garlic, and onion. It does have a bitter flavor that is more mild when you eat it raw.
As this small pot plant grows, it’ll put up eye-catching leaves in maroon and bright green coloring, and some come with white stems. However, most swiss chard features bright red stems. To plant this option in your home in a small space, you’ll need some chard seeds with a small pot. Get a rich but well-draining soil and bury the seeds an inch deep. Keep them watered and more will grow as you harvest it.
Swiss Chard by Josephine Community Garden / CC BY-NC 2.0
Do you want to have your own supply of delicious, fresh tomatoes? You can make tomato soup, pasta sauce, or homemade pizzas as often as you want when you grow this small pot plant. Once you figure out how forgiving these plants are and how easy they are to grow and maintain, you’ll always have them included in your indoor garden setup.
To start this small pot plant, get a container with seeds. Mix your potting soil and add the seeds under a light layer and water them. Place your seeds in a sunny space where it’s very warm. You want to water them every single day. Once the seeds turn into seedlings, you can switch to watering them every few days. They need eight hours of bright sunlight each day to produce big fruit.
Autumn Delight by scott1346 / CC BY 2.0
The final small pot plant on the list is thyme. It falls into the Lamiaceae family with mint in the Thymus genus. This is a perennial evergreen plant that offers a very pleasing scent, and it’s very close to how oregano smells. Thyme works like a garnish or topping in many dishes, and it has a history of medicinal and ornamental purposes too.
The thyme you plant needs an indoor growing space that gets no colder than 60-degrees Fahrenheit. Using a potting mix that contains peat moss, perlite, sand, and potting soil, the water can drain while giving your thyme the nutrients it requires to grow. Get a clay planter for this herb that will pull the excess moisture out to keep the roots from staying too wet.
Thyme by Erutuon / CC BY-SA 2.0
We’ve outlined 28 small pot plants that you can plant and mix and match to create a fun and vibrant indoor garden that will feed you all summer long. We also have pretty houseplants on the list that can help brighten up your space. You can set them all around your home or concentrate them in one place to create a stunning, natural look.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.