The 7 Cutest Houseplants That Stay Small
These petite plants won't overwhelm you or break the bank, experts say.
Houseplants are a welcome addition to any space, livening up the décor and even making your rooms look and feel more expensive. If you do get a houseplant or two, however, you're then in charge of caring for them as their official "plant parent." With this in mind, you don't want to bite off more than you can chew, especially with larger plant varieties. Instead, you may want to spring for a cute houseplant that'll stay small.
In addition to being more affordable, small houseplants don't take up much space, and they're typically easier to care for than bigger plant varieties, Tom Knight, owner of indoor gardening website OurHousePlants.com, explains.
"In comparison, a larger plant will need more frequent repotting as it grows, and it will need more care to do well. They can also cost quite a lot more," Knight tells Best Life. "You really can't go wrong with a small houseplant, especially when you're just starting out with indoor plants."
So, before you head to your local garden store or greenhouse, you'll want to be aware of a few houseplant varieties that remain small in stature. Read on for seven compact cuties that won't take up too much time or space.
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7 Houseplants That Stay Small
1. Air plant
If you're looking to start with a low-maintenance houseplant, look no further than the air plant.
"These quirky, alien-like plants are super cute and take up practically no space because you can put them anywhere; no soil is needed!" says Bryan Clayton, garden enthusiast and co-founder of GreenPal.
According to Knight, all these petite plants need to thrive is a light source, as well as a misting or a quick shower under the tap every few weeks.
"They are relatively slow growing and remain compact—with a wide variety of shapes and sizes to suit most environments," adds Mo Bhula, plant specialist at The Botanical Archive. "Pair these with some cool ceramics and you have a future-proofed, easy-to-maintain green display."
2. African violets
African violets are another houseplant that won't overwhelm you—in terms of size or responsibility.
"African violets are beautiful, dainty houseplants that can be in bloom for six months or more every year," Knight says. "The plant you see in a store is usually as big as it will get. Instead of producing lots of foliage, it regularly pushes up tiny, brightly colored flowers that look good in any setting."
They come in different hues, including violet, pink, and white, Clayton adds, and they stay between 10 to 12 inches in height and width.
"A little light, some water every week, and a splash of all-purpose plant feed once every two months is all they need to thrive," Knight explains.
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3. Chinese money plant
The Chinese money plant—formally known as Pilea peperomioides—will also stay small, but what it may lack in size, it makes up for in style.
"It's an adorable miniature tree," Clayton says. "It stays small, especially if kept in a smaller pot, and, bonus, it's an easy-to-care-for succulent."
It has pancake-shaped leaves, Bhula says, and thanks to its otherworldly look, it's often dubbed the UFO plant.
4. Zebra Cactus
Another succulent to make the list is the zebra cactus. As the name suggests, you'll recognize this mini plant thanks to its white-striped leaves.
"Haworthia or the 'zebra cactus,' is a cute succulent with an attractive architectural appearance that looks fab in unusual containers," Knight says. "They might grow a few inches a year, and that's it. Water every few weeks, or whenever the soil has dried out, and give them anything from bright to medium light in your home."
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If you prefer flowers but aren't into the African violet, consider picking up a classic begonia. These are on the bigger side of "small," ranging in size from eight inches to two feet tall, according to Clemson Cooperative Extension Home & Garden Information Center—but they're still manageable.
"Certain varieties of begonias, like the rex begonia, have spectacularly colored and patterned leaves," Bhula says. "They prefer higher humidity, so they might be a good choice for a kitchen or bathroom."
6. Baby toes
While the name is a bit strange, it's certainly accurate, as baby toes are going to stay teeny tiny (and adorable).
"This succulent has unusual tubular, 'toe-like' leaves with translucent tips on top," says Vladan Nikolic, indoor plant expert and founder of the houseplant care blog Mr. Houseplant. "It has lovely white or yellow blooms with many petals. It's not fussy in terms of care, and very forgiving when it comes to watering, like other succulents."
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7. Lithops (Living stones)
Another darling, petite plant is lithops, AKA "living stones." According to Nikolic, lithops is one of the most unique succulents and only grows to be between one-half and one inch tall.
"Staying small and low to the ground helps minimize the effect of the intense heat in their native habitat," Nikolic says. "Many varieties of lithops exist, featuring a wide variety of colors. Living stones also have lovely daisy-like flowers, and since they are low maintenance, they are a great option for beginners."