9 Petite Plants That Stay Small & Add Color Without Taking Over

These small houseplants are the perfect tiny treasures to add to your home.

Published January 22, 2024

Do you have a hard time walking past an aisle of plants and keeping your hands to yourself? Perhaps you like to pick out a few new friends to take home with you? That's all good and fun until suddenly your shelves are running out of room and you have plants that take up so much space that they ought to be paying you rent. Looking at you, aloe plant that somehow has a four-foot wingspan these days.

So, what to do when you love plants but are running out of space? You add plants that stay small to your family, of course. 

String of Pearls


The string of pearls will grow as long as you let it. This plant is one that'll vine and vine, as it's a string succulent. But it won't grow taller or wider, which is great for when every last bit of space is at a premium. With bright indirect light and thorough watering only once the plant has totally dried out from the previous one, a string of pearls is a dream to care for. 

African Violets


Keep your African violet steadily moist, but not soaking wet, and don't let it dry out all the way, and you'll keep it happy, healthy, and thriving. Add your vibrant and small African violet to a bookshelf, dining room table, or even your bedroom. This small houseplant thrives just about anywhere. In the words of Tennessee Williams, "The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks." 

Jade Plant


Although the jade plant ultimately ends up around three feet tall when fully grown, if you start with a baby jade plant, it'll take quite some time for that to reach it's max height. Jade plants only grow two inches a year, or less! For it to grow even a foot, you'd need six years of time. Slow and steady, allow the plant to dry out between waterings while this small house plant hangs out in bright and indirect light. 

Related: 10 Coolest Houseplants Perfect for Your Plant Parent Portfolio

Baby Tears


Although the baby tears grows pretty quickly, staying on top of pruning will keep this climbing and hanging plant the perfect small size for your home. With a flat, moss-like appearance (although it's not a moss at all), you don't need to worry about lighting with these; baby tears do just fine in low-light conditions. However, this small house plant needs all the water works: never let it dry out completely between watering. 

Prayer Plant


With a flat open palm during the day, and a closed leaf at night like hands in prayer, the prayer plant or never never plant is the perfect small houseplant if you want to live the leafy dream but don't have space to spare. Indirect light and watering every week or every other week will keep this small plant (it reaches no more than a foot tall) happy in your company. 

Pothos Plants


Adding a pothos to your houseplant collection is a great way to add green without giving up any extra shelf space. Like the string of pearls or baby tears, a pothos will grow as bushy and vine as far as you want it to, or stay as small and tidy as you wish. It all comes down to pruning. Bonus: once you bring this pothos home, you can easily propagate to cover your walls with this small indoor plant. 

Polka Dot Plant


At its max, the polka dot plant can grow up to three feet tall or as short as one foot. But, this plant is easily pruned and shaped: you can keep this small indoor plant at the perfect height, size, and even shape for you. Needing only indirect light, perfect for rooms or corners that don't get a ton of light, water this plant thoroughly and then wait until it's totally dry again before giving it another bath. 

Air Plant


The air plant stays nice and small, and because it doesn't have a root system or even require a pot, you can move this tiny houseplant around whenever you feel like giving your space a makeover. You can bunch several together in a bowl or even hang them up so you don't lose an inch of table or desk space

Chinese Money Plant


Bring a little prosperity and luck to your space, but make no mistake, this small plant doesn't mean small luck. But it's all about what you want to make of it. Although this plant can grow rather quickly, pruning here and there will keep it at the right size for you, so there's no lost elbow space in your home. Water once a week or so and allow this plant to thrive in bright but indirect light to avoid sunburn. 

The Charm of Small Houseplants


Running low on space? Can't kick the "always need to buy more plants" habit? I'm right there with you. The solution? Small indoor houseplants, obviously. Leafy, vining, or slow-growing houseplants, there's no need to wilt over a small space again. Brighten up your mood and space with these small houseplants. 

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9 Petite Plants That Stay Small & Add Color Without Taking Over