Indoor Gardening ๐ŸŒต

Plants for Shallow Pots: 18 Picks for Compact Planters

Love the idea of indoor gardening but short on space for big, bulky pots? No worries. This is your one-stop guide for plants that like to keep things snug.

Even shallow pots can become home to a whole world of green, adding a pop of nature to your space. Let’s check out our top 18 indoor plants that are perfectly comfortable in compact pots.

1. African Violet (Saintpaulia)

african violets

Small but mighty, African Violets and their roots don’t mind being a bit squished. They’re the perfect choice for shallow pots.

  • Native to: East African mountains, Tanzania, and Kenya.
  • Ease of Care: Moderate. Requires indirect sunlight and careful watering to prevent water from touching the leaves.
  • Plant Type: Perennial blooming plant.

2. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

peace lilies

Peace Lilies like to spread their roots out rather than down. They’re more about the horizontal life, so they’re a great pick for compact pots.

Additionally, Peace Lilies also have air-purifying qualities, making your indoor space not just more attractive, but healthier too.

  • Native to: Tropical regions of the Americas and Southeastern Asia.
  • Ease of Care: Easy. They thrive in medium to low light and prefer a moist environment.
  • Plant Type: Evergreen perennial.

3. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

spider plants

Spider Plants arenโ€™t fussy. They don’t mind a compact root space, making them an ideal choice for less spacious pots.

These plants are perfect for beginners or those who like low-maintenance plants. They’re also known for their ability to improve indoor air quality.

  • Native to: Southern Africa.
  • Ease of Care: Easy. These plants are extremely adaptable and can survive in a wide range of conditions.
  • Plant Type: Perennial flowering plant.

4. Snake Plant (Sansevieria)

snake plant

The Snake Plant’s roots are as adaptable as they come. So, a less spacious pot is not a problem for these guys. Make sure to check out our article on types of snake plants if you want to pick a unique variety.

  • Native to: West Africa, from Nigeria to Congo.
  • Ease of Care: Easy. They can withstand a range of light conditions and infrequent watering.
  • Plant Type: Evergreen perennial.

5. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)

boston fern

Because most fern varieties have a shallow root system, they also get a spot in this article. Their roots are fine and compact, making them a fantastic pick for smaller containers.

However, Boston Ferns require a bit more attention in terms of humidity and watering, but their stunning appearance is worth the extra effort.

  • Native to: Tropical regions throughout the world.
  • Ease of Care: Moderate. They require high humidity and consistent watering.
  • Plant Type: Perennial fern.

6. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

golden pothos plant

Pothos plants love to hang around, and their easygoing roots are perfectly suited to compact containers. They are also notoriously hardy, making them perfect for new gardeners or those who lack a green thumb.

  • Native to: Mo’orea in the Society Islands of French Polynesia.
  • Ease of Care: Easy. They can survive in a range of light conditions and require infrequent watering.
  • Plant Type: Evergreen vine.

7. Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)

jade plant

Jade Plants have a root system that’s just as compact as they are. They’re a great addition to your succulent collection. However, when choosing the pot for this succulent, make sure it has drainage holes!

  • Native to: South Africa and Mozambique.
  • Ease of Care: Easy. They require bright light and occasional watering.
  • Plant Type: Succulent.

8. Aloe Vera

aloe vera

Aloe Vera has roots that like to sprawl, but they don’t need a lot of space to do so. Compact pots work perfectly for them. Also, they are known for being hardy and tolerating a lot of neglect.

  • Native to: Arabian Peninsula.
  • Ease of Care: Easy. It needs infrequent watering and bright light.
  • Plant Type: Succulent.

9. Bromeliads


Bromeliads have small roots that are more than happy in shallow containers. Perfect if you’re looking for some color in a small pot!

With hundreds of varieties available, each with unique appearances, you’ll never get bored with Bromeliads.

  • Native to: Tropical Americas.
  • Ease of Care: Moderate. They prefer bright, indirect light and require watering at the central cup.
  • Plant Type: Bromeliad

10. Orchids


Orchids have a unique root system compared to many other plant species, which allows them to adapt and thrive in diverse environments.

  • Native to: Worldwide, mostly in the tropics.
  • Ease of Care: Moderate to Difficult, depending on the species. They generally need bright, indirect light and specific watering schedules.
  • Plant Type: Orchid.

11. Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera)


The Christmas Cactus’s roots stay snug and compact, so these plants comfortable even in less spacious pots.

You should also known that these plant are long-lived, with some living for more than 100 years! And while they may look delicate, their care routine is quite simple.

  • Native to: The coastal mountains of southeastern Brazil.
  • Ease of Care: Easy. Prefers bright, indirect light and requires watering when the top inch of soil is dry.
  • Plant Type: Cactus.

12. Fittonia (Nerve Plant)

nerve plant

Fittonias or Nerve Plants have a compact root system that makes them a good candidate for your smaller pots. Plus, they add a touch of drama to your indoor garden, especially when you forget to water them. But don’t worry, they will get back to their lush shape in no time!

  • Native to: Tropical rainforests in South America.
  • Ease of Care: Moderate. They prefer high humidity and indirect light.
  • Plant Type: Perennial herb.

13. Zebra Plant (Haworthia)

zebra plant

Zebra Plants are content to cozy up in compact pots. Their roots, just like the plants themselves, are perfectly suited to a less roomy environment.

  • Native to: Southern Africa.
  • Ease of Care: Moderate. It needs well-draining soil and bright but indirect light.
  • Plant Type: Succulent.

14. Lithops

living stones

These “Living Stones” have a root system as intriguing as their stone-like appearance. They like their roots cozy, so a smaller pot suits them just fine.

  • Native to: Southern Africa.
  • Ease of Care: Moderate. They need plenty of sunlight and very minimal watering.
  • Plant Type: Succulent.

15. Philodendron


Philodendrons are flexible when it comes to their roots. They can happily adapt to compact pots, allowing you to enjoy their foliage even if space is limited. All you have to worry about is choosing the a philodendron variety or type that works best for your style!

  • Native to: Tropical regions of the Americas.
  • Ease of Care: Easy. They can tolerate a wide range of light conditions and prefer moist, well-draining soil.
  • Plant Type: Evergreen perennial.

16. Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura)

prayer plant

Prayer Plants’ roots enjoy the cozy life. They’re quite happy to be nestled into a compact pot, making them perfect for your indoor garden collection.

  • Native to: Brazilian rainforests.
  • Ease of Care: Moderate. They need high humidity, well-draining soil, and indirect light.
  • Plant Type: Perennial.

17. Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)

cast iron plant

Cast Iron Plants are as adaptable as their namesake, with roots that comfortably grow in a less spacious environment. They’re a resilient addition to any compact pot garden.

  • Native to: Japan and Taiwan.
  • Ease of Care: Easy. It can survive in a range of light conditions and prefers well-draining soil.
  • Plant Type: Perennial.

18. English Ivy (Hedera helix)

english ivy

English Ivy, with its shallow root system, thrives in compact pots. And while it may enjoy sprawling out above the soil, its roots stay content in less roomy settings.

  • Native to: Europe and Western Asia.
  • Ease of Care: Moderate. It prefers bright, indirect light and moist soil.
  • Plant Type: Vine.


Finding the right plants for shallow pots doesn’t have to be complicated. From African Violets to English Ivy, we’ve seen how many indoor plants are perfectly content in compact pots.

These plants adapt, flourish, and add greenery to your home, proving that indoor gardening is truly for everyone. Whether you’re in a small apartment or just prefer smaller pots, you can create your own slice of nature indoors.

About Author

Hey there! I'm Denis, a lifelong plant lover and gardening enthusiast. I've been in love with gardening since the age of 10 when I successfully grew my first roses from cuttings. Since then, my passion has only grown stronger, and I now write articles about plants to share my knowledge and experiences with others.

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