Turn Even the Smallest House into an Oasis with These Indoor Plants

green plant in wooden box - indoor plants

Plants are an excellent antidote for gloom. Here in the northern latitudes of the northern hemisphere, it’s been winter for 498 days and we need that antidote. Coming home to a house full of bright, cheery indoor plants can turn your home into an oasis and keep the cold and encroaching despair outside, where it belongs.

One of the big issues with trying to keep indoor plants, of course, is space. If you have a smaller home, you’re probably working with not just less square footage but fewer windows and less light. Crowding all your plants along your minimal window ledges is one solution to that issue but in case you’re searching for other ideas, we’ve compiled a list of plants that don’t need a ton of light or space.

Many of these plants prefer low-light, so you can let your other, greedier plants take up the windowsill and put these shade-lovers into corners that could use a little brightening up. We’ve also selected plants that don’t need lots of water and that can take a fair bit of neglect. You need a pick-me-up, not additional chores.

Scroll through this list of lovely indoor plants to see what new, green additions sound right to you. They’re arranged (roughly) from easiest to most intensive to care for so you can get an idea of what you’re getting into and make choices based on how much time and attention you feel like giving to this project.

The Easiest Possible Indoor Plants

peace lily in pot - indoor plants

Peace Lilies

Peace lilies are a very easy addition to your home. Their unique white flowers are a lovely contrast to the deep green of their leaves. They prefer medium to low light and don’t need much water. When the top of the soil is dried out, it’s time to water them again.

Spider Plants

The classic hanging planter occupant, spider plants are incredibly easy to care for. Their long, slender leaves drape beautifully and need only occasional waterings. They like bright, indirect light, which makes them perfect to hang in windows. As a bonus, the spider plant makes its own babies so you if you take good care of it you could start with one and never have to buy another again.

Staghorn Ferns

These little plants thrive on a vertical surface. Vertical gardens add vibrancy to a small room without taking up any of its real estate. The best thing about these ferns is that they actually don’t care much for light and need only a moderate amount of water. Water then once per week during the summer and every 2-3 weeks during the winter. Check out this article on vertical gardens for inspiration.

Snake Plants

Snake plants have broad, spear-like variegated leaves that add a unique flair to corners and side tables. They appreciate indirect light and only need light amounts of water. Be sure to let the soil dry out between waterings.

Jade Plants

Jade plants, with their deep green oval leaves and woody stems, are simple and gorgeous additions to any indoor display. They like medium light and being watered every few days, once the soil has dried out.


These lovely plants have colourful leaves that are beautifully bordered and have a hand-painted appearance. They don’t care for direct light and need a moderate amount of water. If the sunlight is too strong for them their leaves fade, which is a much gentler way of communicating with you than dying on you while you’re at work one day.

More Intensive But Still Really Very Easy To Care For Plants

three cacti with orange watering can - indoor house plants


Cacti need minimal watering (once a week in spring and summer and once every two to three weeks in the fall and winter) but they like to have about 4 hours of direct sunlight, especially in spring and summer when they’re actively growing. They also appreciate being rotated so they can grow evenly. There’s a huge variety when it comes to cacti, so you can head to a greenhouse and pick out the sizes and types that you think best accent your space.

Coffee Plants

Coffee plants have bright green foliage with lovely, distinct veins. They like medium indirect light and for their soil to be kept moist.

You will of course want to know if it’s theoretically possible for these plants to produce enough beans that you could harvest them and make your own coffee. It is! If you do this and it works for you, please tell us about it in the comments below – we all need to know how it turned out.

Golden Pothos

This is a full-looking plant with subtle flecks of yellow on its heart-shaped leaves. It spreads out as it grows – be prepared to need to give it more space. It tolerates some neglect, although its favourite things are indirect light and to be kept moist but not overly wet.

Asparagus Ferns

The wispy tendrils of the asparagus fern look especially lovely in a hanging planter. Hang this beautiful fern in a window to free up your surface areas. Indirect light is its preference and it likes a lot of water.

Kentia Palms

Those who are looking for taller plants to accent a corner or a hall might look to the kentia palm. Unlike other palms, which thrive in high-humidity environments, kentia palms are fine in drier indoor air. They do like their sunlight, though, and they need to be watered weekly or when the top inch of soil has dried out.


Alocasia is a vibrant plant with high-contrasting leaves, adding variety to your indoor collection. This plant likes its soil to be thoroughly watered and then left to dry out. It also appreciates the occasional misting. And which of us doesn’t.

English Ivy

This pretty little plant likes to grow and twine, so you can use it creatively by training it around something you think needs some sprucing up. It can be a bit picky about light – it likes some direct sunlight (about 4 hours a day) but prefers to be in indirect light for the rest of the day. It also prefers its soil to be kept moist, so this is not a plant you can forget about and let dry out.

Hope your indoor garden gets you through until you can experience warmth and sunlight in your outdoor garden again!

Feature image: mentatdgt; Image 1: Øyvind Sandåker; Image 2: Susanne Jutzeler

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