8 Slow Growing Houseplants That are Low Maintenance and Won't Overwhelm a Small Space

Avoid your home becoming a jungle with these gradual growers that won't need pruning

a living room with large zz plants
(Image credit: thejoyofplants.co.uk)

A home filled with houseplants looks undeniably beautiful. They inject life and lift any space, bringing character, color, and charm while also boosting your mood. Of course, large statement houseplants can look particularly impactful, but not everyone has the space to house such magnificent greenery. If that sounds familiar, then fear not - there are plenty of small, slow-growing houseplants that still offer beautiful greenery without turning your home into a jungle.

If you prefer a more understated way of decorating with plants and you're not yet prepared for regular pruning or repotting, then we've found the perfect foliage for you. We asked experts to find out which houseplants are more gradual growers so you can embrace some greenery without it taking over your space (or your life). Here are eight varieties to consider introducing to your home today. 

1. Snake Plant (Sansevieria)

snake plant

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The snake plant is a perfect option for any home, as it's a no-fuss, hardy plant that thrives on neglect, so it's a houseplant that you virtually can't kill. 'Its upright, sword-like leaves make it an excellent choice for corners and tight spaces,' says Tony O'Neill, gardening guru and founder of Simplify Gardening. 'Snake plants filter the indoor air, adding a touch of green without needing much in return.'

Also known as Mother-in-Law's Tongue, this foliage also makes the perfect beginner houseplant as it will flourish in low light conditions and requires minimal watering. 'The snake plant adds a touch of elegance to any space,' says Zahid Adnan, founder of The Plant Bible.

2. ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

Another low-maintenance houseplant that won't take over your home is the ZZ plant. 'With its waxy, emerald leaves, the ZZ plant is not only a visual treat but also incredibly drought-tolerant,' says Tony. 'It grows slowly, fitting seamlessly into small spaces, making it an easy companion for nearly any room.'

Zahid also recommends the ZZ plant as a hardy option as it's also virtually indestructible and low-light tolerable, making it an excellent choice for any environment. So, if you want to brighten up a dim corner in a north-facing room, this houseplant will work wonders. 

3. Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum)

pothos plant

(Image credit: Grumpy Cow Studios/Getty Images)

With stunning cascading vines, the Pothos is a versatile and adaptable houseplant choice. 'It's a slow grower and can thrive in various light conditions,' says Zahid. 'Pothos is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it's also effective in improving indoor air quality.' 

As one of the best trailing houseplants, we recommend styling this gorgeous greenery on a shelf so that the vines cascade down for a dramatic display, adding elegance and style to your space. What's more, with its air-filtering properties, it can even help you sleep better, too!

4. Haworthia Succulent 

Haworthia is a small, rosette-forming succulent with a beautiful bumpy texture. This drought-tolerant houseplant isn't only super easy to care for but it's one of the slowest growing choices out there, so you won't ever have to worry about this plant imposing on your space. 

'Often referred to as the 'pearl plant,' it's slow growing and doesn't require much water, making it an ideal desk plant or a centrepiece in a small table arrangement,' says Tony. They only grow approximately three to five inches tall, so they're perfect for squeezing into any small spot.

5. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

peace lily flower

(Image credit: Arkela/Getty Images)

Peace Lilies are something of a wonder plant within the houseplant community. They can grow to a moderate size but it's a relatively slow-growing plant, and they're also one of the best dust-busting houseplants out there to help minimize your need for cleaning.

'It blooms beautiful white flowers that add a sophisticated touch to any space,' says Tony. 'It's known for its air-purifying qualities, requiring minimal light and water.' Zahid also recommends the Peace Lily for adding a touch of tranquility to any room. 'It's prized for its elegant white blooms,' he says. 'It's a moderate grower and stays compact, making it suitable for smaller spaces.' It's also a beautiful choice for any office space, as it signifies peace and prosperity.

6. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is famed for its medicinal properties, but beyond that, this slow-growing succulent is perfect for small spaces because it won't take over your home. 'With its draught-tolerant nature, it's a great addition to any sunny kitchen window or desk, offering greenery without the rapid spread,' says Tony.

Aloe Vera plants prefer bright light and need a thorough watering every two weeks after the soil becomes completely dry. 

7. Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

A rubber plant in a pot

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Rubber Plant is one of the most popular houseplants, and for good reason. 'It's a durable option that grows slowly, allowing you to shape and maintain its size with occasional pruning,' says Tony. 'Its glossy leaves can bring a bit of the outdoors inside without the worry of it quickly outgrowing its space.' They need at least six to eight hours of light daily, so a sunny spot will suit it best. 

8. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)

Finally, the Spider Plant is a classic houseplant choice for dramatic foliage, with arching leaves and tiny plantlets that dangle from lower stems, adding texture to your space. The best part is they don't grow overly quickly either. 'It's a slow grower, making it perfect for confined spaces,' says Zahid. 'Known for its air-purifying abilities, it's a great addition to any indoor setting.' 

If you're looking for some beautiful foliage to brighten up your space that won't take over your home too quickly, put one of these houseplants on the top of your wishlist. As Tony summarizes: 'Each of these plants brings its unique charm to a space without the worry of rapid growth, making them ideal for those looking to maintain a balanced, green environment in smaller living areas.' 

Shop our favorite slow-growing houseplants

Ottilie Blackhall
Trainee Writer

Ottilie Blackhall is a master’s Magazine Journalism student at City, University of London. After graduating from the University of Edinburgh, with a degree in English Literature and History of Art, she decided to pursue her love of writing and develop her passion for writing about literature and art. Having started a book review blog during lockdown, at City she is working on her portfolio.