Tiny houseplants are trending – gardening experts share their favorite varieties

The tiny houseplant trend is about a lot more than just small succulents

Mini succulents planted in decorative pebbles
(Image credit: Yuan Atmojo / Alamy Stock Photo)

The tiny plant trend is not exactly new, but it has exploded in popularity over the past year. We can definitely see why: mini plants photograph beautifully, which is a bonus for Instagram and other social media, and they tend to be easy-care plants that don't need much watering. 

Indoor garden ideas with tiny plants you see online predominantly use small cacti and succulents. These aren't actually miniature plants, just young plants that will grow bigger over time – and if you give them bigger pots. But they're not the only option if you want your own miniature indoor garden. Here are some other plant types to consider, according to gardening experts. 

1. Miniature ficus

Ficus Benjamina 'Natasja' bonsai at Como Conservatory in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

Ficus Benjamina 'Natasja' bonsai at Como Conservatory in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

(Image credit: Gina Kelly / Alamy Stock Photo)

Ficus trees are surprisingly easy to grow in miniature, or as bonsai. Shannen Godwin, spokesperson for JParker's, a plant and bulb company in the UK, said: 'The ficus plant in particular is great for beginners because it is fairly easy to grow and has a high tolerance to the low humidity indoors.' Not sure which variety to choose? Ficus Benjamina 'Natasja' is the perfect variety for miniature growing thanks to its tiny leaves. It will eventually look exactly like a mature tree, but in miniature. 

2. Mini hostas

Close up of Blue mouse ears miniature Hosta plant with lilac flowers growing in a clay pot in a greenhouse

'Blue mouse ears' miniature hosta

(Image credit: PURPLE MARBLES GARDEN / Alamy Stock Photo)

Mini hostas are a delight to grow just about anywhere indoors, even a north-facing windowsill – and, unlike their garden counterparts, won't get destroyed by slugs come summer. James Wong gives miniature hostas his seal of approval: 'If your spot is shady, you get to play with wonderful miniature hostas with names like Frosted Mouse Ears and Mini Skirt'. 

Top tip: don't try to grow ordinary garden hostas in small containers for your indoor plant ideas; go for the miniature varieties. 

3. Mini ferns and ground cover plants

houseplant Soleirolia soleirolii in white flowerpot

Soleirolia soleirolii, or Baby's Tears

(Image credit: Olga Miltsova / Alamy Stock Photo)

If you want to go really tiny, try growing a ground cover plant like Soleirolia soleirolii, or Baby's Tears. James even recommends combining it as ground cover with the hostas for a beautiful tiny display. 

Alternatively, try ferns, James says: 'It doesn’t get any better than brass buttons Leptinella squalida, which make perfect bedfellows with a coniferous canopy of moon frost hemlock Tsuga canadensis.' 

Some of these plants are easier to find than others, but they look so pretty along the best indoor plants typically grown in our homes that they're well worth seeking out. 

Anna Cottrell
Anna Cottrell

Anna is a keen urban gardener, with David Austin roses and Japanese acers among her favourite plants. She moved into the world of interiors from academic research in the field of literature and urban space a couple of years ago. She's always been interested in how people make houses into homes, and how our concepts of what's stylish change over time.