How to Grow Small & Easy Houseplants


Growing houseplants is an easy and fulfilling way to exercise your green thumb. Whether it's winter and there's snow on the ground or your living space does not include a deck or other outdoor growing area, you can transfer that hankering to garden indoors. Gardening centers are full of plant varieties that take little maintenance time and will usually thrive in moderate indoor temperatures with a little light and water. Spider plants, dieffenbachia, mother-in-law's tongue, variegated ivies and philodendrons are some of the most popular and low-maintenance small houseplants to grow.

Step 1

Fill your flower plots with new potting soil or a soilless mixture (usually perlite, vermiculite and organic matter such as sphagnum peat moss). Fill approximately halfway to top of the pot.

Step 2

Remove new plants from their growing container and check for matted roots. If the plant is rootbound or matted, gently spread out the root ball to give the roots a chance to grow into their new home. Make sure the original crown of the plant's stem, where it emerged from its original dirt, is just below the rim of the new pot. If need be, adjust the height by adding more potting mixture under the root ball.

Step 3

Hold the plant straight with one hand while adding more potting soil to bring it even with the crown of the plant. Tamp the soil with your fingers to secure the plant in its new home. Add more soil to keep it even with the crown, if necessary.

Step 4

Water the plant in its new home. Make sure the soil is moist all the way to the bottom of the pot so all of the roots get a drink of water. Do not over-saturate, as this will set the plant up for root rot and bacteria and mold growth. Check the directions on the back of your indoor water-soluble plant food for mixing ratios and time tables appropriate for the type of plant you chose. Test the soil occasionally by inserting a finger down into the soil. If it is dry, give your plant a drink.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always choose pots with drainage holes in the bottom so that standing water will not rot your plant's roots. Ideally, about a quarter-inch of the plant's topsoil should be slightly damp.

Things You'll Need

  • Pots
  • Potting soil or soilless growing mix
  • Water-soluble houseplant food


  • Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service-Department of Horticulture: Indoor Plant Care
Keywords: easy-care houseplants, low-maintenance houseplants, growing indoor plants

About this Author

Sheri Lacker has more than 30 years' experience as a writer, photographer and multimedia artist. Her work has been used by Warner Brothers, Barbour/Langley and Casey Kasem Presents, among others. Her awards include the Theatre Excellence Scholarship and Guest-Artist-in-Res. Lacker studied journalism, Web design and historical research at the University of Memphis.