16 Indoor Plants to Liven Up Your Kitchen Space
These are the best houseplants for every home and upkeep style.
While spending extra time at home, you might be considering some decor changes. Plants can offer both attractive design elements and healthy air filtration to your kitchen. Whether you’re an avid gardener looking for a few more potted plants or a first-time plant parent, there are great options for adding some greenery to your kitchen and dining space.
When it comes to indoor plants, every home is different. Depending on sunlight, how easy to care for they are, and how much space you have, many different plants can look great and flourish in your kitchen. From full-size palms and potted herbs to hanging baskets and air plants, a little greenery can go a long way to make a room feel complete.
Where to Buy Indoor Plants
There’s always your local florist and larger gardening stores, but if you’re careful about where you travel right now, there are several online retailers that deliver plants. Brands like The Sill, Bloomscape, UrbanStems, and Terrain are good options for pre-potted plants, and Amazon's Costa Farms is a full section of plants ready for delivery as well. Bloomscape offers six colors for their plant pots, and The Sill offers five colors and six styles depending on the plant. If you’re looking for more than one plant, coordinated pots are a great way to keep a cohesive and contemporary look. The sites also offer ways to sort plants by pet-friendliness, light requirements, and maintenance (watering) needed.
What to Consider When Buying Kitchen Plants
Having collected several indoor plants myself, I know that plant parenting definitely has an element of trial and error. Which plants work in which area takes testing, and depending on the airflow, sunlight, and humidity of your space, they may need more or less frequent watering than is recommended. As the owner of two curious cats, I know that an indoor herb garden isn’t in the cards, and certain species of plants can be harmful if ingested. If you have pets, check to make sure plants are non-toxic to furry friends.
Take a look at your space and make a mental note where you’d like to add a little greenery. Maybe a few succulents on the window sill, a large palm for a well-lit corner of your kitchen, or a hardy ZZ plant for the counter that can resist both humidity and heat from cooking. Some plants are forgiving about watering, while others can be finicky and require regular checks. All have preferred sunlight needs, from low light to full sun. Many plants have air-filtering qualities, so as an added bonus look for those to clear the air in high-traffic kitchen spaces and busy city homes.
The Best Indoor Plants for Your Kitchen
This fast-growing plant with heart-shaped leaves looks great as a waterfall of green off the countertop. It thrives on medium indirect light but can handle low indirect light as well, and is low maintenance for watering at 1 to 2 weeks. It also removes formaldehyde from the air, commonly released from gas stoves.
A great beginner plant, the pothos is also a low-maintenance trailing plant (it grows long like a vine) and accepts low to bright indirect light. Water it every 1 to 2 weeks depending on sunlight and dryness. It can also be propagated easily in water, so you can share the greenery with friends. It filters formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene from the air (common pollutants in busy cities with car traffic).
Fiddle Leaf Fig
If you’re looking for a plant that can grow into your space, the fiddle leaf fig is a sure bet. It likes bright, indirect light and flocks to wherever the sun is angled. Water it every one to two weeks and watch it shoot upwards leaf by giant leaf. Ours came at about three feet high and after just two years it is well over six feet high.
The ZZ is the tried and true trooper of indoor plants. My own ZZ plant has survived the move between 3 New York apartments, from indirect light to low light to bright direct sunlight. The thick, waxy leaves will rarely shrivel or discolor, and it only requires water every three to four weeks. It also filters formaldehyde out of the air and can grow to full size from even a small stem or two.
The plant sometimes known as a Chinese evergreen can come in red or green varieties. It loves bright or direct sunlight but can also handle low light (we have one that does very well in a lower light corner). They’re very easy-going and need water only every one to two weeks.
Calathea is one of the most varied and beautiful indoor plants, with leaves ranging from round to snakelike and variegated patterns like pinstripe, rattlesnake, and “beauty star.” They require low to medium light and are also famously pet-friendly and low-maintenance.
The trendy potted snake plant is famously easy to maintain, and is a major air purifier as well, filtering out pollutants like formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene. It loves indirect light of all types and only needs water every three to four weeks.
The leaves that you’ve seen in almost every plant print these days, a monstera is nicknamed the “Swiss cheese plant” for its signature gaping leaves. Keep this plant out of the direct sun if possible, water every one to two weeks, and keep a tropical vibe going in your kitchen and dining area.
Our money tree (also known as a water chestnut) has survived dryness, an apartment move, and a playful kitten snapping off one of its biggest branches. The braided trunk is a funky element and it sprouts plenty of leaves every year; we even bought a new mini one as a companion since they are pet-friendly as well. Allow the soil to dry before watering every one to two weeks.
Perfect for a windowsill or bright light area and for folks who don’t have time for regular watering, a cactus is the easiest element live greenery money can buy. Go with a prickly pear for a taller, abstract look, or a traditional spiky barrel style. Due to the thorns, pets tend to let them be as well.
Birds’ Nest Fern
For a tropical edge and a pet-friendly plant, a fern has rippling vibrant green that will liven up even the brightest spaces. It prefers bright light and higher humidity spaces and needs water just once a week.
From $38 at thesill.com
Palms come in many forms, and there are a few that will work in kitchen spaces. A ponytail palm is a pet-friendly gem. Though it isn’t technically a palm, it's just close enough. It’s ideal for a brightly-lit area and needs water every two to three weeks. Parlor palms are a bushier true palm species and prefer indirect light and water every one to two weeks.