Welcome to Plant Week: Our guide to all things indoor plants, including tips for beginners, advice on care, and tons of plant-spo.
Only puppies are cuter than cute plants, and even that judgment may falter when you start house training. A cute plant remains adorable all its life and will definitely add delight and whimsy to your coffee table.
If your coffee table is ready for a darling houseplant, choose from the cutest, the most interesting, and the ones that make you say, "Aah!" Here are 10 candidates to get you started.
1. Polka Dot Plant
Talk about adorable! The polka dot plant is one of the cheeriest houseplants around with foliage that just makes you happy to look at it. The leaves are red, pink, or white with generous splashes of elfin green. They form a low mound of foliage that looks enchanting on a coffee table. For maximum cuteness, grow your polka dot plant in a pot that complements the colorful leaves.
Plant care: Moist soil is a must for polka dots, but don't get it waterlogged. Indirect light from a nearby living room window makes for a happy plant on your coffee table. Fertilize this cutie twice a year with a balanced product to keep it smiling.
2. Watermelon Peperomia
A plant that looks like a watermelon rind? Now that's straight out of Dr. Seuss. The watermelon peperomia's huge leaves are oval and wavy. They are an outstanding mix of watermelon green and silver stripes.
Plant care: These cool plants are very easy to grow and are a good choice even for beginners. They are perfect for a coffee table in the shade in a bright room. Allow the soil to dry out before watering moderately.
3. Baby Rubber Plant
With leaves that are rounded like chubby baby faces, baby rubber plants look a little like succulents, but they aren't. In fact, these plants are perennial epiphytes from South America. These darlings blossom in spring, but they are grown for their foliage, the glossy, rounded leaves growing close to the main stems. The cultivar Albomarginata is particularly lovely, with its mottled yellow and green foliage.
Plant care: Bright indirect light is the order of the day, so if your living room has south-facing windows, the coffee table will be a wonderful sight. Give these "babies" a thorough watering, but only when the soil has dried out. To provide humidity, use a pebble tray or spray the plant regularly (a mister will help).
4. Venus Fly Trap
The Venus fly trap is a "captivating" plant. It is also surprisingly darling, considering that it is a carnivore. Native to subtropical wetlands in North and South Carolina, the plant has a "trap" made up of two hinged lobes at the end of each leaf. The rosy pink inner surfaces have hair-like projections that cause the trap to snap shut when a fly or other insect lands there. The hinged trap doors are lined with small bristles (that look like long eyelashes) and interlock when the trap shuts.
Plant care: A Venus fly trap prefers poor soil with excellent drainage and lots of humidity. Never fertilize this native plant, but give it bright indirect light to keep it happy and pink inside. Keep the soil moist and allow for good air circulation. And don't worry, you won't have to feed it bugs; they also get nutrients from soil.
5. Stromanthe Triostar
The Stromanthe Triostar is a stunning tropical plant that would make the perfect addition to your coffee table. It has striking pink and cream pastel stripes on the tops of the leaves with a deep pink, red, or magenta color on the bottom.
Plant care: Since the Stromanthe Triostar is a tropical plant, it loves humid, warm spots with indirect bright light. On top of keeping the soil slightly damp (and letting the top inch of soil dry out between waterings), you can mist the leaves daily or use a pebble tray or humidifier during particularly dry winter months. The plant's leaves will move towards its light source, so you're also going to want to rotate the plant on a weekly basis.
6. Pilea Peperomioides
As if Pilea Peperomioides weren't cute enough, they're also nicknamed pancake or UFO plants for their adorable round leaves. Pilea Peperomioides — which are native to the Yunnan Province in Southern China — are self-propagating plants so you can easily cut off one of its offshoots to grow another.
Plant care: Pilea Peperomioides enjoy bright, indirect light and need to be watered every one to two weeks. Although the plant can tolerate a few hours of direct light, too much can scorch the leaves. You should also rotate the plant two to three times a week so it doesn't get lopsided.
7. Calathea Beauty Star
Calathea plants are known for their eye-catching foliage patterns, and the Beauty Star is no exception. The tropical plant has pink, silver, and light green stripes that almost look like strokes of paint on lush, dark leaves.
Plant care: Calathea Beauty Stars thrive in humidity and medium to bright, indirect light. You're going to want to avoid direct light as it can cause the leaves to burn and color to fade. When it comes to watering, allow the top inch of soil to dry out in between waterings and mist the leaves twice a week with room temperature water.
Fittonia, also known as a nerve or mosaic plant, have a beautiful pattern typically with red, pink, or white veins. Since the plant likes high humidity, it would be perfect for a coffee table terrarium.
Plant care: Fittonia require bright, indirect light and would do well by a north-facing window. The soil should be kept moist (but not soggy). If the plant is dries out too much, it'll go limp but will spring back to life after being watered again. Since the plant enjoys humidity, you can mist it frequently or place it next to a humidifier.
9. Tradescantia Nanouk
Tradescantia Nanouk, a type of spiderwort plant, is absolutely gorgeous with purple, pink, white, and green leaves in a striped pattern. Under optimal conditions, the plant can even produce star-shaped flowers with pink, white, and yellow accents.
Plant care: Tradescantia Nanouk do well in bright, indirect light with waterings when the top inch of soil is dry. The plant thrives in humidity and can be placed on top of a pebble tray on top of your coffee table.
10. Golden Barrel Cactus
Last, but not least, is the golden barrel cactus — a round cactus with long, yellow spines that's not only cute but also low-maintenance. The cheery little cactus would steal the show on any coffee table and would complement any fun planter. Plus, the cactus also acts as a mini air purifier.
Plant care: Since the plant is native to the dry deserts of central Mexico, the cactus does well in bright indirect to direct light. It doesn't need to be watered too frequently, and when you do, you can bottom water it by adding lukewarm water to the saucer.
- Costa Farms: Polka Dot Plant
- Better Homes and Gardens: How to Grow Venus Flytrap
- House Plant Expert: American Baby Rubber Plant
- House Plants Expert: Watermelon Peperomia
- Bloomscape: Stromanthe Care
- The Sill: Pilea Peperomioides
- Bloomscape: Pilea Care
- Bloomscape: Calathea Care
- The Spruce: Nerve Plant (Mosaic Plant) Profile
- Bloomscape: Cactus Care
- MyDomaine: How to Grow Tradescantia Nanouk