Types of Medium Houseplants

For those who are just starting out, medium houseplants offer nearly endless options. Whether they grow slowly or quickly, most types of plants are available in this size. Nevertheless, it’s good to have some idea of what you’re looking for. Medium houseplants can have self-contained growth in a larger pot, or they can have more sprawling growth coming from a modestly sized pot. It’s not just the plants that offer lots of choices, either. There are tons of affordable options for decorative pots in these middle sizes.

Common Types of Medium Houseplants

Spider Plants: The long, variegated leaves of the spider plant have a sprawling growth pattern that is perfect for people who like the cascading effect of houseplants growing out of their pots. A robust and healthy spider plant can also become a free source of small and miniature houseplants. This is one of the easiest plants to propagate. With more exposure to natural light, the spider plant will produce flowers and then spiderettes that are instantly ready to be repotted or allow the plant to sprawl even further. This is a medium water but easy-care houseplant. As long as the plant has good drainage, you can water periodically without being too worried about root rot.  

Lucky Bamboo: This is another plant that’s available in every size, but the lucky bamboo is especially popular as a medium houseplant with vertical growth. This plant is not actually a bamboo but a member of the lily family. As the name implies, it’s a popular choice as a symbol of good fortune in one’s home. The lucky bamboo is also a great way to get started if you’re interested in aquatic plants. Just be sure to replenish the water regularly. In soil, the lucky bamboo is a medium-water plant that likes moist soil but is still susceptible to root rot. The leaves can burn in south- and west-facing windows but lots of indirect light will help this plant flourish.

Christmas Cactus: Formally known as Schlumbergera, the Christmas cactus was created by breeding two different tropical plant species together. The plant is easy to identify by its segmented stem growth with colorful flowers. Different varieties tend to bloom during different times of year, but the most popular type blooms around the holiday season. It’s also a great choice for creating a splash of color in your home during the winter in general. This tropical plant likes pretty regular watering, but as a succulent, it’s susceptible to root rot. Drainage pots are essential. Keep it out of too much direct sunlight, but it does like lots of indirect light. East-facing windows are often best to make sure the plant blooms.

Aloe Vera: If you’re looking for a medium houseplant in a south- or west-facing window, the aloe vera is a great choice. With lots of indirect light, the aloe vera may be okay but will struggle to reach or maintain healthy growth at this larger size. This succulent isn’t afraid of a deep watering so long as it’s infrequent and the pot has good drainage to prevent root rot. You might water this plant once a month or even less during the winter. Easy to propagate, they also make for great small houseplants as well. These hardy plants are easy to care for, but you can also try out your green thumb. Under ideal conditions, these plants will grow a flower spike and blossom. (Not crazy about the look of the aloe vera plant? The jade is another option for medium-sized succulents.)

Asparagus Fern: This plant is actually not a fern but a member of the lily family. It does look like a fern, however, with frond leaves that resemble miniature asparagus. It has tends to fill out nicely with sprawling growth even from a modestly sized pot. Unlike most ferns, this plant is drought resistant. When the fronds start to lose their color, it’s time for watering, but the asparagus fern is more vulnerable to overwatering. Avoid too much direct sunlight to prevent burning, but the asparagus fern should still be placed close to a window. Too little light and the fern will yellow and fail to grow.

What is a Medium Houseplant?

A medium houseplant is usually in a pot between 6-18 inches across and typically grows no more than a couple feet out of its pot. When most people imagine a houseplant, it’s a medium size. They are big enough to be standalone plants, but for the most part, they are not big enough to be floor plants. Medium houseplants are substantial enough to take up the corner of a desk, table centerpiece, or windowsill. In many ways, they are the perfect size plant for people who want just a few, simple flourishes in their home or workspace. If you become passionate about houseplants, you might add large floor plants, houseplant arrangements with lots of smaller plants, and windows full of plants of varying size. Learn about choosing houseplants of all sizes.