9 Space-Saving Ways to Pack More Plants into Your Home

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If you live by the motto “There’s no such thing as too many plants,” you may sometimes find yourself acquiring a new green guy—and then struggling to find a spot for it in your already greenery-filled home. Lack of space, though, doesn’t have to limit your green thumb! There are plenty of ways to add more plants to the mix without crowding your home. You just have to think vertically. Displaying plants on wall shelves, hanging them from ceilings, and placing them on room dividers are all clever ways to avoid having your plants eat up all of your floor space. Better yet, storing plants vertically sometimes means they can get more light. Check out these nine smart, space-saving ways to display plants, so you can go even more green in your home.

Pick a Backless Bookcase

Why not break up an open layout with a backless bookcase full of plants? That’s exactly what these L.A. renters did to separate their bedroom from their living room, and they filled that almost ceiling-high room divider with all the plant babies. This unit uses mostly vertical space, saving room in the smallish loft. Plus, it gives these renters so many surfaces for plants with plenty of sunlight access, and it still keeps the whole loft feeling airy and bright, too.

Display Them on Wall-Mounted Shelves

Wall shelves are a great space-saving option no matter what you’re trying to display. Thanks to the numerous options on the market, you won’t have a problem finding some that fit your style. The shelves in this Berlin apartment add room for about a dozen extra plants, along with some other decor, without taking up any floor space or tabletop surfaces. Hanging planters and wall-mounted pots provides additional spots for greenery, too.

Credit: Franke Chung

Make Use of Useless Stairs (If You Have Them)

I know, I know—most people don’t have a set of stairs that lead nowhere. But if you do, you should follow the lead of these Chicago condo owners and fill yours with plants. Before moving in, a fire had destroyed their private deck, rendering these stairs useless. Instead of tearing them down, they used them as a shelving unit for all of their plants. It keeps their greenery out of the way but still on display—and in full sun. This same idea will work even if you don’t have a full-on staircase. Try leaning a tall ladder-style shelf up against a wall and filling it with plants. It has the same effect and takes up less space than laying all of your plants on the floor side by side.

Credit: Carina Romano

Hang Them Directly from the Ceiling

If you want to get really vertical with your plants, look up. Your ceiling is a great place to add some more natural touches. The ceilings in this Philadelphia loft have exposed wooden beams, and these renters capitalized on their piping, using it to hang plants across the room. This keeps their floor and walls from being visually overcrowded, and the hanging plants serve as a nice contrast to the dark beams and exposed brick. I also love the kitchen cut-out here—and how its ledge has become yet another spot for plants.

Repurpose a Clothing Rack

Studio dwellers, this one’s for you. This NYC renter turned a clothing rack into a room divider that breaks up the bedroom and living room in her tiny studio. The trailing plants act as a “wall” of sorts without making the small room feel closed off, and the thin, tall fixture barely takes up any floor space. Bonus: It’s super cheap to make.

Store Them Along Your Top Shelves

It might seem strange to store glassware, pantry ingredients, and other kitchen-y items in your living room, but when you’re living in a small space, you have to get creative. This Melbourne couple placed a huge shelving unit up against their living room wall to give them plenty of essential storage, but then they used the upper parts of the unit to display their trailing plants. The greenery helps bridge that living room-kitchen divide, and because the plants are sitting so high, they have plenty of room to drape without getting in the way of the items below. 

Pop Some onto a Window Ledge

The general rule with windows is to never block them off, but that’s not always hard and fast. You can certainly get away with putting a shelf across a window for plant storage, especially if your windows run floor-to-ceiling like the ones in this Brooklyn apartment. A long shelf sits high up against the window and holds over a dozen medium-size plants, adding a vertical pop of color to the room. Even cooler—these renters decided to hang plants from their drapery rod as well, which is a super smart use of this feature.

Create a Living Wall by Mounting Planters, if You Can

We’ve already seen a few small wall planters being used, but this dedicated vertical plant wall takes that idea so much further. Rammed earth covers the dining room wall of this Australia home, serving as a natural background for all sorts of greenery. Mounting planters to the wall creates a soothing, floating look that keeps the plants out of the way of the hustle and bustle of the room. A living wall like this is almost always a good idea, as long as you have the bandwidth to care for and maintain it.

Treat Your Plants Like They’re a Wall Divider

Another example of shelf plant storage acting as an airy wall divider, the DIY tiered shelves in this Chicago home provide subtle separation between the living room and dining room. The couple renting the home built the shelves with poles that run from the floor to the ceiling, which allows them to set shelves higher up while leaving the lower portion of the divider open.

Hopefully, you’re more inspired than ever to incorporate more greenery into your home. If you use your vertical space creatively, you’ll find that you can pack more plant babies into your place than you might have thought possible.