6 Great Plants for Table Top Decor

Many times interior designers require plants that will remain small in size for areas such as reception desks, bookshelves, conference room tables, and more. Both dwarf plants and naturally slow growing plants lend themselves well to these locations.

When choosing a plant for a centerpiece, it is important to consider two things: the size of the root ball and the length of the foliage. The root ball should be small in size so it can be contained within a table top planter. The foliage should extend over the sides of the plant container to create vertical interest.

The following six plants fit this criteria in that they either slow growing and appear fully mature at a small, table top size or they are naturally small in size.


Vriesea Bromeliad

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Bromeliads are an incredibly diverse family of plant and are most widely known for their beautiful, long lasting inflorescence and stunning foliage. It is common to find bromeliads growing in hotel lobbies, shopping malls, and office buildings due to their ability to thrive under artificial light. Bromeliad care requirements do vary from species to species so be sure to do a little research to ensure you choose a bromeliad that will thrive in the area you are designing. Additionally, some bromeliads are epiphytes that do not require soil for growth and can be creatively displayed mounted.


succulent bowl

Smaller species of succulents and cacti make great table top arrangements. You can take your love for design one step further by creatively displaying many different types of these plants in the same container. Lighting requirements can vary depending on the type of succulent, so be sure to choose plants based on the light level available where the arrangement will be displayed.



Phalaenopsis Orchid

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Orchids will add sophistication and elegant beauty to any interior. Phalaenopsis orchids, commonly known as moth orchids, are relatively easy to care for and are available in a variety of colors. While a mature, full-sized Phalaenopsis can reach 3 ft in height, you can purchase miniature Phals that are but a fraction of the size. Because of their smaller size and abundant blooms, they make smart additions to office desks, bathroom counters, and more.

Peace Lilies

Peace Lily

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While the Peace lily is a fast growing plant, it will never grow larger than a foot tall. The plant can become fairly bushy but can be thinned out or divided by cutting the root ball in half if this occurs. Peace lilies are a cost effective plant as they can be divided to create approximately two new plants annually. Furthermore, Peace lillies have been recognized by NASA for their ability to improve the quality of indoor air.

Bonsai pines

Japanese Black Pine

Bonsai pines are among the slowest growing bonsai trees. They feature thick trunks and needle-like foliage much like larger pine trees. Bonsai pines do well in warmer indoor settings but will really thrive with a cooler seasonal change for part of the year. Bonsai pines prefer bright, airy spaces. The Scotch Pine and Japanese Black Pine are popular choices.

Sansevieria ‘Hahnii’ (Bird’s Nest)


Sanservieria is one of the most tolerant decorative indoor plants. It can survive growing conditions where other plants can not. It can actually take effort to kill this low maintenance plant. Its dark green, glossy leaves are thick and stiff. They form a rosette spiraling outward from the center of the plant. This Sanservieria features yellow colored bands and is a perfect choice for table top bowl displays.

There are many plants that make great table or desk plants. Some feature beautiful flowers while others boast stunning foliage. Whether slow growing or naturally small in stature, these plants are sure to add interest without obstructing your client’s work space.


Japanese Black Pine photo credit: L Hofffeins via http://www.flickr.com/photos/artos/1796035970/
Sansevieria  photo credit: Ahmad Fuad Morad via http://www.flickr.com/photos/adaduitokla/6081279086/
Featured image photo credit: Magic Madzik via http://www.flickr.com/photos/cefeida/3314271731/

Succulent Bowl photo credit: dilettantiquity via http://www.flickr.com/photos/flyingblogspot/4280044465/
Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement via http://www.scribd.com/doc/1837156/NASA-Indoor-Plants

Melanie is a plant enthusiast and expert contributor at Bromeliads.info and OrchidPlantCare.info. Melanie's experience in internet marketing, business management, and horticulture allows her to bring a unique perspective to the community. Melanie received a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Leadership from Purdue University and is the Marketing Director at NewPro Containers.

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