Smart Ways to Make Room for More Plants in a Small Space

Hello, door planters

nick shelves

Courtesy of Nick Cutsumpas

As someone who has literally every surface of their flat covered in plants (it’s sort of becoming a problem now), I can appreciate some cool and unique plant storage ideas. The fact is when you own a lot of plants you need to get creative with where you put them. Tabletops, mantles, and corners don’t cut it anymore. Thankfully there is a lot of inspiration out there to help you figure out the best ways to expand your plant collection without having to cover your kitchen table or your desk, leaving you with nowhere to work from home or eat meals. 

Go Vertical

Phoebe Cheong has an incredible collection of more than 100 plants (check out her episode of In the Weeds with Plant People).

On Instagram, she shared a genius idea for creating more storage: “Design tip: Play around with vertical spaces!” Phoebe has taken the IKEA SATSUMAS plant shelf, and instead of using it as a leaning ladder shelf, she placed it over the top of her door. She created a hanging green wall by adding trailing plants like the Heartleaf philodendron, Neon pothos and Philodendron Golden Goddess, and it looks amazing! This is so smart that I immediately purchased the shelf, and it’s now hanging proudly over my kitchen door.

Build Your Own

Nick Cutsumpas of @FarmerNickNYC built his own custom plant shelf. He told us that the vast amount of propagation plants sitting on the floor inspired it.

nick shelves

Courtesy of Nick Cutsumpas

“I love propagating plants and most of the time the cuttings are planted into small 4-inch pots when they are ready for soil," he said. "At one point I ended up with over 25 small planters sitting on the floor, and I know many of my plant friends have even more on their floors, windowsills and shelves.” So he came up with a solution: “I wanted to create something in between a shelf and a table that could fit in a small area, save valuable floor space and hold a bunch of plants at the same time (this shelf holds 16). I also wanted to drill holes for each planter to fit snugly inside of so that I could take advantage of more vertical space below. It's a different aesthetic than I'm used to seeing and staggering the holes allows you to view each plant individually,” he said.

Cutsumpas built the shelf for about $150 (watch it on his highlights) with his friend Kyler from @plntdude, and he plans to fill up the 16 pots with a variety of plants. “I just received a bunch of new, exotic plants from friends so it is going to be my rare plant shelf mixed in with a few of my other, smaller cuttings. I'll have a philodendron (pink princess, melanochrysum, brandi, mican) string of turtles, pink tradescantia, Alocasia (reginula,  macrorrhiza var. imperial red) schefflera var. and many more.”

Go Outside

The ultimate plant decor upgrade would have to be an entire greenhouse, don’t you think? Well Andi and Eric havebuilt one in their Nashville backyard to house a lot of their plant collection. “We had 50+ plants living alongside a dog, a baby and two adults in a 650-square-foot apartment in San Francisco.

"When we got relocated for work to Nashville, we were excited to have more space for plants (and us!), but had to find a house first! We ended up touring a 100-year-old historic home in East Nashville and falling in love... with everything except the termite / rot-damaged garage. We thought... what about a greenhouse filled with ALL the plants—our own mini botanical garden and backyard retreat? The @eastnashgreenhouse was born!”

The rotting garage was transformed into a gorgeous greenhouse using recycled windows and doors found around the neighborhood. It’s home to over 200 plants including a nine foot Fiddle-leaf fig

east nash greenhouse

Courtesy of eastnashgreenhouse

Create a Wall for Propagations

An honorable mention of the original propagation wall that one of the best plant parents out there, @HiltonCarter, created in his Baltimore apartment. Carter, the author of Wild at Home, has a new book due out in April. Wild Creations, which will focus on plant styling and plant care, will highlight, among other creative ideas, how to use a canoe as a plant holder.

hilton carter prop wall

Hilton Carter