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11 Fast-Growing Houseplants for a Lush Indoor Display

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11 Fast-Growing Houseplants for a Lush Indoor Display

If you look at social media, millions of people are searching #planttok and #plantsofinstagram for fiddle leaf figs, anthuriums, monsteras, and other trending houseplants. But while it’s easy to admire influencers’ lush indoor jungles, buying your own can cost as much as a month’s rent. 

Fortunately, there’s a more affordable way to green up your home—buying fast-growing indoor houseplants while they’re still small. Another benefit to buying young houseplants is that they acclimate faster to your home and its lighting conditions, so you’re less likely to bring home a majestic plant only to see it shed half its leaves in the first few weeks. 

Ahead is a list of fast-growing indoor plants that are likely to flourish in your home, handpicked by plant experts.

  • Lisa Eldred Steinkopf is a blogger at The Houseplant Guru and author of several plant books, including the bestseller Houseplants: The Complete Guide. She has over a decade of professional experience as a plant expert at Steinkopf Nursery and Garden Center in Michigan.
  • Christopher Satch, aka “The Plant Doctor,” is the founder and CEO of NYC Plant Help and an adjunct professor at the New York Botanical Gardens.

Pothos

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Great for novice growers because it’s so low maintenance, pothos is a tropical vine from French Polynesia that comes in many varieties, including N’ Joy, Marble Queen, Neon, Cebu Blue, and more. All have deep green leaves dappled with patches of white, yellow, or light green and don’t need direct sun to thrive. “You can keep them further back in a room, freeing up space for more light-loving plants,” says “The Plant Doctor” Christopher Satch, founder and CEO of NYC Plant Help and an adjunct professor at the New York Botanical Gardens.

  • Mature size: 1 to 5 feet
  • Growing conditions: Bright indirect light; well-drained soil
  • Care tip: Water weekly

Hoya

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Keep your hoya well-watered and blasted with direct sun, and these tropical Southeast Asian vines can grow a couple of inches per month, according to Satch. “In nature, they’re considered weeds—that’s how fast they grow,” he says. With some 500 varieties (carnosa is the most common), hoyas produce glossy leaves and fragrant star-shaped flowers multiple times a year. They work well in a hanging planter, with vines trailing down or trained around a window or archway.

  • Mature size: 2 to 4 feet
  • Growing conditions: Bright light with some direct sun; cactus or succulent potting medium with perlite and pine bark
  • Care tip: Soil should be reasonably moist (if leaves pucker, they’re too dry)

Begonia

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The fastest-growing houseplants on our list—they can double in size within two to three weeks, according to Satch—begonias are bushy plants originating from tropical and subtropical forest floors. They have fancy leaves featuring swirls, dots, and other colorful patterns and can flower at all times of the year. “It could be the dead of winter, with snow and hail outside, and the begonia will flower,” Satch says. “It’s a statement piece.” We love the popular Begonia Maculata Wightii, affectionately nicknamed “polka dot,” with dramatic silver spots on elongated leaves.

  • Mature size: 8 inches to 2 feet
  • Growing conditions: Bright indirect light; all-purpose potting mix
  • Care tip: Let dry between waterings, then saturate (water should come out the bottom of the pot)

Philodendren

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This fast-growing climbing vine from the forest floors of Central America, South America, and the West Indies comes in many different varieties and colors and is super easy to grow. “Even if it gets dried out, it will come back,” says Lisa Eldred Steinkopf, blogger and author of several plant books, including the bestseller Houseplants: The Complete Guide. “It’s forgiving.” Heart leaf is a popular variety, with deep emerald heart-shaped leaves that can trail from a hanging planter or climb a pole or trellis.

  • Mature size: 3 to 13 feet 
  • Growing conditions: Shade tolerant but does better with bright light; well-drained potting mix that’s kept evenly moist

Boston Fern

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Ferns are evergreen plants with sword-like fronds that grow out in an arch shape and get quite bushy, which makes them ideal for hanging planters. They have a reputation for shedding, but Eldred Steinkopf has a secret that has kept her fern flourishing since 1957. “It’s never outside,” she says. “Your plant can only support the leaves it can support with the light that it has. If you move it from outside to inside, it will drop all the leaves it can’t support.”

  • Mature size: 2 to 3 feet high x 2 to 3 feet wide
  • Growing conditions: Bright indirect light; peaty potting mix
  • Care tip: Keep soil moist but not wet—don’t allow it to dry out

Peace Lily

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These evergreen perennials, native to the forest floors of Central America and Southeast Asia, have dark green glossy leaves and will produce elegant leaf-shaped white and off-white flowers year-round in the right growing conditions. “It blooms without a ton of light,” says Eldred Steinkopf, “something that’s hard to find in a houseplant.”

  • Mature size: 1 to 6 feet tall x 1 to 5 feet wide
  • Growing conditions: Bright filtered light or low light; heavier potting mix to hold moisture
  • Care tip: Keep evenly moist, never soggy—let dry between waterings

Spider Plant

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This native South African houseplant makes the Farmer’s Almanac’s list of plants so easy to care for that they’re nearly foolproof. “They grow fast, they can take a lot of light, and you can take the little babies and throw them in water and plant them,” Eldred Steinkopf says. Spider plants grow long, striped, ribbon-like leaves that arch out. Usually, in summer, they’ll produce small white flowers along with “plantlets,” or baby spider plants. 

  • Mature size: 1 to 2 feet tall x 1 to 2 feet wide
  • Growing conditions: Bright, indirect sun or partial shade; fast-draining potting mix with even moisture, not too wet or too dry

Striped Inch Plant

GYAN PRATIM RAICHOUDHURY / getty


Also called wandering dude, this tropical Mexican creeping plant grows colorful purple and silver-striped foliage that trails down—perfect for a hanging basket. The plant is brittle and easily broken, according to Eldred Steinkopf, but if you place the broken stems in water, they’ll grow roots in a week or less!

  • Mature size: 6 to 9 inches tall x 2 to 3 feet wide
  • Growing conditions: Filtered sun; All-purpose indoor potting mix kept evenly moist, letting dry out between waterings
  • Care tip: Beware of overwatering, which will cause its succulent stems to rot; pinch back to cultivate a bushier plant

Monstera

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Also known as a Swiss cheese plant for the iconic perforated large green leaves it develops as it matures, this Central American native is an evergreen star in any indoor tropical jungle. It’s a climber, so you’ll want to add a pole to support the foliage. The monstera will also sprout long aerial cord-like roots that you can direct back into the pot or simply cut. This fast grower can take over a room if its pot is large enough.

  • Mature size: 8 to 10 feet high x 4 to 6 feet wide
  • Growing conditions: Medium to bright indirect light; peaty soil-based potting mix
  • Care tip: Water only when completely dry

Dainty Crassula

mikroman6 / getty


Small, spatula-shaped, scallop-edged leaves on this fast-sprawling South African evergreen succulent create texture and visual interest among your bigger-leaved plants. The dainty crassula also grows tiny star-shaped white-pinkish blooms year-round. Outside, it’s used as ground cover (and attracts bees and butterflies), but indoors, it will cascade gently over the edges of its pot. 

  • Mature size: Under 1 foot tall x 2 to 3 feet wide
  • Growing conditions: Shade tolerant but does better with medium to bright light; succulent potting mix
  • Care tip: Allow to dry completely between waterings and avoid overwatering

Purple Passion Vine

Solange_Z / getty


Add a spot of vibrant color to your indoor jungle with the purple passion vine, a native of Indonesia and Java with velvety, deeply veined green and purple leaves and purple stems. Dangling vines make it perfect for a hanging basket or bookshelf. “If it’s happy, it will bloom with small orange blooms, but beware—those flowers smell like a dead animal,” Eldred Steinkopf says. (Feel free to snip those off.) 

  • Mature size: 1 to 2 feet high x up to 5 feet long
  • Growing conditions: Bright indirect light; well-drained soil
  • Care tip: Repot every few years; keep evenly moist—don’t let it dry out or stand in water