Plants are perfect for decorating tabletops, but they can look awkward and out of place if you pick one with the wrong size proportions for your chosen surface. But when you do it right, the results look stylish and high-end! We matched up different tables and home surfaces to the perfect plants for decorating to take the guesswork out of styling your tabletops.
Different Tabletops and the Best Plants for Decorating Them
Different tables serve different purposes, and they vary in height and size. Here are our expert plant styling tips for all the tabletop surfaces in your home.
Coffee Table Plants
Coffee tables tend to be short and wide. You don’t want to decorate them with anything too tall, or they might block sightlines to the television or people sitting across from you. Stick to shorter, more compact plants that don’t trail downward.
Peperomia makes a fantastic coffee table plant. They don’t get very big, and there are so many fascinating varieties with colorful foliage. Peperomia Watermelon is definitely a conversation piece—each leaf looks just like a tiny watermelon!
Echeveria Ruffles grows wide but remains short, with fabulous ruffled succulent foliage in that classic rosette shape. The marbled color is absolutely breathtaking. It’s like a giant, fancy flower that lasts for years!
Tillandsia are air plants that don’t require a pot of soil—just a brief soak in some water every few days. Fill some glass or shallow wooden bowls with an assortment of Tillandsia for a striking, modern tabletop centerpiece.
Small Desk Plants
Cluttered work desks don’t have much available space, but it’s nice to have a pop of color to perk things up! A small plant with a bold pop of color will work perfectly.
Moon Cacti are actually two cacti fused together. The top portion loses its ability to produce chlorophyll and lives off of the nutrients of its bottom half, transitioning to a neon shade of red, orange, yellow, or pink. They’re delightfully weird and as cute as can be!
African Violets have plush, velvety leaves and gorgeous jewel-toned flowers in every imaginable shade of pink and purple. There’s something distinctly regal and romantic about these flowering tabletop plants. Remember to avoid watering the leaves directly!
Jade Plants are considered good luck charms! They’re also known as “Money Trees” and symbolize prosperity, so it certainly wouldn’t hurt to keep one of those around! Jade Plants are easy to propagate, too, so you can share the wealth with coworkers!
Vertical Plants for Mantels
Mantels tend to be long and narrow, so you can’t choose anything too wide, or it won’t fit properly. Upright plants with a bit of height will look amazing on a mantel—avoid trailing plants if you have a fireplace!
Snake Plants are the ultimate beginner houseplant, and they have a super-straight, upright growth habit. They thrive off low light and don’t require frequent watering, so caring for Snake Plants is a breeze.
Cacti that grow tall and skinny look fantastic on a mantel! Their columnar shape and textured surface bring an artistic yet edgy flair. Alternatively, you can arrange assorted tiny cacti all in a row.
Haworthia is a tall, spiky succulent, somewhat similar to an aloe plant. We especially love the darker varieties, like Zebra Haworthia, with white spikes aligned in stripes—the color contrast is unexpectedly chic!
Dining Table Centerpiece Plants
What plant is best for the dining table? You’ll need something with lots of color, texture, and flair—centerpieces are all about abundance!
Bromeliads have long-lasting, vivid bracts that resemble flowers. They’re tall, but they aren’t too lush so that they won’t block sightlines. Place two or three in a line in the center of your table instead of candlesticks!
Polka Dot Plants are thicker and more mounded, but their colorful leaves have an eye-catching paint splatter motif that is nothing short of spectacular! Fill a container with assorted varieties on your tabletop for ultimate style impact.
Assorted Succulent Arrangements always make for an impressive dining table centerpiece, and it’s such a fun DIY project for a rainy afternoon! There are so many spectacular succulents that can all live together in one container for a tabletop display, like Hens and Chicks, Sedums, Aeoniums, Crassulas, and so much more! Choose a shallow and long container—succulents don’t have long roots, so you won’t need a deep pot.