The Best Plant Shelf Ideas to Keep Your Plant Babies Thriving

If you want to show off your plant parent prowess, plant shelving is definitely the way to go.

two floating wood shelves with 4 plants on a white wall
Photo: Maksym Ponomarenko/Getty Images

It happens all too quickly. You start out with a few succulents, then upgrade to a snake plant or pothos—and suddenly, you've got a small army of pretty plants scattered around your house. But if you have only one south-facing window—and a lot of plants that thrive on that kind of sunshine—you might need to move on from scattering your plants on your side tables and consoles and invest in some dedicated plant storage. Try these brilliant plant shelf ideas to create a plant display that'll make all the other plant parents a little green with envy.

How to Choose Plant Shelving

A basic bookshelf might do just fine for your plant storage needs, but there are some things to consider before you invest in a plant shelf.

Know your dimensions

Think about the size of your plants now, and how they'll grow when you're choosing shelving. Adjustable shelves will allow you to change heights as your plants mature, and totally open shelving gives your plants access to more light and air—and is more forgiving for larger, trailing plants.

Pick a plant-friendly material

Wood shelving may seem like the perfect all-natural accompaniment for plants, but Maria DeLucia, a decorator for online interior design site Decorist, warns that it could be a problem in the long run. "If you are someone who likes to water in place instead of bringing plants to the water source, a metal shelf would be better than wood," she says. "Water will make spots, possibly grow mold if left wet under the pot, and cause rings on the wood. Metal shelving is more forgiving with water and will look neater in the long run."

Mind the weight

If you're planning to have a shelf that attaches to your walls, rather than a freestanding shelf, keep in mind the weight of not just the plant, but the water as well. DeLucia recommends installing a cleat into the wall stud to help stabilize wall-mounted shelves.

Make it moveable

Using a cart or shelving on wheels enables you to move your plants to take advantage of changing light, or even bring your plants closer to a sink for watering and care.

Think beyond the shelves

There are plenty of stylish ways to showcase your plants. "I like using vintage or found furniture as plant stands like old chairs or chests—you can display plants in the open drawers," DeLucia says.

Tips for Styling Your Plant Shelves

While just placing your monsteras and money plants on a shelf is a great start, you can add a little extra pizazz to your plant shelf with some smart styling touches.

Add some balance with other decorative items

All plants all the time may be a bit overwhelming—so go ahead and weave in some additional elements. "You could consider themes, like coastal' where I might have a large piece of driftwood alongside some coral and shells," DeLucia says.

Keep it cohesive

Rather than a hodgepodge of items, look for ways to create a singular look. "Be consistent in your approach," DeLucia says. "It could be that all of the planters and picture frames are the same finish, and other decor has a different finish. You can mix and match in regards to size and type of plant or have all the plants in a uniform sized planter and keep the plant height all the same."

Don't be afraid to add artificial plants to the mix

It may sound a little counterintuitive, but it may make sense to add some artificial plants to the mix. DeLucia places artificial plants on high shelves or on top of stacked books, so they require little upkeep (and won't damage the books beneath them).

Don't forget about lighting

We're not talking about grow lights—up-lights can add drama and highlight a few of your favorite plants.

Think outside the planters

Traditional planters are great, but anything that can hold dirt can hold a plant. "I like old toys like Tonka trucks or teacups—especially for succulents," DeLucia says.

Plant Shelf Ideas for Your Home

If you're in the market for shelving for your plants, consider these options DeLucia recommends.

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Verne Shelf Alder

Shelfology wooden wall shelves stacked with books

These sleek and sturdy wall shelves can hold 100 pounds worth of plants on each shelf and come in a variety of colors and finishes.

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Bror Utility Cart

Black metal cart on wheels with wooden work top

This heavy-duty cart has wheels that let you move your plants to the best light—and a wooden work top for planting and fertilizing.

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Outdoor Plant Console Tray

Wooden lipped trays containing plants, set on black-metal legs
Pottery Barn

This chic and sturdy plant home can work just as beautifully indoors to showcase plants in an entryway or behind a sofa.

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Hejne Wood Shelving

Tall light wood shelving with crossbar

DeLucia likes the generous spacing between shelves—perfect if you're looking to accommodate taller plants.

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Design Ideas Steel Wire Shelving

Mint green metal shelves
Bed Bath and Beyond

This simple, sturdy shelving option has mesh shelves that allow air circulation—and comes in several colors to suit your decor style.

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