Best Plants With Shallow Roots For Shallow Pots

Last Updated on January 16, 2023 by Grow with Bovees

Do you have loads of shallow containers lying around at home and are not sure which plants to plant in them?

Or, maybe, you are someone that simply likes the appearance of shallow pots.

Wide, shallow containers are in fact becoming more and more popular as they are easy to handle and quite stylish to look at.

In this article, we will take you through a list of different indoor plants that will do well in a shallow planter.

One can find a lot of lovely plants to put into shallow pots, but among the best ones we would list are most succulents, most cacti (not all cacti have shallow roots) and bonsai trees.

With these shrubs you can make no mistake. They have got shallow roots which remain shallow as they mature, making them the perfect choice of plants to add to your shallow container.

Continue reading to learn about a variety of the best indoor plants for shallow pots.

Indoor Plants With Shallow Root Systems

Apart from the indoor plants mentioned above, there are some flowering garden plants and indoor plants that are great for shallow pots.

The most important thing is to make sure that the plant you choose has a shallow root system. This could be a smaller plant or, in some cases, a taller plant. Some tall plants do not need a lot of space for their roots.

Here is a list of some of the best plants for shallow pots. These include small plants as well as tall plants.

Dracaena Trifasciata — Snake Plant

The snake plant is one of the best indoor plants for shallow pots. Plant it in a shallow but wide pot. This lovely plant can grow to become quite tall, and it needs to be repotted into large containers in order for its lovely double-patterned foliage to continue growing.

The larger the container, the taller the plant will grow. But it has shallow roots, so no deep pots are needed. The roots of a snake plant grow outwards rather than downwards.

The Dracaena trifasciata is fairly cheap to purchase and easy to care for.

This is a great opportunity to get creative with different stylish shallow pots as your plant grows taller and taller.

Calathea Ornata — Pinstripe Plant

This tropical beauty is another common plant that would thrive well in a shallow pot. It is part of the prayer plant family and grows to become full and big above the soil, all the while the roots remain shallow.

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If the container you use is too deep and there is too much soil below the plant’s roots, your plant may start suffering from root rot due to lack of water absorption.

Due to its tropical nature, it can grow well in the average household climate and warm weather. Temperatures should range between 55 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Keep it in an area of bright indirect sunlight, water it once a week with room-temperature water, keeping the potting soil moist, and it will be a happy plant.

Their lovely oval-shaped leaves are unique, growing in bundles of crowded leaves and displaying a lovely pattern of white pinstripes — hence the name of this Calathea, pinstripe plant — on its green leaves.

These plants make for a spectacular houseplant, catching the eye of any visitor.

Aloe Spp. — Aloe Vera Plant

The Aloe vera is a classic plant with tall leaves which is quite popular for its medicinal properties and is well-known to the beauty industry. This one, too, does not have a deep root system and would do great in a pot that is not that deep but rather wide.

When taken care of properly, the Aloes stunningly spiked and elongated leaves can grow to be tall and ornamental.

Keep it in an area of direct sunlight or full sun for about 6 hours every day and then move it to a slightly shadier area of indirect light for the most beautiful green leaves.

Although, you would not be able to use a pot as shallow as the one you would use for a bonsai tree, for example, you would definitely not need a giant pot. The ideal pot size for the Aloes roots is about 5 inches tall and 10 inches wide.

The Aloe plant becomes quite root bound, so be sure to choose a container that fits its rooting system.

Petunia Atkinsiana — Petunias

This lovely indoor flowering plant is quite popular due to its amazing vibrant flowers. Their roots are shallow and can therefore be placed in a beautiful shallow plant pot.

The ideal depth, depending on which variety you plan on planting, varies between 6 and 18 inches deep.

In case you were wondering, the most popular petunia cultivar is known as the Grandiflora petunia.

Viola Tricolor Var. Hortensis — Pansies

This is yet another beautiful flower that grows from a shallow root system. Pansies are colorful to the eye and also quite simple to care for.

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They are flexible and a great addition to any seasonal garden. Simply place them in a shallow planter of your choice and move them around to fit the weather conditions.

Pansies may also be grown as a ground cover or border if not planted in containers.

Herbs That Do Well in Shallow Containers

Along with the above-mentioned flowers, there are a few herbs that are great to plant in shallow pots. Cultivating herbs in your garden is also deemed quite practical as you can easily use them in your kitchen for cooking and other things.

Continue on for some more detail on some of the best herbs to plant in small pots.

Lavandula — Lavender

This lovely plant is a popular choice of herb known for its beautiful vibrant shade of purple and fragrant blooms, and it is great to use in a shallow pot.

At the beginning, the ideal depth of the pot should be between 12-16 inches, but as they start growing, you can make due with even more shallow pots.


This lovely and fragrant herb is commonly used in cooking, perfumes and aromatherapy.

Plant it in a container that has a depth of 6-8 inches and drainage holes for good fluid drainage, and your rosemary herb will thrive.


This well-known popular herb is a great one to keep around. By mint, we mean both peppermint and spearmint.

This herb only needs about 4-6 inches of depth in its pot in order to survive and thrive. Do not, whatever you do, plant mint in your garden. It will take over everything!


This herb is actually part of the mint family and is great to use in cooking recipes. It is relatively easy to grow and does well when grown in shallow pots. Be sure to use a pot that is wide, as this herb needs some space to spread out as it matures.

Vegetables Great For A Shallow Pot

There are a few vegetables — even though they are in need of space to grow — that do great in shallow pots. This includes some root vegetables as well. Continue on as we name a few.


As we all know, this vegetable is quite popular in the average household, and it is commonly used for, among others, wraps, salads and sandwiches.

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Lettuce has relatively shallow roots and will do well in a pot that is roughly 6 inches deep. The width of the container should be determined by the quantity of lettuce you wish to plant and harvest.


Another vegetable that does well in shallow pots is onions. The depth of the pot, however, will depend on whether you are planting scallions or green onion bulbs.

Green spring onions will thrive best if the pot is 8-10 inches deep, whereas onion bulbs only need a depth of 3-4 inches.

If you wish to achieve a bountiful harvest, go for a planter that is quite wide.


This lovely and tasty leafy green is great for beginner gardeners and grows easily in pots that are on the shallow side.

Simply sprinkle its seeds across the soil — leaving a few inches between seedlings — lightly tap them and then water the soil. Germination will begin within a week and your spinach will be ready to harvest before you know it.

Swiss Chard

This ornamental leafy vegetable is delicious and nutritious. Plant it in a shallow pot that has a depth of about 8-10 inches. This should be ample space for its shallow roots. Potted Swiss chard will provide you with a lovely fresh harvest for salad bowls and other dishes.


Yes, you read correctly, radishes are on the list of plants for shallow pots. Even though it is a root vegetable, it does not have deep roots, and it therefore grows well in a shallow container. Make use of a pot that is 6 – 8 inches in size. The root ball should have enough root space in this size container.

Another great aspect of cultivating radishes is that they grow amazingly fast. Depending on which cultivar you choose to plant, radishes can be quite a fast-growing plant and ready for harvest within 50-65 days.

Plants For Shallow Pots Conclusion

There you have it, a list of some of the best indoor plants, flowering plants, herbs and vegetables that are great to cultivate in shallow pots.

This list of shallow-rooted plants is limited to only a few plants and flowers. Other container plants that do not need deep containers include Pothos plant — which are climbing plants, e.g. devil’s ivy — African violet, episcia (flame violet), Maranta leuconeura  (prayer plants).

Now, grab your most stylish shallow pots, purchase a few of these lovely greens and get to planting.

Have fun!