You needn’t be a greenery guru to give your indoor plants a lift. Indoor plant stands, the oft-overlooked botanical booster, are perfect for pedestaling plants and giving them gravitas. If you’re pondering a plant stand, but aren’t quite sure how to work one into your interiors, start here. We’re giving you all the info you need to set a mean — and very green — scene. 

RELATED READ: 10 Tips For Indoor Plants from the Pros

Traditional modern eclectic living room with a wood  revolving library bookcase used as a plant stand
Design by designs by human / Photo by Colby Edwards

What is a plant stand?

A plant stand is any kind of pedestal or table used for the purpose of holding a plant. They are typically taller than the average 24” side table in order to give the plant height. That said, plant stands can also be much shorter than the average side table, with some only measuring a few inches off the ground. 

Plant stands for indoors first surfaced as a trend in 18th Century Europe. As trade routes began to open up, Europeans were given access to exotic plants from other parts of the globe. Styled in Baroque and Rococo designs, plant stands were created to showcase these plants.  

In the Victorian era, indoor gardening came into vogue and plant stands were produced in a wide assortment of styles and finishes. Wicker plant stands, designed to hold two or three plants at a time, were popular, as were tortoiseshell bamboo styles. 

Greenwich House: Solarium with white wicker elephant table, chartreuse sofa, and wood plant stands topped with ferns
Design by Brockschmidt & Coleman, LLC / Photo by Max Kim-Bee

Why Use an Indoor plant stand? 

Plant stands can be used for a variety of reasons, including any of the following. 

Make a plant look like art

If you’ve ever studied a plant, you’re likely to notice it’s similar to a living sculpture. An indoor plant stand gives a specimen plant even more presence, allowing it to function like a piece of sculpture in a room. 

Save space

Especially if you’re an avid plant collector, floor space can become an issue. In these instances, plant stands can create more display space. Choose a plant stand with multiple shelves or container pots to increase your display space. 

Create visual height 

Designers are fond of plant stands for the visual height and interest they can lend to a room. (Virtually every designer will advise that a room has an element of height, whether it be a bookcase, grandfather clock, or plant stand.) In situations where you don’t want to spend a bundle, a plant stand can be the perfect cost-effective option. 

Give your plants a leg up

The truly botanically inclined know that indoor plant stands can serve a non-decorative purpose too. Plant stands hoist greenery closer to a window, providing it with more sunshine and more of a greenhouse effect. Similarly, a pedestaled plant is easier to water, since no bending is required. 

James Showroom Austin with Lattice walls and a wood draped trompe l'oeil plant stand with fern
Design by Meredith Ellis Design / Photo by Claire McCormack Photography

What shapes are available?

Plant stands come in a wide variety of shapes, and the ones outlined below are by no means the only options. Be sure to check out our collection on Chairish to discover even more styles. 


Table plant stands are just what they sound like: small, tall tables designed for the purpose of displaying a plant. These tables can assume any stylistic style, from traditional to modern. They often have four legs, but they can also feature tripod bases. 


Pedestal plant stands don’t have traditional legs but have a singular pedestal base. These stands can feature a separate top and base, or they can be one continuous piece, which would be considered a plinth style. 

Tiered / Multi-Pot  

If you want to display multiple plants at once, a multi-pot unit might be for you. Generally, these pieces have multiple arms that terminate in a shelf or pot. Increasing in popularity around the mid-20th century, it’s common to find these pieces in atomic styles. 


Given their decorative purpose, many designers and makers have opted to take a playful approach to plant stands. Whether it’s a wicker plant stand shaped like an elephant or a bentwood planer shaped like a bicycle, many of these pieces assume whimsical and artful shapes. 

Living Room Sitting Area with light blue chinoiserie upholstered wingback chair backed by a Lucite plant stand topped with a fern
Design by Honey Collins Interiors / Photo by Sarah Winchester

What types of materials are plant stands made of?  

Plant stands can be crafted of virtually any material — chances are if you can craft a table of it, you can also make a plant stand out of it — but here are some of the most common options available. 


Wicker rose to popularity in the Victorian era, so it’s no surprise that many antique plant stands are crafted of the ultra-textural material. Since wicker can be easily shaped, many of these stands feature wonderfully intricate or figural designs. 


With their translucent appearance, Lucite stands are perfect for playing a trick on the eye and making plants appear like they’re floating. Most Lucite pieces will date to the 70s or later, meaning they’ll have a modern or Postmodern appearance.  


Metal stands are perfect for bringing an outdoor garden look indoors. Metal stands can assume any style, but often you’ll find them in ornate Victorian or Mediterranean styles. It’s also possible to find mixed media versions dating to the Mid 20th century, featuring details like a rattan top and iron hairpin legs. 

Wood & Bamboo

Wood stands are perhaps the most common option available, and they can easily be sourced in both traditional and modern styles. For a light, easy-to-move option, consider a bamboo stand. These stands tend to have more of a bohemian aesthetic and can be found in painted, tortoiseshell, or natural finishes. 

French Quarter Townhouse with potted ponytail palm, bright blue Italian Modernist chair, and a black marble fireplace with fern
Design by Brockschmidt & Coleman, LLC / Photo by Paul Costello

Are plant stands required for plants?

Plants don’t receive any consistent benefits from being placed on a plant stand, so there’s no rule that says you have to use one if you have indoor plants. As long as they’re in a waterproof vessel, plants can just as comfortably be put on the floor or placed atop a generic piece of furniture like a credenza or dining table. If you’re looking for a unique alternative to a plant stand and have an out-of-commission fireplace, try arranging a plant in the hearth. Doing so can create an appealing atrium-like effect

French Quarter Townhouse with emerald velvet ottomann cofee table, white sofa, blue abstract painting, and plant stands topped with Neoclassical urns
Design by Brockschmidt & Coleman, LLC / Photo by Paul Costello

Can plant stands be used for purposes other than plants?

Yes. A plant stand can be reimagined in any number of ways. Use one to elevate a sculpture in a corner, or use two to create symmetry on either side of a sofa. The right plant stand can also be a decor piece all on its own. Look for architectural designs, such as columns and other plinth-style tables.

Shop Vintage Indoor Plant Stands >>

Lead photo design by Summer Thornton / Photo by Werner Straube


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March 1, 2023

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