Growing Plants on Top of the Fridge? (Don’t be Fooled)

There are only limited circumstances when growing a plant on top of refrigerator is a good idea. You may see success if you:

  • have a hardy indoor plant that can grow in less than ideal conditions,
  • own a particular variety of plants that can tolerate constant heat (generated from the fridge), and
  • your fridge is lucky enough to be positioned to have enough space AND receive direct sunlight or indirect light.
Plants on Top of Refrigerator

No matter what other resources will have you believe, finding a situation where you can grow a plant that happily sits on top of your fridge is a rare occurrence. You would have to hit the equivalent of the plant lottery jackpot to tick all three criteria – and if you have, send us some pics of your thriving plant…We’d love to see it!

In this article we are going to debunk all the myths about keeping houseplants on top of the refrigerator. We will explore:

  • why plants find it hard to survive on top of the fridge,
  • how you can accommodate plants on top of your fridge (with some minor adjustments), and
  • the type of plants that have the best chance of growing on top of your refrigerator.

Is it Safe to Grow Plants on Top of the Fridge?

Growing plants on top of the fridge IS NOT a good idea.

Like we said earlier, it isn’t impossible. But finding someone with a plant living happily on top of their fridge is more of an oddity, rather than the norm. And there is a good reason why.

Constant Heat

fridges on producing constant heat

Fridges are constantly generating heat to keep your food and drinks cold. Take a moment to think about it – when did you last switch your fridge off (if you have ever)?

It is a generally known fact that hot air rises, meaning one of the warmest places in your house is on top of your refrigerator. If you want evidence, place a thermometer on top of your fridge or even leave your hand there for 5 minutes, and you’ll feel a noticeable increase in temperature.

So this constant heat rules out keeping plants that prefer cooler temperate environments, like snake plants or Jade plants, on top of the fridge.

You may be thinking, that’s okay, because I’ve read in a care guide that my plants like warmer temperatures. Let’s explore that one a bit more in our next problem for growing plants on top of your fridge.

Dry as a bone

low humidity can harm plants

The atmosphere around your fridge is generally dry, with very little humidity.

For most house plants, hot and dry are not a good combination. Generally speaking, indoor plants that thrive in hot environments, such as tropical plants, also require high humidity. We told you finding a plant that will thrive on top of the refrigerator is not easy.

The lack of humidity isn’t the only issue. The constant heat and low humidity means your plant will be constantly absorbing water from its soil. And you know what that means? Instead of watering once every week or two. You will be watering your plants once every 2 – 3 days!

You know we love all things green, but even we think that is a little on the high – maintenance side of things. We haven’t even talked about the fact that a plant on top of a fridge isn’t exactly at the most convenient place to water a plant.

So, unfortunately, that now eliminates an entire species of plants.

But wait! You’re now thinking you know one type of plant that loves heat AND dry surroundings – succulents! And you’d be right – succulents can tolerate constant heat and dryness. However, we want to ask you one question…what else do they love? (answer below)

Limited Light

Plant on Top of Refrigerator

Succulents generally require positions that provide plenty of light (direct or indirect) in order to thrive.

And let’s be honest with ourselves, fridge positions are rarely in the right aspects for a plant.

If we were to think about all the fridges we have ever owned, there would not be one that was in a position that we’d place a living plant on top of.

Now, that is not to say this cannot be rectified or that your fridge is in the wrong position. In fact, this is probably one of the few aspects of the fridge you can control.

Which is the perfect segue into our next section. Like we said earlier, it isn’t impossible to grow a plant on top of your fridge. Let’s explore some tips on how to grow a plant on top of your fridge.

How Can I Grow a Plant on Top of the Fridge?

If it appears like we are the naysayers of your indoor plant dreams, we are sincerely sorry. That was not our intention.

In fact, at the Garden Bench Top it is our mission to encourage everyone to get their hands dirty and enjoy their gardening journey.

So with that in mind, here are a few things you can do to put the odds in your favor.

Change Position of Fridge

Moving your fridge to a position that receives some light, be it direct or indirect, is a good start for setting yourself up for success.

It is also a good idea to position the fridge in a space where there is nothing directly above the plant. This will allow air to flow around your plant and provide the necessary gas exchange they need to stay healthy.

Install an Irrigation System


We know what you are thinking – who in their right mind would install an irrigation system in their kitchen?

Now that would be a sight! But wouldn’t it be so much easier – never having to water your indoor plants again!?

We’re kidding, the irrigation system we had in mind is much simpler in concept, and nowhere near as unsightly.

There are actually quite a few smart automatic watering systems available for indoor plants that are the perfect solution for keeping your plants hydrated. They are inexpensive and easy to source from online stores like Amazon, or even at your local nursery.

Increase Humidity with DIY Methods

If your plant requires a humid environment, we have a fantastic article that explores simple ways to increase humidity around your plants. It offers tips on how to provide the moisture your plants need without breaking the budget with a large humidifier.

Choose the Right Plant

A big factor in whether you will be successful in your endeavors to keep plants on top of refrigerators is that type of plant.

Let us be upfront – this is going to be a bit of a trial and error process. And patience will be the key to your success.

In the next section we will list down a few plants we recommend trying to keep on top of your fridge. We recommend taking the following approach:

  • reposition your fridge (if required) according to the suggestions above,
  • set your chosen plant up with the irrigation system and humidifying tips, and
  • watch and observe your plants while they acclimate to the new position (this is where patience is required).

Which Plants are Best on Top of a Fridge?

We know some of you just love to decorate and won’t be able to stop yourselves from putting plants on top of your fridge.

So, to help you achieve the look you are going for we’ve got a list of the plants that will have the best chance of surviving on top of the refrigerator.

Pothos Plants

pothos on fridge

Pothos are a very popular indoor plant choice, due to their beautiful vining growth and lush green leaves.

It is easy to care for (perfect for beginners) and they appreciate a position that receives around 6 hours of indirect sunlight and has warm temperatures. They do require a humid environment, so make sure to check out our tips for increasing humidity around your plants.

They are great for filling spaces that lend themselves to structures that complement trailing leaves, like on top of the fridge. We’ve seen some indoor plant enthusiasts trail pothos vines down the sides of their fridge to give a stunning indoor outdoor look.

Monstera Varieties

monstera on fridge
credit: pinterest

Monstera plants seem to be fan favorites in the indoor plant communities, and it isn’t hard to see why. They look stunning and can often bring a dull room to life with their large fan-like green leaves.

Placing them on top of a fridge can work, but we would recommend making a few adjustments to the conditions.

First and foremost, the position of the fridge will be important. Ensure you have enough space around the plant to allow for their magnificent leaves to stretch out and absorb the surrounding indirect light. Monsteras can grow quite big!

They also need plenty of water, so ensuring you have a good watering system (be it manual or automatic) will help to ensure your Monstera is in good health.


The natural choice for a plant on top of your fridge would be a succulent. With the succulents’ love of heat and tolerance of dry soil, it almost seems like the perfect fit.

As long as you can position your fridge where it receives a good amount of light, you should be in a good place.

What’s Next?

Plants on top of fridges – is it a good idea or not?

We understand the space above fridges can often stick out like a sore thumb, and you just want to inject some life into that space. But, unfortunately, plants are sometimes not the solution.

Unless, of course, you have hit the indoor plant jackpot and have your fridge in a sunny position, with plenty of space and air flow.

If you still want to place a plant friend on top of your fridge, we have provided some tips for making them feel as comfortable as possible.

Don’t forget to send us some pics of your plants on top of fridges – we always love to see success stories from our community.