The identification of small molecules that either increase the number and/or enhance the activity of human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (hHSPCs) during ex vivo expansion remains challenging. We used an unbiased in vivo chemical screen in a transgenic (c-myb:EGFP) zebrafish embryo model and identified histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs), particularly valproic acid (VPA), as significant enhancers of the number of phenotypic HSPCs, both in vivo and during ex vivo expansion. The long-term functionality of these expanded hHSPCs was verified in a xenotransplantation model with NSG mice. Interestingly, VPA increased CD34+ cell adhesion to primary mesenchymal stromal cells and reduced their in vitro chemokine-mediated migration capacity. In line with this, VPA-treated human CD34+ cells showed reduced homing and early engraftment in a xenograft transplant model, but retained their long-term engraftment potential in vivo, and maintained their differentiation ability both in vitro and in vivo. In summary, our data demonstrate that certain HDACIs lead to a net expansion of hHSPCs with retained long-term engraftment potential and could be further explored as candidate compounds to amplify ex-vivo engineered peripheral blood stem cells.