Growing an indoor garden
Traditionally, gardens are outdoor affairs, but it’s perfectly possible to grow an indoor garden with a bit of care and planning. You might not have a yard or other outdoor space to grow plants, or maybe you just like the idea of bringing the outdoors into your home.
Whatever your reason, we have all the essential information you need to grow an indoor garden. There’s plenty to consider, such as the types of plants you want to grow, whether you need grow lights and what growing medium to use. We’re here to talk you through every step on your way to having a blooming beautiful indoor garden.
Best indoor plants
The first step is deciding what types of plants you want to grow. You can grow almost anything in your home as long as you can provide enough lighting and meet their watering requirements.
You can grow all kinds of flowers from annuals, such as petunias and dahlias, to perennials that will keep blooming year after year, such as geraniums and peonies. If you want to add lots of color to your home, growing flowers indoors is the ideal choice.
In most cases, you’ll need to use grow lights, but if you can create the right conditions, it’s possible to grow most vegetables indoors. Tomatoes and chili peppers are popular choices for indoor growers.
Creating an indoor herb garden is one of the easiest ways to bring edible plants indoors. Most herbs thrive on sunny windowsills, and you can also buy LED herb gardens, such as the AeroGarden Harvest.
If you’re a fan of lush green houseplants, you can easily create a houseplant garden in your home, especially if you pay attention to the lighting needs and place them according. Succulents and cacti are excellent for those wanting low-maintenance plants.
Consider the space available
How do you want your indoor garden to look, and how are you going to achieve this? Do you want to create one area of your home that’s a dedicated indoor garden, or do you want to position plants more sparsely all over your home? Are you going to rely on light from windows, or will you buy grow lights?
When growing indoors, you’ll need plenty of planters to grow your plants. You can choose to have individual pots for each plant or group different plants together in large planters, but make sure any plants in the same planter have similar water and lighting requirements. Plant stands are great for positioning plants when arranging an indoor garden.
While some plants are happy living in low light conditions or with just indirect light from a window several feet away, most plants need solid and direct light to grow and thrive. You can choose to place light-loving plants on windowsills or extremely close to windows, or you’ll need a lighting setup.
Unlike regular household lighting, grow lights emit full spectrum UV light so plants can get everything they need to grow that they’d usually get from the sun. Luckily, grow lights are relatively inexpensive and come in various strengths, styles and sizes to meet your needs.
Choose your growing medium
For most indoor gardeners, simple potting soil is the ideal growing medium, as it’s readily available and easy to use. Some people, however, like to experiment with hydroponic growing systems that allow you to grow plants in water rather than soil. These are less messy but take some getting used to if you usually grow plants in soil. When growing hydroponically, you’ll need to add nutrient mixes to the water, but even plants grown in soil can often benefit from feeding with plant food.
Seeds vs. seedlings
Once you have containers, growing medium and lighting, you’ll need your seeds or seedlings. We’d recommend inexperienced gardeners start with seedlings or small plug plants since growing plants from seeds are more of a challenge. Experienced gardeners might prefer to grow from seed, either for the satisfaction of growing plants from just seeds or for the financial savings.
Caring for your indoor garden
Getting your indoor garden set up is just the start. Once established, you’ll need to care for and maintain it. It’s essential to learn the water requirements of all your plants, as these can vary dramatically. Some plants require daily watering, whereas others only like to be watered about once a month.
Overwatering is more common than underwatering, so be cautious. Annual flowers and vegetable plants will need to be discarded after all their blooms have died or their veg has been harvested, while some perennial plants will need pruning during the cooler months.
What you need to buy for an indoor garden
These grow lights provide the full spectrum of UV light found in sunlight, so they will help your plants grow big and strong, even if your home doesn’t have solid natural light.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
You’ll need plenty of containers when growing an indoor garden, and this is just one option. This sizeable ceramic planter sits on a wooden stand and is ideal for adding different levels to your indoor garden.
Potting soil and other potting mixes are the most straightforward option when choosing a growing medium. We love this coconut potting mix, and it doesn’t use peat, which is destructive to the environment.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
You’ll need seeds or seedlings for your indoor garden. This selection of flower seeds is the perfect option for bringing scent and color to your indoor space.
Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.