Gardening In An Apartment: A Beginner’s Guide to Starting an Apartment Garden with Limited Space

Limited outdoor space should not hold you back from flexing your green thumb. Did you know that you can create a lovely apartment garden in less space than you think, even if you live in a small apartment in the middle of a concrete jungle? Keep reading to learn how!

Gardening in an apartment is not only an excellent way to spruce up your space for spring. A small apartment garden can also improve your health, enhance air quality, and help you dispose of food scraps sustainably.

From tasty herbs, fruits, and vegetables to low-maintenance succulents, indoor apartment gardening has never been more attainable and popular.

This post provides a checklist of what you need to do indoor gardening, including practical tips for growing vegetables indoors in a studio and making plants flourish in small enclosed spaces.

Checklist for Your Indoor Apartment Garden

Here are the basic things you’ll need:

1.) Soil

Soil is essential to plant health and growth. Make sure you purchase bags of potting soil suitable to container planting and the plant type you wish to grow.

Ensure your planters have holes in the bottom for proper water drainage. You can also add a layer of gravel or small rocks to the bottom of the planters to prevent compacted soil and encourage drainage.

As an alternative, you can also look into small aquaponics kits which don’t require any soil at all, although your growing options will be more limited.

2.) Containers

Growing in containers is perfect for a small apartment garden, particularly if you are interested in foods you can grow in your apartment. They do not take up a lot of space and are simple to move, which can especially be helpful if your available sunny area moves depending on the time of day or year.

You can also consider a raised planter box with wheels and legs, particularly if you plan to move your garden into the balcony or patio.

Amazon has some nice container options which are suitable for growing vegetables in your apartment. No matter which option you pick, be sure to buy containers or pots that are big and deep enough for the roots to stretch out.

3.) Light

Don’t be afraid if lots of direct sunlight is not an option. A whole new generation of smart gardens pairs nature with technology. Some products utilize smart technology to grow indoor plants from seedlings to mature fruiting plants without much effort on your part.

These devices take care of ensuring  your plants get sufficient light and water – see this post for a list of indoor garden kits to check out.

4.) Sun

Plants are addicted to sunlight, so you’ll need to find a place in your apartment – or on your balcony or patio – that gets lots of sunlight, particularly if you are growing vegetables.

Preferably, plants need about six hours of direct sunlight every day. However, many plants can get by just a few hours. If you have a balcony or patio outside your apartment, you can also place your plants there for part of the day to get some sun.

The Perfect Plants for Gardening in an Apartment

Wondering which plants you should grow in your apartment? Here are some options for you to consider:

  • Fruits and vegetables

Aspiring indoor apartment gardeners are in luck because there are a variety of fruits and veggies that do well in container gardens.

You can grow delicious salads with carrots, tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, and radishes. Blueberries and strawberries can also be grown in containers, as can dwarf fruit trees like figs and Meyer lemons, provided they can receive sufficient sunlight.

Other plants you can grow in your apartment are green onions, garlic, and even peppers and tomatoes. How cool is that?

  • Herbs

Step up your cooking game with freshly grown herbs such as dill, oregano, thyme, and basil. You can also create your own teas by growing peppermint, echinacea, and chamomile and steeping them in hot water.

Or perhaps you’d like an aromatic herb garden supplied with sage, rosemary, and lavender. Your options are practically unlimited – and as herbs are expensive to buy at the grocery store, growing your own herbs is a great money saver!

  • Flowering plants

Flowering plants like petunias, pansies, heliotrope, geraniums, and begonias can add vibrant springtime color to your apartment gardening setup. Just keep in mind that flowering plants do best with lots of sunlight.

On top of that, you’ll need to regularly prune and eliminate spent buds and dead leaves to support continuing growth.

  • Air purifying plants

Spider plants, snake plants, peace lilies, golden pathos, and areca palm are all low-maintenance houseplants that improve air quality and remove various toxins from the air.

NASA’s Clean Air Study found that these toxins include formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia in finishes, furniture glues, insulation, and carpets.

  • Succulents

Is it your first foray into gardening in an apartment? You might also want to begin small with succulents. Plants like zebra, panda, jade, echeveria and aloe vera are practically maintenance-free and add some green to your indoor space. There are even some edible succulents that you can grow indoors!

Ensure your planters are well-draining, as succulents do not like sitting in water.

Tips for Growing An Apartment Garden

Here are a few tips you should keep in mind when you start gardening in an apartment:

1.) Keep pests away

The ideal way to keep bugs and pests at bay is to keep your indoor apartment plants healthy with sufficient food, sunlight, and water. Check soil and leaves for signs of diseases like discoloration or holes in the leaves.

Catnip is perfect for repelling a wide array of indoor plant pests if you are searching for an organic option.

2.) Don’t forget nutrition

If you make your own compost, you can add some compost to your container plants. Add coffee grounds straight to the soil and gently rake them in. Plants love potassium, you can also soak banana peels in a water and water them with banana tea.

And water-soluble organic fertilizer is another simple option.

3.) Water your plants once a week

A few plants (such as succulents) need less watering. But typically, you should water your plants at least once a week until the soil is thoroughly moist but not soaking wet. Check the soil in between waterings by pinching some between your fingers – about 1/2″ below the surface. If the soil feels dry, give them a bit more.

Gardening in an apartment means working with nature in a contained environment, and that’s not an exact science. There are a number of variables you need to consider to determine what will grow best where. Soil, sun exposure, watering schedule, etc.—all these and more will impact the success of any apartment planting you do.

With that said, these tips for successful gardening in an apartment will help you grow some of your own food any time of year, regardless of where you live. You do have a green thumb! It is just waiting for you to find it! 🙂


Rose S.

An avid gardener since childhood, I love sharing my passion for gardening with others! I have gardened in a number of different climates and settings, from large fenced garden plots, to tiny patio and container gardens, and I firmly believe that everyone can learn to grow at least some of their own food - no matter where you live. Growing your own food can help you take control of your own health and food supply, and there has never been a better time to get started!

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