Your guide to indoor gardening for plants and vegetables

Have you ever noticed how a bit of fresh greenery immediately makes a room vibrant, healthy and alive? Houseplants not only look great and turn your home into a chic, lush space, but they also provide health benefits like boosting your mood and oxygenating the air. Plus, if you try your hand at indoor gardening to grow vegetables and herbs, your indoor plants can even put nutritious food on your plate and take your dinner parties to another level.

Growing plants and vegetables indoors can seem like a daunting hobby reserved only for the guys with the greenest thumbs or tons of free time to spend on watering and lighting needs, but it’s not. actually not that hard to start with basic indoor gardening. . With a few supplies, a little natural light, and a little attention, you can watch your own seeds sprout into vibrant edible plants, flowers, herbs, and vegetables. Make room on your windowsill for a few pots and keep reading our indoor gardening guide for plants and vegetables.

Which plants are the easiest to grow indoors?

Let’s face it: some plants are hard to keep alive. We can forget to water them, or overwater them and drown out the poor, or we can’t get the right light and temperature conditions to help them thrive. Maybe you even have pets that gnaw on anything green and growing or pests have taken over and sabotaged your gardening efforts.

While it’s true that some plants have specific growing needs for water, light, humidity, and temperature, not all plants are necessarily equally unstable, and some are so resilient that they’re nearly impossible to kill. The easiest plants to grow indoors require less direct sunlight and can handle – or even thrive on – infrequent watering. Some of the easiest plants to grow indoors are also resistant to most pests, which can give you some confidence that you can successfully grow them.

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There are plenty of houseplants suitable for beginners, but some of our recommendations for the easiest plants to grow indoors include:

Aloe Vera

Aloe plant without a pot.
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An attractive supplement whose sap is used to moisturize and care for the skin. Aloe requires very little water and can live for years in the same container. Aloe thrives in indirect but bright sunlight, but you must be careful not to cut and remove more than a third of the leaves at a time or the plant may not be able to recover.

Snake Plant (Sansevieria)

One of the easiest plants to grow indoors is the snake plant, which features stiff, sword-shaped green leaves with yellow edges. The leaves can grow very large, from a humble six inches to six feet or more. Snake plants are ideal for beginning gardeners as they require very little care. In fact, depending on the humidity in your home, snake plants thrive best with just one or two waterings per winter. They also tolerate poorly lit growing conditions.

Spider Plant

Spider plant on a desk.
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Although the name may have you running the other way, spider plants are one of the easiest plants to grow indoors and a great place to start as a novice indoor gardener. Named for the resemblance of the long leaves to the left of a spider, spider plants grow and grow and grow. They grow “babies” which you can remove from the mother plant once the roots have entered, then you can grow them in separate containers. Spider plants do well in hanging baskets or pots, but may need to be repotted every couple of years as the root systems get too big.

Jade

Jade plant.
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Jade is an attractive plant that is easy to grow indoors as the round leaves retain water. Even if you forget to water your jade plant for about a month, you can usually revive it completely. For best results, place your jade plant near a sunny window that faces south or west, if possible, and water it once the soil feels dry to the touch.

Which vegetables are the easiest to grow indoors?

If you’re looking to be more self-reliant with your food and grow edible plants indoors, there are a handful of herbs and vegetables that are surprisingly easy to grow indoors.

Ball of potting soil.
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Lettuce

Lettuce is a popular vegetable for beginners to grow indoors because it is quite hearty, grows quickly, and is a crowd favorite. Plant lettuce seeds in containers at least six inches deep. Keep it well watered, in a cool environment and out of direct sunlight. Trim the outer leaves when ready to harvest (leaves should be at least 4-6 inches) to keep the plant intact.

Basil

Potted herbs.
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You can buy a small basil plant at most grocery stores and take care of the gardening from there, which is definitely the easiest solution. However, if you want to grow your plants from seed, plant them in a container filled with moist soil and cover them with a plastic bag or plastic wrap until sprouts appear. Then remove the plastic. Be sure to keep the pots in a sunny spot and make sure the soil stays moist.

Garlic leaves

Garlic leaves are edible, aromatic vegetables that you can add to salads, stir-fries, and more. They have a light garlic flavor with hints of green onions or chives. If one of your garlic cloves sprouts a green stem at one end, plant the clove with the bulb in a pot about an inch deep in the ground. Within a few weeks the greens will grow. You can harvest them once they are about 8 inches tall and then plant a new bulb in its place.

Microgreens

Germinating plants.
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If you’re new to indoor gardening but want to grow something you can eat, microgreens are a great place to start. Microgreens, which are basically the sprouted seeds of other vegetables like broccoli, celery, lettuce, mustard greens, arugula, etc., require very little space and grow quickly, so it’s rewarding and an easy way to build confidence in your indoor gardening abilities. Microgreens seeds like to grow in damp, moist soil, so cover them with plastic wrap until they germinate.

To grow your microgreens indoors, you will need pots or a tray at least two inches deep filled with moist potting soil. Scatter the seeds so they are about 1/4 inch apart, then cover them with a thin layer of soil and water (about 1/8 inch of soil). Place the pots on a south-facing windowsill and keep the soil moist. After the microgreens sprout, cut them up and use them in salads, sandwiches, etc. Then plant more seeds as they will not continue to grow after you cut the leaves.

Chives and shallots

Chives and green onions are among the easiest vegetables to grow indoors. They grow quickly and take up little space. To grow green onions, for example, simply cut off and save the white ends along with the root bulb from a bunch you buy at the grocery store to eat instead of tossing them in the compost heap. Place the roots (about one inch pieces) in a small container filled with about an inch of water and place them in a sunny spot. Change the water every few days until they germinate. Then, plant them in moist soil and harvest the greens after they reach a height of 6 to 8 inches.

Tips for Indoor Plant and Vegetable Gardening

Man doing indoor gardening.
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Remember, as with any new venture, not every plant you grow from the start is a vibrant green growth machine. Some plants will do better than others, but here are some indoor gardening tips for beginners:

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