How to Start Gardening in Your Apartment— Because Everybody Deserves a Green Space

Eva Hagan - Author

Jul. 18 2023, Published 3:09 p.m. ET

Man bends over and waters plants in an apartment while woman stands behind him.
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Plants are wonderful to have around the house for many reasons, from adding a pop of color to your decor to growing foods you can throw into your next salad. Speaking as someone who was able to propagate a sweet potato in a tiny dorm room, living in a small space should never stop you from carrying out your home garden dreams.

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Houseplants are a beautiful way to brighten a room, but if you have been wanting to grow food, there are certain types of fruits, herbs, and vegetables that will grow wonderfully in your apartment. All that's required is a good set-up and proper sunlight.

Let's get this garden started! Here are a few ways to start gardening in your apartment.

Over-the-shoulder shot of person putting a store-bought plant into a pot inside.
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Here's the best way to start gardening in an apartment:

In order to start an abundant, healthy growing garden, you need to make sure your apartment is able to offer the proper elements of a successful garden.

Enough sunlight is going to be key. Most plants need up to eight hours of direct sun each day. So if your apartment has a balcony, rooftop, or windowsill, that is the best bet for achieving full sunlight. If this just isn't possible, there are plants out there that need very little sunlight, or you can buy a grow light, which simulates sunlight, per The Spruce.

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Watering your plants, possibly even more than once daily, is also important. Container gardens likely do not receive natural rainfall, meaning you must be vigilant in supplying water. However, overwatering can cause the roots to rot and result in plant disease. Before watering, always touch the soil; your plant must be watered if it is dry. You should wait if the soil is moist, per The University of Maryland.

An overhead view of a group of potted plants resting on a table inside.
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Proper soil is another essential element. According to Sew True Seed, buying a potting mix that combines soil and compost will give your plant good growing nutrients. Remember, you are essentially trying to recreate elements of the outdoors inside, so your potting mix must be nutrient-rich and breathable, like natural soil.

The humidity of your apartment will also affect plant growth. According to Bloomscape, humidifying is often not a part of apartment heating systems. Plants can dry out without enough humidity, so you may need to create makeshift solutions. Some solutions include buying a humidifier, misting the leaves, or placing the plants on water-filled pebble trays.

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Woman reaches for something out of a cabinet in her kitchen next to a shelf of potted plants.
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What plants are best for an apartment garden?

Now that you know the basics, here are the best container plants to grow your garden.

Herbs like mint, basil, cilantro, parsley, etc, grow very well in containers. They are quite small and great for sticking in small spaces.

Salad greens like spinach, lettuce, and arugula can grow pretty easily in most conditions. They are shallow-rooted and can grow very quickly when given the proper watering and care.

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Mother smelling the leaf of a basil plant next to daughter.
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Fruits such as lemons (specifically of the dwarf variety) and strawberries can grow wonderfully indoors if given sunlight. They each need at least six hours of sunlight daily, and strawberries prefer moist soil, all per The Spruce.

Happy gardening!

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