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10 Ways to Have an Indoor Apartment Garden

If you live in an apartment, you can still exercise your green thumb. With a little creativity, you and your apartment garden will thrive.

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Selection of fresh culinary herbsMuenz/Getty Images

Grow Herbs Indoors

If you’ve got a south-facing window, you can grow herbs in an indoor apartment garden. If the ledge isn’t wide enough to hold pots, build a hanging herb garden that can easily be disassembled when you move.

Start with easy-to-grow herbs like basil, cilantro and mint. You can sometimes find small starter plants year-round in the produce department of your local grocery store.

Orange chrysanthemums and bright cushion on a sofaStudio Light and Shade/Getty Images

Grow Outdoor Flowers as Houseplants

If traditional houseplants don’t interest you, consider flowering plants generally grown outdoor. These include geraniums, impatiens and begonias.

If you have a balcony or patio, give these plants a summer outdoors, then bring them inside to enjoy through the colder months. Or you could keep them inside year-round. For the latter, make sure they get plenty of light from a bright window, or purchase full-spectrum LED light bulbs to provide supplemental light. Use a timer to turn the lights on and off.

Vegetables in hydroponics farmphanasitti/Getty Images

Set Up a Hydroponic Garden

Depending on your space, you could set up a hydroponic garden in your apartment. Hydroponic systems grow plants in circulating water, not soil. Sizes range from the table-top-sized Aerogardens to larger setups, like the Rise Personal Indoor Garden.

Most hydroponic kits also include grow lights. Specialized seed pods making it easy for beginners to grow food indoors.

Ecosystem terraria@jansmartino/Getty Images

Plant a Terrarium

Planting a terrarium lets you grow plants and design a miniature landscape. Choose a style that fits your apartment decor, with plants ranging from succulents to tropicals. Or turn your terrarium into a fairy garden kids will enjoy. Terrariums often require less care than houseplants in containers. A terrarium is the perfect indoor apartment garden for someone who is really low on space.

Image of outdoor patio, tiered plastic plant troughs planted up with lettuce seedlings, Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum), Rocket, Spinach, Tomatoes, Onions and herbs including Basil, Mint and Parsleymtreasure/Getty Images

Set Up a Balcony or Patio Container Garden

If you’re fortunate enough to have a balcony or patio outside your apartment, you could grow plants outside in containers. Check your lease first to see if there are any restrictions on what you can put there. On a balcony, make sure the containers can’t be easily knocked off, and be mindful of where the water drains.

Decor Cactus Greenhousepatpitchaya/Getty Images

Build an Indoor Greenhouse

Yes, you can install a small indoor greenhouse in an apartment. Some are small enough to fit on a tabletop, or freestanding with shelves.

An indoor greenhouse lets you grow plants that require more humidity and light than typically available in an apartment. You can also start seeds indoors and transplant them later to an outdoor container garden. You could even make an indoor greenhouse if you’ve got the time, skills and imagination.

table with a variety of low maintenance plants in an apartmentMargarita Khamidulina/Getty Images

Set Up a Low-Maintenance Plant Corner

If you’re often away, choose low-maintenance houseplants that don’t require weekly watering. These include many types of cacti and succulents, as well as snake plants. Putting these together in one corner gives you a green oasis to enjoy. Plus, if you do need someone to water your plants while you’re gone, grouping them together makes that task easier.

Assortment of micro greens on wooden tableAlmaje/Getty Images

Grow Microgreens in an Indoor Apartment Garden

With a little counter space and a grow light, you can quickly grow microgreens, even in an apartment kitchen. Microgreens are vegetable seedlings harvested just as the first set of true leaves begin to form. Add them to salads, soups and stews.

Try growing them in small containers so you don’t have too much to eat at one time. Sow new containers every week or so for a continuous supply.

hanging fern in a bathroom shower with white tile wall I the backgroundTurnervisual/getty images

Turn Your Bathroom Into a Plant Haven

Even in an apartment, the most humid room is usually a bathroom with a shower. That makes it a great place to grow plants.

Your choices will depend on available light, whether from a window or supplemental, and available room. If there isn’t enough counter space, you could go with floor plants, or install hooks to hang some from the ceiling. Check your lease and apartment rules before you start drilling holes.

community gardensPaulMaguire/Getty Images

Rent a Garden Plot in a Community Garden

If you’ve maxed out your space for plants and still want more, look for a nearby community garden.

Some are divided into plots you can rent to grow your own garden. Others are set up as one big garden, and volunteers help as needed for a share of the harvest. Consider working with others to start a community garden┬áif there isn’t one near you.

Carol J. Michel
Carol J. Michel is an award-winning author of several books including five gardening humor books and one children's book. As the holder of degrees from Purdue University in both horticulture and computer technology, she spent over three decades making a living in healthcare IT while making a life in her garden. She started writing about gardening on her blog called May Dreams Gardens which lead to numerous magazine articles, her books, and a podcast called The Gardenangelists. She was recently named a GardenComm Fellow by Garden Communicators International.