Limited space shouldn’t hold you back from flexing your green thumb. Even if you live in a small studio in the middle of a concrete jungle, you can create a beautiful apartment garden in less space than you think.

Indoor apartment gardening is not only a great way to spruce up your space for spring, but a small apartment garden can enhance air quality, improve your health and help you sustainably dispose of your food scraps.

From low-maintenance succulents and tasty herbs to fruits and vegetables, indoor apartment gardening has never been more popular or attainable. Here is a checklist of things you need to create an indoor garden, including tips for growing vegetables indoors in an apartment and how to make plants thrive in small enclosed spaces.

Indoor Apartment Gardening Checklist

  • Sun: Plants love sunlight so you’ll want to find a spot in your home that gets lots of sun, especially if you’re growing vegetables indoors in an apartment. Ideally, plants need six hours of direct sunlight per day, but many plants can get by with four. You can also make use of an apartment patio or balcony for part of the day.
  • Light: If lots of direct sunlight isn’t an option, don’t despair. There is a whole new generation of smart gardens that pair nature with technology. Products like the popular Click & Grow line use smart technology to grow plants from seed pods to adults with zero effort on your part. The device takes care of ensuring your plants get enough water and light. 
  • Containers: Growing in containers is ideal for a small apartment garden, especially if you’re interested in food you can grow in your apartment. They don’t take up too much space and they’re easy to move. You can also consider a raised planter box with legs and wheels, especially if you plan to move your garden onto the patio or balcony. Amazon has cute options that are perfect for growing vegetables indoors in your apartment. Whichever option you choose, buy pots or containers that are large and deep enough for the roots to stretch out.
  • Soil: Soil is important to plant growth and health. Be sure to buy bags of potting soil specific to container planting and the type of plants you plan to grow. Make sure your planters have holes in the bottom for water drainage or add a layer of small rocks or gravel to the bottom of your planters to avoid compacted soil.

Best Plants for Indoor Apartment Gardening

  • Succulents: If it’s your first foray into indoor apartment gardening, you might want to start small with succulents. Plants such as aloe vera, echeveria, jade, panda plant, and zebra plants are practically maintenance free and add some green to your space. Just make sure your planters are well-draining because succulents hate sitting in water.
  • Air purifying plants: Areca palm, golden pathos, peace lilies, snake plants, and spider plants are all low-maintenance houseplants that enhance air quality and remove a number of toxins from the air. According to NASA’s Clean Air Study, these toxins include ammonia, benzene and formaldehyde which is present in carpets, insulation, and furniture glues and finishes.
  • Flowering plants: Flowering plants such as begonias, geraniums, heliotrope, pansies and petunias add a bright pop of springtime color to any indoor apartment gardening setup. Just remember, flowering plants do best with lots of sunlight, and you’ll need to prune and remove dead leaves and buds to promote continuing growth.
  • Herbs: Step up your cooking game with freshly grown herbs like basil, thyme, oregano, and dill. You could also make your own teas by growing chamomile, echinacea, and peppermint, and steeping them in hot water. Or maybe you want an aromatic herb garden stocked with lavender, rosemary, and sage. The options are endless.
  • Fruits & Vegetables: Aspiring indoor apartment vegetable gardeners are in luck, as there are a number of fruits and vegetables that do well in container gardens. Grow your own salad with lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, carrots and radishes. Strawberries and blueberries can be grown in containers, as can dwarf fruit trees like Meyer lemons and figs, provided they can get lots of sunlight. Another food you can grow in your apartment: salsa. Just plant tomatoes, peppers, onions and cilantro.

Tips for Helping Plants Thrive

  • Water once a week. Some plants (like succulents) require less watering, but generally, you should water at least once a week until the soil is thoroughly wet. Check your soil in between waterings by pinching it between your fingers. If it feels dry, give them more.
  • Remember nutrition. If you’re composting, add some to your plants. You can also add coffee grounds directly to your soil. Plants love potassium, so soak banana peels in water and water your plants with banana tea. Water-soluble fertilizer is another easy option.
  • Keep pests away. The best way to keep bugs at bay is to keep your plants healthy with plenty of water, sunlight and food. Check leaves and soil for signs of pests or disease like holes on the leaves or discoloration. Looking for an organic option? Catnip is good for repelling a large variety of indoor plant pests.

Get Growing with Southern Management

If you have a green thumb or passion for plants, a Southern Management apartment is the perfect place to grow your garden.

Our apartment communities located throughout the Maryland and Virginia region offer premium features, including patios, balconies, and extra storage for indoor apartment gardening supplies, as well as access to a wide array of community amenities and green spaces. Several of our communities even have dedicated community gardening space for residents.

Explore our communities today with a virtual tour, or contact us for more information!