Apartment Gardening: How To Grow Plants, Veggies, Flowers In Tiny Spaces

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Gardening | October 9, 2023

People living in a rental building show off apartment gardening window boxes after learning how to start growing vegetables indoors, container gardening for flowers, and planting tips for types of indoor gardens.

There is absolutely no reason for you not to live your dream of owning a beautiful garden just because you live in the city, and thanks to apartment gardening, otherwise called urban gardening or condo gardening, the limits are only your imagination.

Truth be told, the more the cities grow, the smaller the apartments get, and there is very little space to grow your vegetables, herbs, or flowers.

But there’s good news for you even if a concrete jungle surrounds you; you can actually be a proud gardener, and there are so many ways to make really great use of the little space that you have in your apartment.

It could be indoors or outdoors, but one thing is for sure, you are very few steps away from making apartment gardening work.

Wondering how to do it? This guide outlines how to begin apartment gardening, including how to grow plants, veggies, flowers in tiny spaces and the rewarding returns you can obtain.

How To Start Apartment Gardening

It is understandable that you may find apartment gardening a little overwhelming at first, especially in terms of space.

However, you should know that all you need to make this work is creativity and a few tips on gardening for beginners indoors and outdoors in urban settings.

Steps to start apartment gardening graphics showing the plant needs, gardening tools, and seeds that are important and most suitable to apartment gardening.

So, how do you go about apartment gardening from scratch?

Step 1: Will Your Plant Have Everything That It Needs?

The very first question that you are going to answer before gardening is whether you will be able to provide your plants’ everyday needs. Because otherwise, they will struggle to grow.

Gardening will be a breeze if you look around your home and try to find a sunny spot that is away from shading from other buildings. You should also be in a position to provide water, fertile soil (potting mix, not garden soil), and a little bit of humidity.

Step 2: Gather the Gardening Tools That You Will Need

Of course, you know that gardening is an investment,5 and you will have to buy some gardening supplies that you will carry along through the journey. First and foremost, you will buy garden planters that your plants will call home.

Here is where you will let your creativity run wild as you choose the best materials, sizes, and designs, but remember to also be practical in regards to what you will be planting. With the right choice, your landscaping will be on another level.

You are also going to need a watering can that will help you irrigate at ground level and avoid spilling water, and in addition, you will have to buy some handy tools. A trowel will come in handy for digging and adding soil to your containers, while pruners will help in deadheading and maintaining the look of your plants.

Don’t forget to budget for some extra artificial lights if your garden will be indoors, and of course, make sure that you buy a well-draining and fertile potting mix to fill in your containers.

Step 3: Choose Your Plants

Probably the most important decision that you will ever make on this journey is picking what to plant. The goal is to go for easy maintenance yet highly rewarding plants, and when it comes to flowers, of course, virtually, everyone wants the most stunning and vibrant ones.

There is a whole world of plants for you to decide on, but for most in the city, the choice is always between vegetables, herbs, flowers, succulents, and some fruits (especially citruses).

Factors To Consider When Gardening in an Apartment

If this is your very first time trying apartment gardening, you want to make sure that every single thing is perfect.

Low-angle shot of an apartment balcony with hanging potted plants.

(Image: Anja10)

Nothing can go wrong, and that is why you want to make sure that you bear in mind the following.

  • Is It Permitted in Your Apartment? It is easy to ignore this and just go ahead with gardening, but the most important thing is to check whether your building allows it or not.
    Find out the rules involved first because you may be restricted to either not growing anything or planting only a particular plant.4
  • Will the Weight Be An Issue? Say you are thinking about placing massive and heavy pots on your balcony, you may want to factor in the additional weight and maybe just stick to lighter and smaller containers like plastics and fabrics.
  • How Will Watering Work? Watering plants on your balcony or window sill will not be a problem, but imagine rooftop apartment gardening.
    In that case, you will have to go for drip or self-watering planters.
  • What Are Your Region’s Gardening Zones? The last thing that you want to do is pay attention to a plant that doesn’t do very well in your region.
    Here is where thorough research is going to come in handy, and it will also give you an idea of the plants that will really get the job done.

Best Locations for Friendly Garden Apartments

If you are looking forward to finally owning an apartment garden, there is one more decision to make: the location.

Now that space is an issue; you will have to find a perfect spot where your planters will fit and where your plants are certainly going to be happy. Here are some great places to start.


This is a top choice for many because it makes full use of the available space while at the same time serving as home decor. Indoor apartment gardening also has the advantage of helping you purify the air inside the rooms,6 and a bonus is that you can have living and real plants serving as home decor.

Just make sure that there is sunlight access in the spot you choose and complement that with artificial lighting.


You must have seen this a lot with your neighbors and in other apartments where there are vibrant plants on balconies. Apartment balcony gardening spruces up the space in so many ways.

The upside is that you won’t have to worry about sunlight access; your plants will be really happy.

Vertical Gardening

A new wave in urban gardening comes in the form of vertical gardening, and there are so many ideas that you can play around with. It is the solution to all your tiny space problems because you can experiment with garden walls, hanging pots, and mounted plants.2

Window Sill Gardening

One container gardening technique that you should definitely try out is where you mount your containers on window sills. It works if you don’t really have a massive balcony space and it helps that it revamps your home and you can easily access it from inside your house.

What Do You Need To Start a Container Garden in Your Apartment?

Apartment gardening is pretty simple, and you don’t need a lot to get started. The basic supplies that will come in handy include the planters, which the plants will call home, gardening tools like the hand trowel, pruners, and watering can, potting mix, and, of course, the seedlings of the plants that you are going to grow.

You may also get more items that you believe will make gardening way easier for you.

What To Plant in a Tiny Space Garden: Apartment Gardening Indoors and Outdoors Plant Options

The most exciting part about apartment gardening is that it is functional and practical.

Apart from flowers and other plants that are purely for décor, there are so many options when it comes to food you can grow in an apartment.

An apartment building showing some of the balconies have small potted plants.

(Image: mac2319)

You will literally eat what you plant, organic and fresh. If you are looking for the best options, these may help.

Growing Vegetables Indoors (Indoor Apartment Vegetable Gardening)

You will find growing vegetables in apartments the most rewarding thing ever. Literally, everyone enjoys fresh produce, and you can imagine having your favorites growing just a few steps away.

What’s more, leafy greens and other veggies are pretty easy to plant and care for, and in most cases, you will be harvesting as you come back for more.

Indoor Growing VegetablesDescription
TomatoesAn absolute favorite because it is one of the most versatile; whether you need it for cooking, juicing, or eating raw in salads, the Tomato is a must-have. However, considering how it grows, you may have to provide some extra support for it in terms of stakes and cages.
Leafy greensAnother top choice for city residents because they are tasty and pretty easy to grow. Consider options like Kale, Lettuce, Spinach, and the likes, and see how rewarding planting them can be.
Just be careful with the weather because they hate the cold and can start bolting when it gets too hot.
Carrots and turnipsRoot vegetables also do really great in apartment gardens, but you will have to go for containers that are a little deeper to give them more room to grow.

Growing Herbs in Apartment Gardening

You use herbs all the time for your cooking or when spicing up your beverages, and you can have a steady supply of your favorites growing in containers in your apartment.

Indoor Growing HerbsDescription
MintYou may want to grow the mint all because of its incredible scent and flavor, but be careful to plant it in its own container because it tends to get rather invasive
ParsleySuch a unique ingredient for various cooking recipes, and the best part is that it is easy to grow and care for.
Rosemary[8]There is always something about rosemary tea, and if you are a huge fan, you will love to plant one on your balcony, frequently snipping off a few leaves and coming back for more.

There are so many more herbs that you will love to grow in your apartment, be it indoors or outdoors. For instance, consider planting ginger, basil, oregano, cilantro, and sage. Apart from the culinary benefits, some also have unique medicinal properties.

Growing Flowers in Apartment Gardening

There is certainly no better way to spruce up our indoor or outdoor space than by using flowers. It explains why they are the top choice for city residents, but the problem is deciding on which ones to plant.

There are flowers that love the full sun and will be comfortable outdoors, while there are others that like a little shade and will actually thrive indoors. Some of the most gorgeous flowers that you can plant in containers include Marigolds, Peonies, Begonias, Ivy, Impatiens, Verbena, Zinnia, Petunias, Coreopsis, Angelonia, and Geraniums,3 just to name a few.

Growing Low-Maintenance Plants in Apartment Gardening

If you are afraid that you have very limited options because you don’t have an outdoor space for sunlight access and your rooms are pretty dark, you will be glad to know there are some plants that don’t need sunlight, which will make work even easier for you.

These are options like the Snake plant, Hostas, Prayer plant, philodendron, and pothos.

A window sill full of small potted-succulents basking in the morning sun.

(Image: NatureWonders12)

There are also low-maintenance options for gardeners who get very busy, like the various types of succulents, like the Cactus, Aloe Vera, and Jade plants.

Did you also know that there are also easy maintenance types of bonsai trees that you can use for your apartment landscaping? These include varieties like Boxwoods, Pines, and Junipers.

Apartment Gardening Ideas and Tips

If you want nothing but the most stunning apartment garden, you may want to take a look at some unique tips.

  • There is always a way to work around tiny apartment spaces. Instead of planting in massive containers on the ground, you can go for vertical gardens, hanging plants, windowsill containers, or those hanging on railings.
  • There are so many places where you can place your plants in your apartment, from the bathroom to the kitchen or any other spot where you need some color and revamping.
  • You can play around with the colors to make your apartment garden look even better. Try combining various flowers in the same pot to bring this effect.
  • You can go wild with your choice of planters. There are so many coming in various shapes and designs, and you can show them off and use them to make really bold statements about your style or even personality.
  • No matter what you do, completely avoid using garden soil in your planters. They are too heavy and easily compact, giving your plants a hard time growing, which is why you need to invest in high-quality potting mixes; the difference will be evident.7

Care and Maintenance of a Balcony Garden

Want to have the healthiest and happiest plants growing in the containers in your home garden? Here is how you make sure of that.

  1. First and very importantly, make sure that you water deeply and regularly, but only as long as the soil is dry. If the top inch is still wet, it is best to give it some more time, otherwise, you know that overwatering has dire consequences.
  2. Always pay attention to the light needs of your plants, especially when they are growing indoors. This is why you should invest in artificial lighting, and even when outside, you want to make sure that the spot is away from shading buildings.
    But at the same time, if your plants love shade, it would be best to have a temporary cover to shield them when it’s too hot or simply bring them indoors.
  3. You will need to fertilize the potting mix once or twice a month to improve the rate of growth of your plants.
  4. You should also make re-potting a habit for your plants to grow in healthy and nutritious soil.

Why Grow an Apartment Garden? Benefits of Apartment Gardening

The good thing about apartment gardening is the fact that you actually have the choice to either go for indoor gardening or plant outdoors, maybe on your balcony or rooftop.

A little on the fence about whether it is a great idea or not?

Long shot of a multi-story apartment showing its rooftop and balcony garden filled with potted plants.

(Image: GodImage8)

Then, you should know why it is something worth trying out.

  • Living in a small space increases the risk of some health complications due to the air being polluted. Thankfully, plants are here to help, and you already know just how incredible they are when it comes to purifying the air.
  • Having plants in your space is actually great for your well-being. They have therapeutic properties and are able to boost your mood and reduce stress and anxiety.
  • You can finally be a part of the urban farming movement, where more and more people in the cities are finding ways to plant and consume edible plants.1 This has been of great help when it comes to reducing food wastage and high individual carbon footprint.
  • There are so many plants out there that have amazing medical properties; take Lemon, Ginger, Chamomile, and Aloe Vera, for instance, with their unique abilities to treat various ailments.
  • Have you had a problem with waste disposal? This will be a thing of the past once you learn that you can use organic waste as compost for your plants.
Apartment bedroom with lots of green plants indoor.

(Image: VirgoStudio11)

If you want to have your own garden but are worried that it would be impossible because you live in an apartment building, you will be thrilled to learn that it is still very much achievable. There are so many ways that you can maximize the little space that you have in your balcony, fire escape, window sill, and even rooftop, and use that as your garden.

Here is where containers come in handy because virtually anything will be able to grow in a fertile potting mix inside a planter. There are also more fantastic techniques, like vertical gardening, which will not require too much space.

The only thing is that you have to make sure that your plants receive everything that they need to grow, including light, water, and food.

With that, apartment gardening is going to be a breeze, and you will actually find it very rewarding.

Frequently Asked Questions About Apartment Gardening

What Makes a Good Plant for Apartment Gardening?

There are so many options that you can go for when choosing what to plant, but in most cases, gardeners go for plants that are easy to grow, don’t need too much in terms of maintenance, and those that are highly rewarding. You can also decide based on what you are going for; if your aim is to find a landscaping plant, then you would love to have flowers.

What Are the Best Plants for Apartment Gardening?

So many plants flourish when it comes to apartment and container gardening, you just have to choose your favorites and those that will be easy to care for. For instance, when it comes to veggies, the top choices include Potatoes, Tomatoes, Leafy Greens, Peas, and Carrots, and on the other hand, the most common herbs that people grow include Rosemary, Basil, Parsley, and Sage.


1Bell, J. (2023, January 14). Apartment Gardening: A Beginners Guide For A Plant Paradise. Sustainable Jungle. Retrieved September 27, 2023, from <https://www.sustainablejungle.com/urban-gardens/apartment-gardening/>

2Growing Organic. (2023). How to Start a Garden in Your Apartment. Growing Organic. Retrieved September 27, 2023, from <https://growingorganic.com/diy-guide/how-to-start-a-garden-in-your-apartment/>

3Lipford, D. (2020, April 9). Container Gardening: How to Grow Flowers in Pots. Today’s Homeowner. Retrieved September 27, 2023, from <https://todayshomeowner.com/lawn-garden/guides/container-gardening-how-to-grow-flowers-in-pots/>

4Sweetser, R. (2023). 10 Things to Consider When Balcony Gardening. The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Retrieved September 27, 2023, from <https://www.almanac.com/10-tips-starting-balcony-garden>

5Davis, C. (2014, September 22). How to Grow Veggies at Your Apartment or Condo – Sustainability. NC State Sustainability. Retrieved October 4, 2023, from <https://sustainability.ncsu.edu/blog/changeyourstate/grow-vegetables-apartment-condo/>

6Petersen, D. (2016, August 6). Plant Mama 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Indoor Gardening. American College of Healthcare Sciences. Retrieved October 4, 2023, from <https://achs.edu/blog/2016/08/06/how-to-start-an-indoor-garden/>

7ASK UNH EXTENSION. (2020, January 24). What is the best soil for potted plants? UNH Extension. Retrieved October 4, 2023, from <https://extension.unh.edu/blog/2020/01/what-best-soil-potted-plants>

8Photo by GodImage. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/house-green-plant-apartment-468082/>

9Photo by mac231. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/windows-balcony-balconies-window-4498109/>

10Photo by Anja. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/balcony-exterior-decoration-273733/>

11Photo by VirgoStudio. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/illustrations/bed-room-bedroom-interior-8004703/>

12Photo by NatureWonders. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/plants-succulents-indoor-8149361/>