Transform your home into a serene sanctuary with these easy-to-follow indoor gardening ideas for beginners. Discover the top 10 indoor plants that thrive in any space, and learn how to create a thriving indoor garden that enhances your well-being.

I was an outdoor gardener long before I found success as an indoor gardener. It took me several years to figure out and understand how to translate my outdoor gardening skills indoors.

When my kids were very young, I started dabbling with indoor plants and had very little success. And looking back, I was choosing the wrong plants for me and overcared for them to boot!

Because not all plants are suited for our indoor home climates. And not all plants are suited to our lifestyles. Thus what we want to grow, may not work with our home environment and lifestyle. So it feels like we fail, get down on ourselves, and avoid gardening indoors.

But it’s important to keep in mind that even the most experienced indoor gardeners have plants that don’t do well. Sometimes bad things happen to good plants.

We don’t always get it right.

So if this sounds like your experience with indoor gardening, this post is for you.

Because guess what?

You got this.

Today, I’m excited to delve into the wonderful world of indoor gardening, specially tailored for beginners. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener looking to bring your green thumb indoors or someone just starting their journey with plants, creating an indoor green oasis is an incredibly rewarding experience.

Are you ready? LET’S GO!!!!

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Preparing Your Indoor Garden

If you’re dreaming of creating your own indoor garden, it’s important to do a little planning. While you can absolutely start slow and add to your indoor plant collection over time, some preparation can ensure you keep your plants healthy from the start.

Where should indoor plants be placed?

This depends on the plant. Most indoor plants thrive in spaces with plenty of natural light, so consider placing them near windows or in well-lit areas of your home. Keep in mind, though, that different plants have varying light requirements, so it’s essential to research the specific needs of each plant before deciding on its placement. Some plants may thrive in a window while others may need more shade or indirect light.

How to know what kind of light you have

Speaking of lighting needs, it’s important to understand what kind of light you get in different parts of your home. This knowledge lets you match your plants to the right space. South-facing windows typically get high light. East- and West-facing windows typically get medium light and North-facing windows get low light.

Choose the right containers for indoor gardening

Selecting the appropriate containers for your indoor plants is another important consideration. One of the most important features to look for in an indoor gardening container is drainage holes. These prevent water from accumulating at the bottom of the pot, which can lead to root rot. You can use a plant saucer underneath the pot to keep any draining water from getting on your floors or furniture. 

Make sure to also consider the size of the container compared to the size of the plant. Plants should have enough room to grow without becoming root-bound.

Potting mix for indoor gardening

The type of potting mix you use for indoor gardening can also impact the health and growth of your plants. Opt for a well-draining mix specifically formulated for indoor plants, providing the necessary nutrients while allowing excess water to drain away. Avoid using garden soil, as it can become compacted and may contain pests or diseases that can harm your indoor plants.

Don’t just buy the first indoor potting mix you see, either. Do some research on the plants you’re growing. Some plants, like succulents, need different potting mix than others.

Do indoor plants need fertilizer?

While indoor plants do require nutrients to thrive, they typically need less fertilizer than outdoor plants. It’s essential to choose a fertilizer specifically designed for indoor plants and to follow the recommended dosage instructions carefully. Over-fertilizing can lead to nutrient imbalances and may harm your plants, so fertilize sparingly. I like to include some fertilizer in my soil at the time of planting and then wait several months before fertilizing again.

Choose the right plants

Make sure you’re filling your indoor garden with plants that actually grow well indoors. Consider factors like light levels, humidity, and space constraints. Choose plants that are well-suited to the conditions in your home and that you’ll enjoy caring for. 

Keep reading for my top picks for the best plants for indoor gardening.

Indoor Gardening Ideas for Beginners: Top Indoor Plants That Help Clean the Air

Indoor gardening offers a therapeutic escape, brightens up your living space, and can even purify the air you breathe. One of the best ways to ensure success with growing houseplants is to start with good indoor plants that are resilient and hard to kill. Then, make sure you have the right light, soil and potting soil to support their needs.

Since some houseplants clean the air better than others, let’s kickstart this green journey by exploring 10 easy-care plants that not only thrive indoors but also act as natural air purifiers for your home.

Snake Plant (Sansevieria)

Known for its resilience, the snake plant is a total champion in low-light conditions. It’s an excellent air purifier, removing toxins like formaldehyde and benzene. But low light, doesn’t mean no light. While it can handle low light, it does not want total darkness and will still thrive in higher light conditions.

snake plants at the nursery

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

With its elegant white blooms, the peace lily is a favorite for beginners. It helps eliminate airborne toxins like ammonia, benzene, and formaldehyde. They are easy to grow and care for growing well in lower light situations such as an east or west window.

Keep them out of direct sunlight as it will scorch the foliage. Peace lillies like to be hydrated and are a bit of a drama queen about it as they will let you know they are thirsty with drooping leaves.

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Ideal for novices, spider plants are adaptable to most light conditions and produce “babies” that can be propagated easily. They’re great at reducing carbon monoxide and other impurities.

In general, they prefer medium to bright indirect sunlight. But avoid direct sunlight which can scorch the leaves. South-facing windows are a good spot to maintain them. I grew my spider plants in front of our south-facing windows for years.

Aloe Vera

Beyond its medicinal properties, Aloe Vera is a low-maintenance succulent that thrives in indirect sunlight. It effectively purifies the air and is handy for minor burns and skin irritations. Keep them out of direct sun or it will scorch the leaves.

close up of aloe vera plant in the sunroom
Aloe Vera Plant

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Pothos is a trailing plant that is virtually indestructible and thrives in various light conditions. It’s a top performer in air purification, combating formaldehyde. While they will do okay in low light situations, they grow best near an east or west facing window. I keep some of mine on the north side of my home next to a window and they love it there.

Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

Robust and striking, the rubber plant is perfect for beginners. It’s highly effective in removing toxins from the air, especially formaldehyde. They do best in medium light conditions but are pretty adaptable. Keep it out of direct sunlight as it will scorch the foliage.

Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii)

For those seeking a touch of lushness with blooms, Christmas cactus are a fantastic choice. They excel indoors, flower a few times per year, and are proficient in air purification. Maintain them near an east or west facing window for best results and flowering.

christmas cactus in full bloom with pink flowers
Christmas Cactus Care

ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

Thriving in low-light settings, the ZZ plant is practically indestructible. It effectively removes toxins, making it an excellent addition to any indoor space. Another adaptable plant to most light conditions, I’ve found it does best in an east or west facing window.

Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)

This vibrant plant comes in various colors and patterns, adding aesthetic appeal to spaces. It’s adept at cleansing the air from toxins like benzene and formaldehyde. They do well in high or medium light conditions. Keep it out of direct sunlight though so the leaves don’t scorch.

Dracaena

Available in various heights and shapes, dracaenas are versatile and effective air purifiers, targeting pollutants like trichloroethylene and xylene. Dracaena plants thrive in bright, indirect light. This means placing them near a window where they can get plenty of filtered sunlight, but not direct sunlight, which can scorch their leaves.

close up of chinese evergreen in the sunroom
Chinese Evergreen Plant

13 Indoor Garden Ideas You Should Try

Creating an indoor garden is a great way to infuse life and vibrancy into your living space, no matter how small or large. Here are some ideas to help you craft your own indoor garden sanctuary:

1. Vertical Gardens: Maximize Your Indoor Growing Space

Maximize space by going vertical! Use hanging planters, wall-mounted pots, or trellises to create a green wall. This not only adds visual interest but also optimizes space, perfect for those with limited floor space.

2. Grow an Indoor Herb Garden

Bring the flavors of the outdoors inside by cultivating a herb garden. Place pots of basil, thyme, mint, and other herbs on a sunny kitchen windowsill for easy access while cooking. Keep in mind most herbs need bright sunlight so place them accordingly in your home when growing indoors.

3. Craft Your Own Miniature World in a Terrarium

Create miniature ecosystems in glass containers. Terrariums are low-maintenance and visually stunning. They’re perfect for succulents, mosses, or air plants and can fit beautifully on tabletops or shelves.

4. Indoor Planters and Pots

Experiment with different pots and planters to add a touch of style. Mix and match sizes, shapes, and materials like ceramic, terracotta, or even repurposed containers to complement your decor.

Christmas decorating in the sunroom with boho farmhouse style with plaid blankets, throw pillows and indoor plants

5. Maximize Growth with LED Grow Lights

Understand your plant’s lighting needs and consider supplemental lighting, especially in spaces with limited natural light. LED grow lights or fluorescent bulbs can help certain plants thrive.

6. The Art of Indoor Gardening: Curating a Collection of Stunning Foliage Variety

Play with a variety of foliage types to add texture and interest. Mix plants with different leaf shapes, sizes, and colors to create a dynamic indoor landscape.

7. Functional Greenery: Indoor Plants With a Purpose

Incorporate plants that serve multiple purposes, like aloe vera for its healing properties or lavender for its soothing fragrance. This adds functionality to your indoor garden.

sunroom decorated for christmas with boho farmhouse decor and houseplants

8. Living Decor: Celebrate Each Season with a Rotating Plant Collection

Change up your indoor garden with the seasons. Swap out plants or introduce seasonal blooms to keep your space fresh and dynamic throughout the year.

By rotating your plant collection throughout the year, you can create a dynamic and ever-evolving living space that mirrors nature’s rhythms. Don’t be afraid to tuck in seasonal plants to decorate your home with a vibrant display that evolves with the seasons.

  • Spring Awakening: Usher in spring with cheerful blooms like tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths. These vibrant bulbs symbolize renewal and inject a burst of color into your home after the winter months and you can plant them outdoors when they finish blooming.
  • Summer Vibrancy: As the days grow longer and warmer, introduce tropical foliage plants like palms, ferns, and philodendrons to create a lush and exotic atmosphere. You can also add flowering annuals like petunias and geraniums for a pop of summery color. Keep in mind they may not thrive indoors for long so bring them out when you notice them not looking so great.
  • Autumnal Ambiance: Transition into fall with warm-toned foliage plants like crotons and coleus. Consider adding chrysanthemums, pansies, and other fall-blooming flowers for a touch of seasonal charm.
  • Winter Wonderland: During the colder months, bring in festive poinsettias, Christmas cacti, and other holiday-themed plants. These vibrant blooms add a touch of cheer and warmth to your home during the winter season.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and personalize your rotating plant collection. By incorporating seasonal elements into your indoor garden, you can create a living space that reflects the beauty and dynamism of the natural world.

9. Cultivate a Relaxation Space

Create a cozy nook surrounded by plants—a spot for reading, meditating, or simply unwinding. Integrate comfortable seating and soft furnishings to complete the tranquil atmosphere. I love my sunroom that is sited near the zen garden. It’s such a great space to hang out in and enjoy my plants!

10. Bringing Nature Indoors with Thoughtful Plant Arrangements

Experiment with grouping plants of varying heights and sizes to create depth and visual appeal. Clustering plants together can create a lush, jungle-like ambiance. Pull together plants with different foliage shapes, sizes, and textures for an aesthetically pleasing look.

chinese evergreen plant aglaonema

11. The Zen Element: Indoor Water Features for Mindfulness

Consider adding small indoor water features like tabletop fountains or self-contained water gardens. These not only contribute to the aesthetic but also add a calming element to your indoor garden.

12. Add Indoor Plants to an Unexpected Room

One of my favorite ways to incorporate indoor gardening throughout my home is by adding plants to just about every room. While plants in your kitchen, living room or sunroom are to be expected, I also love adding plants to the dining room, bathrooms, bedrooms and even kids’ rooms (hanging plants are a great option for kids’ rooms so they aren’t reaching for the plants).

13. Indoor Gardening Ideas for Small Spaces

Limited space doesn’t have to mean limited greenery. Indoor gardening offers countless opportunities to cultivate lush greenery and vibrant blooms, even in the smallest of spaces. Here are some creative indoor gardening ideas tailored specifically for compact living areas:

  • Hanging Gardens: Take advantage of vertical space by hanging plants from the ceiling or wall-mounted hooks. Macrame plant hangers or decorative hanging baskets are great options for showcasing your favorite plants while freeing up valuable floor space.
  • Window Gardens: If you’re short on space indoors, look to your window sills for gardening opportunities. Create a charming window garden by placing small pots or herb planters on sunny windowsills. You can also find hanging or suction-cup plant trays that fit into the window to set small pots on and use more of the vertical space.
  • Miniature Gardens: Try planting in unconventional containers like teacups, mason jars, or mini terracotta pots. These are perfect for planting small flowers, plants and even small bunches of herbs.
Houseplants on Vintage Chair in the garden

More Indoor Gardening Ideas: Can You Grow Vegetables Indoors?

Growing vegetables indoors can be a bit more complicated than growing houseplants, but it is possible! Whether you don’t have space for an outdoor vegetable garden or you’re simply looking for a new way to bring some greenery indoors, explore my best tips for growing vegetables indoors.

Selecting the Right Vegetables

When it comes to indoor vegetable gardening, selecting the right plants is key. Opt for smaller plants that are known to grow well indoors. Leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, and kale are excellent choices for indoor gardening because they don’t need a lot of space and can thrive in containers. Herbs, cherry tomatoes and dwarf peppers are also good options for indoor vegetable gardens.

Providing Adequate Light

Most vegetables require at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day to thrive. I recommend growing vegetables indoors with a grow light to ensure your plants receive the necessary light spectrum for photosynthesis. You just don’t get enough light even from the sunniest of windows. 

Providing Adequate Air Circulation

Good air circulation is essential for preventing mold, mildew, and other fungal diseases in indoor vegetable gardens. Place fans near your plants to promote air movement and reduce the risk of stagnant air pockets. Open windows or use a dehumidifier to control humidity levels, especially in humid environments, to prevent moisture-related issues.

By following these tips for indoor vegetable gardening, you can enjoy your favorite produce all year!

Indoor Garden Tips: 7 Quick Ways to Keep Your Houseplants Alive

So how do you turn those black thumbs green? Let’s get started on a path to indoor gardening success with these quick tips for keeping your houseplants alive. To achieve success with indoor gardening, one needs to understand the basics of houseplant care.

From their indoor environment, light, watering, and fertilizing needs, follow these recommendations so you learn how to care for your indoor garden plants.

  • Choose easy-care houseplants.
  • Make sure you have the proper light conditions for your indoor garden plants.
  • Water houseplants when needed. Check the soil for dryness before watering.
  • Regularly feed houseplants.
  • Keep an eye out for pest and disease problems.
  • Bring your indoor plants outdoors in the summer but keep them out of direct sunlight.
  • Repot houseplants when necessary with good quality potting soil.
Indoor seating in the greenhouse with houseplants - 7 Easy Indoor Gardening Ideas for Beginners

The Secret to Keeping Your Houseplants Alive

Ok so now you’ve got the basics covered and have a list of easy-care plants to start with that are really hard to kill.

But guess what?

Sometimes we overcare for our indoor plants when we should maybe leave them be. And overwatering is a major reason for plant decline.

Use a soil moisture meter to check for dryness before watering or you can stick your finger into the soil about 1-2 inches to check for moisture. If the soil is dry, it’s generally OK to water.

Just keep in mind that plants that are succulents prefer dry soil and do not need to be watered often at all.

The Secret to Keeping Houseplants Alive

Can You Revive Houseplants that Decline?

So you’ve learned the basics, started with some easy-care plants, and noticed your houseplants are declining?

From leaf drop to root rot, pest and disease problems happen. It happens to the best of us. So don’t stress about it because all is not lost. In fact, I had to revive a few plants after moving into our current home.

Keep in mind, that sometimes bad things happen to good plants. There are so many reasons that plants decline, including:

  • They get overwatered, underwatered, or a combination of the two.
  • Houseplants are over-fertilized – so make sure you read the label directions.
  • They’re placed in your home that doesn’t receive the proper light.
  • The indoor plants became rootbound and outgrew their containers.
  • They’ve not been fed at all.
  • The houseplant was never removed from the original nursery pot (in this case, the plant probably did well for a while, then started to decline).
  • Indoor gardens can get dusty and don’t get enough photosynthesis.

If you notice plant decline, head over to this post to learn how to revive your plants and restore their good health.

Cutting off the dead foliage to revive this plant -how to revive plants

Caring for Indoor Garden Plants in Winter

With all my years of indoor gardening experience, without fail, my plants start to look a little sad in winter. But you know what?

It’s pretty typical for plants to look like they are struggling or lose some leaves as we make our way through winter and head towards spring. There are a few things you can do to care for your houseplants in winter.

Caring for indoor plants during winter requires a few adjustments to accommodate the changes in light, temperature, and humidity. Here’s a guide to help your indoor plants thrive during the colder months:

Looking for plants at the garden nursery

Adjust Watering

With lower light levels and potentially cooler indoor temperatures, plants may need less frequent watering. Check the soil moisture before watering to avoid overwatering, which can lead to root rot. Ensure the soil is dry an inch or so below the surface before watering. Allow excess water to drain properly to prevent waterlogged roots.

Stick your finger in the soil to check for dampness before watering and if you are growing a succulent? Watering less often is more.

    Optimize Light

    Position plants near south-facing windows to maximize sunlight exposure, as daylight hours tend to be shorter in winter. Rotate plants regularly to ensure even light exposure on all sides. Consider using grow lights, especially for light-loving plants that may not receive adequate natural light during winter.

      Maintain Humidity

      Indoor heating systems can cause the air to become dry, which some plants may not appreciate. Increase humidity by using a humidifier, grouping plants together, or placing trays of water and pebbles near plants to create a humid microclimate. While misting can help, be cautious as excessive moisture on leaves can invite fungal issues. Misting can be beneficial for plants that prefer higher humidity levels.

        Temperature Control

        Keep plants away from drafty windows or doors to prevent temperature fluctuations that can stress plants. Most indoor plants prefer temperatures between 60-75°F (15-24°C). Avoid placing plants near heat sources or cold drafts.

          pilea peperomioideas plant

          Reduce Fertilization

          During the dormant winter period, plants generally grow more slowly. Reduce or halt fertilizer application, as plants don’t require as much nutrients during this time.

            Pest Prevention

            Indoor conditions during winter can sometimes lead to increased pest activity. Keep an eye out for pests like spider mites or aphids. Wiping leaves gently with a damp cloth can help prevent pest infestations.

              Pruning and Maintenance

              Remove any dead or yellowing leaves to encourage healthy growth. Pruning can also help maintain the shape and size of your plants.

                Monitor Plant Health

                Pay attention to any signs of stress such as wilting, yellowing, or drooping leaves. Adjust care routines accordingly to cater to the specific needs of your plants.

                  Houseplants on the south side of the house in winter - How to Care for Plants in Winter

                  More Indoor Garden Ideas: Starting Seeds Indoors

                  Setting houseplants aside for the moment, starting seeds indoors is a great winter gardening activity that gets our hands in the dirt well before spring.

                  It’s pretty easy to do and is so rewarding when the seedlings grow and mature into beautiful plants. I wrote a whole post about how to start seeds indoors without a greenhouse. You can check it out here.

                  To learn all about seed starting as well as how to start a cut flower garden, check out these posts.

                  Starting Seeds Snapdragons under grow lights on wire shelving

                  Indoor Garden Ideas That Bloom: Grow a Christmas Amaryllis

                  By far, one of the EASIEST indoor flowers to grow is the Christmas amaryllis. Are you familiar with these gorgeous blooms? The flowers are big and bright. And they are super easy for the beginner gardener to grow.

                  I wrote a post sharing about the types of Christmas amaryllis you can grow plus some care tips here.

                  Home and Garden Blogger Stacy Ling with some of her houseplants and an amaryllis flower

                  Indoor Gardening FAQs

                  What is the easiest and fastest plant to grow indoors?

                  One of the easiest and fastest plants to grow indoors is the spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum). Spider plants are known for their resilience and adaptability, making them perfect for beginner indoor gardeners. They thrive in a wide range of conditions, including low light, and produce small white flowers and baby spider plantlets that dangle from arching stems.

                  How long can plants live indoors?

                  The lifespan of indoor plants varies. While some indoor plants may only survive for a few months or years, others can thrive for decades with proper care. For example, tropical houseplants like peace lilies and snake plants can live for many years when provided with adequate light, water, and nutrients.

                  Are there health risks to indoor plants?

                  Not really, but there are some scenarios in which indoor plants cause health problems. For example, overwatering can lead to mold growth and root rot, which can negatively impact indoor air quality and exacerbate respiratory issues. Additionally, some indoor plants may harbor allergens or irritants that can cause discomfort or allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. 

                  Do indoor plants attract bugs?

                  Indoor plants can attract insects in some cases, but it’s not necessarily a common occurrence with well-maintained plants. Overwatering, poor drainage, and excessive humidity can create favorable conditions for pests like fungus gnats, aphids, or spider mites to thrive. Make sure to look over your plants for signs of pest infestation, such as yellowing leaves, sticky residue, or visible insects.

                  Want More Easy More Easy Indoor Gardening Ideas

                  And if you are looking for more indoor gardening ideas? I’ve got some easy-to-grow, easy-to-care-for ideas to keep you busy in winter. Click here for the post.

                  What are your favorite indoor garden ideas? Do you have any tips you’d like to share?

                  Stacy Ling
                  giving the houseplants and garden mums a bath in the farmhouse kitchen sink -Have a Green Thumb with These Indoor Gardening Ideas
                  Christmas decorating in the sunroom with boho farmhouse style with plaid blankets, throw pillows and indoor plants
                  indoor gardening with plants

                  Thank you so much for following along.

                  Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

                  indoor garden plants

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                  8 Comments

                  1. I really need to learn about indoor gardening Stacy. You would think my gardening green thumb would cross over to the indoors, but apparently, it doesn’t work that way.

                    1. You def need some houseplants – they are so fun especially during winter but I love them even more in the summer outdoors! xo