Vertical gardens are beautiful and functional. They are perfect for growing plants in small spaces. They enable the home gardener to grow a bountiful harvest of fresh veggies on the patio, or a plethora of petunias to cascade from a balcony. This may lead you to wonder whether a vertical garden can be built indoors. Of course you can! With just a couple adjustments, and a little creativity, you can grow beautiful plants from floor to ceiling!
Building an indoor vertical garden is very similar to building one outdoors, with a few exceptions. To build and indoor vertical garden, you will need to:
- Decide what kind of plants you want to grow.
- Make sure that you have adequate light for the plants that you choose. A sunroom, or even a room with a large open window is ideal for most plants. Grow lights can be used to supplement sunlight if needed.
- Choose a design that will work best for your space and your needs. There are lots of options to choose from, from wall mounted pot holders, to stackable self-watering systems.
Building an indoor vertical garden can be very fun and rewarding. Below are more details on the steps above to help make your project a successful one.
Picking the Perfect Plants
Choosing plants that you want to grow is really the first thing that you need to do. Different plants have different space and lighting needs, so this decision will determine what you do in the next steps.
For example, if you want to grow low light houseplants, you don’t have to worry about finding a sunny location. If you would like to have a fresh herb garden to add pizazz to your cooking, then you probably want to try a design that will work best in your kitchen.
While most plants can be grown inside with the correct set up, some are definitely easier to grow than others.
This is a no-brainer, as these plants are made and meant for the indoors. While they can still do well outdoors, using them to add greenery to your home is ideal.
Pothos - One of the most carefree houseplants, pothos do well in almost any environment. They can tolerate low light and dry soil. You can even root a cutting from another plant in a jar of water. Pothos will grow without any soil at all!
Spider Plant – These are also great plants for the beginning gardener. They require only regular watering and are fine in low or indirect sunlight. They are called spider plants because they reproduce by sending out shoots with a ‘baby’ spider plant at the end.
English Ivy - This plant is virtually indestructible. It prefers sun but will do fine in indirect light too. It is an ivy, so looks great planted with a bright flowering plant, like a miniature rose or geranium.
Begonia - A classic flowing houseplant, begonias have been adding color to interiors for years. They prefer bright, indirect sunlight. Be careful not to over water, as too much moisture can cause the plants to rot.
There are so many different herbs to choose from, and almost all of them to exceptionally well indoors, as long as they have plenty of sunlight. They smell amazing and add beauty to your kitchen.
Some of my favorite herbs for growing indoors are rosemary, oregano, thyme, lemongrass, and sage. You can find more information about herbs in my other post How to Make an Indoor Vertical Herb Garden.
Fruit and Vegetables
With the right set up, you can even grow fruits and vegetables indoors. In fact, hydroponically grow tomatoes are usually only grown indoors, as hydroponics requires no soil. Most fruit and vegetables require a lot of sun, and warm temperatures to produce, so you will want to keep this in mind.
Tomatoes- For an indoor vertical garden, your best choice for growing tomatoes are going to be cherry or miniature tomatoes, as they do not take up as much room as regular types.
Leafy Greens- Small greens like lettuce and spinach do very well indoors. While they like full sun, they prefer cooler temperatures of around 70 degrees. Plant several plants a few days apart so you have a constant harvest.
Small Root Crops- Vegetables like carrots, garlic, and onions are all good choices for growing indoors. Most of their growth is also in the spring while it is still cool.
Finding the Right Location
Now that you know what you want to grow, you need to find the best place to set up your vertical garden. This is pretty easy. Do your plants need a lot of light or are they fine with indirect sun?
If your plants do best in indirect sun, then a stand near a window or a windowsill on the side of the house where the sun does not directly hit it will be perfectly fine.
If your plants need a lot of light, or a long warm growing season, then this is where is could get tricky. Your vertical garden will either need to be facing a window that gets a lot of direct light, or you can install grow lights which can provide all of the light that you need.
There are lot of options for installing grow lights, as well as some vertical garden set ups that already have them. One example of the sort of set up that you might want to use is the Roleadro LED Grow Light, Galaxyhydro Series 1000W, which is great for growing vegetables and flowers indoors.
Choosing a Design
Once you know where you want to put your plants, you get to choose what kind vertical garden structure will work best for the space that you have available. There are several kinds that will work well indoors.
Your garden can be as simple as a shelf system that is secured to or mounted on a wall where you can place pots or planters. You can build a shelving unit yourself, or purchase something like this decorative bamboo plant shelf that can hold plenty of planters, as well as hanging baskets.
A hanging plant holder is wonderful for flowers, herbs or vining plants. You can suspend them from almost any location. A really simple version of this type of planter is the Mkono Ceramic Hanging Planter. At a total length of 30 inches, it can be hung in the kitchen window for herbs, or in the corner of a balcony to add a pop of colorful flowers.
Another great option for indoors is the stackable planter. These types of planters come in all shapes and sizes. Each level has pockets for plants which allows you to grow plants with different soil and nutrition needs on the same structure. These kinds of planters are also great for vining plants, like mint, strawberries, or ivy.
This stackable planter by Amazing Creation is a perfect example of this type of growing system. It have five tiers and can hold fifteen plants.
If you are like me, and time gets away from you, it can be easy to forget to water on occasion. A self-watering planter can be the answer to making this particular chore much simpler. A vertical garden like Worth’s Self-Watering Vertical Wall Hanger, has a built-in drip watering system that connects to a standard water faucet.
Caring for Your Garden
Now that you have your plants in place, you need to make sure that you take care of them. Providing adequate water and nutrition, as well as post control is very important.
Most plants need watering regularly. If you are unsure of how often, research for the particular plant, as some plants require more or less water than others.
Plants that are grown in containers have limited resources for nutrition, so you need to make sure that you fertilize then per your plant’s needs. Using a good quality organic fertilizer is ideal, especially since your plants are indoors. This will help to limit the amount of harmful chemicals you could be exposed to.
Believe it or not, indoor plants can still be susceptible to pest, especially if they were transplanted from outdoors. They can cause harm to your plants very rapidly, so if you notice that one is not looking so good, you need to take action immediately. The most common pests to affect indoor plants are aphids, fungus gnat, mealybugs, spider mites, scale insects, thrips, and whiteflies.
Some pests can be removed by hand, but you should treat your houseplants with an organic pest control product to eliminate other issues while keeping your home free of harmful contaminants.
Appreciate Your Handiwork
Once you have completed the steps above, your indoor vertical garden will be ready to enhance your living quarters. Plants can improve air quality and provide color and fragrance to your home, and even improve your cooking!