Indoor gardening: 13 wonderful ways to let nature into your inside space

Create the indoor garden of dreams with a little help from us. Whoever said growing and planting should only ever be done outside was wrong...

indoor gardening: house plants
(Image credit: Dee Campling)

It's time for a little apartment therapy, and indoor gardening can provide the answer. Especially in recent times, when more of us are craving nature and simply wanting to feel more in touch with the outdoors, which is not always easy when many of us aren't so lucky to have gardens, or even balconies...

Thankfully, even if your home is a small shady studio, you can invite nature into your space. And, one thing that we can guarantee, is that it will make your surroundings a heck of a lot more delightful (and Instagrammable). 

From elaborate house plant and herb garden displays, to starting seeds off using hydroponics, or even an indoor greenhouse, we have all the options you need to create the indoor garden of your dreams.

  • If you have a little outdoor space, be sure to check out our garden ideas feature for inspiration.

1. Start an indoor herb garden

Ikea hanging baskets for plants

(Image credit: Ikea)

Herbs, naturally, have so much texture to them, and with the added bonus of being both edible and fragrant also, an indoor herb garden is a great starting point for indoor gardeners. 

Make them even more of a feature in your kitchen with the Ikea Bittergurka – perfect if you have a small kitchen and need to save valuable worktop space. You can hook together as many as you need, and then when you need to use them in your cooking or want to have them on hand to garnish your dinner, just can just unhook your herb of choice and pop it on the table. If you are after more small kitchen ideas check out our gallery. 

For pro tips on starting a herb garden indoors and out, be sure to read our feature.

2. Try indoor gardening with hydroponics

hydrophonics kit

(Image credit: Ikea)

Starting your own indoor nursery, – no, we don't mean you should start a career in childcare, but rather seedling-care – is the way to go if you're serious about creating a thriving indoor garden. Hydroponics and indoor cultivation units will let you grow all sorts of plants and vegetables from seed, through to when you can harvest and (hopefully) eat them, all year round. 

These types of units are super modern looking, and will even give you extra lighting if you choose the white light, so they look great in contemporary spaces, and won't take up much room either. All you need to get started is some seeds and a growing kit such as the Växer from IKEA

at home plant nursery

(Image credit: Ikea)

3. Grow your own with a mini indoor greenhouse

small wooden indoor greenhouse

This miniature greenhouse would also make a great option for an indoor herb garden

(Image credit: einrichten-design)

A greenhouse is a gardener's best friend, both indoors and out! Perfect if you want to grow your own and start veggies, fruit and herbs or even flowers off from seed. This miniature greenhouse, with it's simple structure, would also make an eye-catching addition to any Scandi-inspired home, so it's a great option for growing and showcasing your greenery, letting you bring the magic of nature indoors. 

Find it at Einrichten Design and for help on choosing an outdoor greenhouse we can help. 

4. Use trailing house plants to create a living wall

living room with overwhelming collection of houseplants

Spider plants, with their trailing tendencies, are a great alternative to consider if you're trying to recreate this look

(Image credit: Sofa.com)

If you're not fussed about an edible indoor garden, then rest assured that there are so many types of gorgeous indoor plants out there . But if you're looking for a dramatic indoor garden look, similar to that of a living wall, then you should look to trailing house plant varieties. 

Adding living, breathing greenery to your space will instantly perk up the atmosphere – and, not to mention cleanse the air. We love this look for a great alternative to the more traditional gallery wall, and again, if you're short on space  and working with a small living room or other area of your home, adding texture will actually. amplify the space you do have.

5. Use large house plants to create an indoor jungle

small, cosy living room with incredible chesse plant

Find this Brionna two-seater sofa at DFS

(Image credit: DFS)

Want your home to have a raw and natural feel to it? Create a (controlled) indoor jungle with oversized plant life; we'd recommend a humungous Swiss cheese plant as a great starting point. Combined with earth toned furniture, this lively living room idea is a breath of fresh air. 

large tropical plant set against a colourful backdrop of art


(Image credit: Chaplins)

6. Fake it

fake house plants in Adzuna planters

(Image credit: Adzuna)

An indoor garden needn't be complicated, and you can invite greenery in without taking up all your time, and without swamping your surroundings either. Fake plants have stepped up a notch and now you'll find gorgeous and very realistic fake house plants that will really look the part. Team them with a gorgeous plant pots like these Mid-century inspired planters, and this may be all your space needs for a little drama, all minus the upkeep and sure to give you year-round interest (even in shady spots) too. Win.

We have more Mid-century modern decor ideas to inspire you and you can find the Brass Planter with Stand at Audenza. 

deep blue room with bright green chair and brass potted plants

Taller, more dramatic species make the perfect addition to this statement bronze planter and stand

(Image credit: Audenza)

7. Create a tiny indoor garden, in a terrarium

Available in a variety of quirky shapes, terrariums are a simple addition to a sad looking space. We love the unique shape of this Gold Terrarium from Not on the High Street

(Image credit: Debbie Patterson)

Terrariums are incredible things. Cute and complete with their own living and self-nourishing eco-system, pretty remarkable eh? So, if it's all about the detail in your space, then this is the indoor garden idea for you. Fill yours with succulents, moss and the like, and see how it makes the perfect addition to a home office, lonely windowsill or even bedside table. 

Use our step by step guide to find out how to make a terrarium.

8. Hang house plants for a 360-degree indoor garden display

living room with checked sofa and abundant plant life

This Lily Three Seat Sofa from Sofa.com adds to the homely feel of the space 

(Image credit: Sofa.com)

Using all the different levels in your home will help create the illusion of a veritable garden, indoors. And, if you're blessed with high ceilings, choose plants that makes the most of it. You can afford to pick taller, more dramatic species or equally eye-catching trailing varieties without fear of them swamping the room, and hanging plants from the ceiling will make for an all-round stunning display.

9. Succulents are everything

a crows eye view shot of various cacti and succulents on a coffee table

An assortment of pots really adds to the eclectic feel of this house plant display. Find similar at Ikea

(Image credit: Ikea)

The kookiest plants going, succulents come in all shapes and sizes, and they deserve some space in every indoor garden. Not only are they beautiful, but they are also super hardy so you won't be killing these any time soon. Bring a coffee table to life or jazz up your home office space with an assortment of species, sizes and pot style and you will not regret it.

10. Garden indoors, and everywhere

large cacti and smaller plant stored in wicker baskets in bathroom

Whether you use wicker baskets to store logs, blankets or children's toys, consider keeping one for an injection of greenery

(Image credit: Tikamoon)

Remember to spread your indoor garden out around your house, flat or studio as this will give it the ultimate lift.

After all, the beauty of an indoor garden is that you can keep it very much on wheels. So if you're renting and likely to move soon, you won't have to leave anything behind. Wicker baskets work as a great home for house plants and we love the neutral and rugged look these bring to this minimal bathroom above. Find similar storage baskets at House of Bath.

Kitchen breakfast bar withe metal bar stools

(Image credit: Brett Charles)

While this breakfast bar is a perfect example of packing corners in with lots of easy-care, humidity-loving evergreens and herbs (or faux plants if your kitchen's light deprived). Paint the walls in a deep green and you'll accentuate the botanical garden effect further.

We have more colourful kitchen design ideas.

11. Display your indoor garden up the wall

cat sat on a sofa in blush toned space with an abundance of houseplants

For a similar two toned sofa, take a look at Cubit

(Image credit: Cubit)

Styled with blush tones and a varied assortment of plant life, this space has a really beautiful feel to it and is a great use of space. Propped up against the wall, this light blue wire rack offers a simple solution for displaying seedlings, small house plants and the likes. Acting as an eye-catching focal point within the space, this is how to create an indoor garden come feature book shelf.

To achieve a similar look, try Etsy

ladder shelf leant up against the wall with various small plants

The minimalist feel of this ladder shelf offsets the bold intricacy of this French Trochilidae Print, available at Limelace

(Image credit: Lime lace)

12. And, use all your levels

living room area with wooden furniture and house plants by Ikea.

We love the Satsumas Plant Stand from Ikea

(Image credit: Ikea)

Make best use of different levels and you'll draw the eye up, to add loads of height and interest to your surroundings too. While smaller plants can look better clustered together, creating a little space between larger varieties is a great way to display them. Experiment with the positioning of indoor plants to find a combination that works for you.

office space filled with various plants

It has been suggested that plants increase happiness and productivity, so including them in a home office seems like an obvious choice

(Image credit: Furniture Choice)

13. Cluster house plants

hanging ceramic tray with assorted pots and plants

For similar neutral toned, ceramic plant pots, try Beaumonde

(Image credit: Beaumonde)

To keep your indoor garden easy to manage, grouping house plants that have similar needs in terms of light, humidity, temperature and water needs, is a great idea. Not only will it look great, but there will be less to-ing and fro-ing between pots with watering can in hand. In some cases you can even plant house plants, in the same pots, similar to companion planting in outdoor gardening, as they will live simply live together in sweet harmony.

Side note: we love this Bloomingville Flowerpot Tray from Beaumonde.

Garden Trading SS19 Teal Pots on Shelf

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

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