Container gardens

The excuses for not gardening are many, but container gardens virtually eliminate any reasons you have previously had for not cultivating your green thumb.

Too hot outside? Too cold? No worries. A container garden grows indoors, where the temperatures are regulated and the growing conditions are optimal. If you’re comfortable, chances are your plants will be, too.

Container gardens

AeroGarden Container Garden by MiracleGro
Container gardens like AeroGarden are widely popular due to their ease and convenience. Image Credit – AeroGarden (G+)

No yard to dig in? No room for pots on the porch? While outdoor space might be tight, especially if you are living in an apartment or townhome, container gardens are small and compact and easily fit on a countertop or shelf in any room of the house. Think outside the box and add container gardens in your bedroom or bathroom, or at the office on your desk.

  • Hate getting dirty with, well, dirt? Container gardens don’t even have to contain any soil. Many just have water or sand as a growing medium.
  • Can’t bend over easily to tend to a garden? Container gardens are ideal then, as they can be placed in a location that is easy and convenient.
  • Worried about watering? Container gardens often have a no-fuss setup, either with automatic irrigation or little-to-no irrigation needed.

So there are no excuses anymore — just opportunities to add some natural elements into your home. Here are some great ideas for container gardens.

Worry-free gardening

Want to grow food indoors with a container garden? There are plenty of pre-packaged kits now that let you easily grow simple produce, such as herbs or lettuce, right on the tabletop. AeroGarden is among the most popular choices for its ease and convenience. Plants such as kale or cherry tomatoes, or flowering plants such as zinnias, can grow in a container that can be placed anywhere, even in parts of the home that don’t get much sunlight. How? AeroGarden comes with grow lights, providing enough light, even artificially, for the plant to grow. Non-GMO options are available, too, for plants.

Among the easiest container gardens to try are a simple glass of water and plop a plant right in, correct? What if you could use this super simple method to grow some tasty produce for your meals at the same time? It is possible when you re-use kitchen scraps to grow brand new produce on a tabletop. Green onions and celery are among the easiest to propagate with no green thumb necessary. Check out these ideas for turning kitchen waste into new food.

Pets not included

Back To The Roots Water Container Garden
Image Credit – Back To The Roots (Twitter)

Want to add a pet to the family, in addition to a garden? Try the Water Garden from Back to the Roots. This aquaponic container garden is a closed-loop ecosystem. The tiny little fish in the tank feeds the plants (via fish poop) and the plants keep the water clean for the fish. Organic seeds for herbs or lettuce show kids how to grow their own food – or are just a source of relaxation for adults grabbing a cup of coffee and watching the fish swim around.

Room for mushrooms

For the ultimate no-fuss, no-muss container garden that provides edible food, how about growing mushrooms in used coffee grounds? The Mushroom Farm is a fully recyclable container garden housed in a cardboard box. Put it on a window sill or other tabletop, mist regularly, and you’ll have mushrooms to use for dinner in no time. When the mushrooms are done growing, simply compost the entire container!

Cookie jar creations

This DIY tutorial from Lowe’s shows how to craft a glass cookie jar into a terrarium. It is super easy to create, beautiful to look at and succulents are among the hardest plants to kill. They require very little water, making this a great tabletop garden landscape for those who tend to forget to water their plants.

Dream bigger

Another tabletop garden that doesn’t require much watering is, ironically, a water-based terrarium. This tutorial from Dream A Little Bigger shows how easy it is to take a glass-covered jar, add some sand and a plant designed for being immersed in the water (think plants for an aquarium – and visit a pet store to purchase them) and let it sit on the tabletop with no worries. The only time you will need to worry about watering is when the water level gets too low, which you can easily see from just looking. No guessing or worrying about over-watering, and no soil to mess with!

Change your decor

Mason Jar DIY Herb Container Garden
Image Credit – Consumer Crafts

Love the look of seeing inside a container garden as it is growing? Consider using mason jars as a decorative addition to your tabletop and plant flowers or herbs inside. The beauty of using mason jars is that they can be corralled in a group for a stunning display, as Consumer Crafts showcases, or separated into individual elements should you need more counter space or want to change the decor. The jars can be reused for a myriad of purposes after your indoor gardening is complete. With no drainage hole, be extra careful to not add too much water, which will pool up at the bottom and create a soggy environment that will kill the plants.

Fairy fun

Want to bring the outdoors inside, but you want to make a design statement with your container garden? Consider fairy gardens, then. These tiny container gardens combine a sense of whimsy with an artistic flair, yet still bring greenery into a space. Fairy gardens are limited only by your imagination. This kitchen-themed fairy garden not only repurposes old kitchen items such as cookie cutters and butter knives, but is a one-of-a-kind conversation piece when friends come over and hang out while food is being prepared.

There’s always room

Still think you have no room for a container garden? Well, if you can fit a spice jar on a countertop or by the bathroom sink, then you can add a garden to your home. This super-compact terrarium made in a repurposed spice jar from Target shows just how easy tabletop gardening can truly be.

No matter whether you’re looking to dabble in indoor gardening or you’re a certified pro looking to take your gardening to the next level, container gardens are a great option to consider

Feature image credit yarygin/Shutterstock

By Kimberly Button

Kimberly Button is the author of The Everything Guide to a Healthy Home and the Editor-in-Chief of GetGreenBeWell , featuring modern, sane ideas for living a non-toxic life. A professional journalist for nearly two decades, Button has written for magazines such as Martha Stewart's Whole Living, American Airlines, AAA, Sierra, National Geographic Traveler, and Vegetarian Times. Visit for more information.