11 Common Plants for Small Container Gardens

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potted onions and other plants

Small container gardens are becoming more popular now that a lot of people are choosing to live in smaller homes and apartments. One of the things that really bummed me out when I first started living in my first apartment was having to give up my large backyard garden. However, I eventually learned that many plants can successfully grow in small containers and my balcony soon flourished with greenery.

If you’re looking to make your own small container garden, it’s good to know which plants are the easiest to grow with limited space. Fortunately a lot of varieties, including fruits, vegetables, and flowers will thrive even in small containers such as pots and baskets.

1. Tomatoes

A lot of people enjoy growing their own fruits and vegetables. Luckily for apartment dwellers and tiny home owners, tomatoes can easily be grown in any size container depending on which variety you prefer. For example, if you enjoy munching on cherry tomatoes, you can grow them in just about any size pot or basket, but if you like beefsteak tomatoes, make sure to get a sturdier container to accommodate its larger size. No matter what tomato variety you grow, make sure to add a cage to the outside of the container to give it extra support.

2. Herbs

Pretty much every herb can be grown in a small container garden. Basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage, and even chives can all thrive in individual pots, or one larger pot together. You can grow them either outdoors, or indoors all year round, but if you decide to grow them inside just make sure to put them in a window where they will get plenty of sun.

3. Strawberries


Strawberries are one of the best and easiest plants to grow in a container. In fact, they even do exceptionally well indoors, so you can enjoy fresh strawberries all year long. Just make sure when growing these fruits that they get plenty of sun and are harvested regularly to allow room for more growth.

4. Cucumbers

To grow cucumbers in a container, you should grow them vertically to get the most out of your plant. Add a cage or even a post to allow the vines to climb. Although any type of cucumber can grow in a container, the best varieties include midget picklets, spacemasters, and bush hybrids. And, like with most vegetable plants, you should harvest them often to allow more to grow.

5. Zucchini

Believe it or not, pretty much all types of squash can be grown in pots or baskets. They are very hardy plants and easy to grow, even for people who don’t have green thumbs. If you enjoy eating squash, like zucchini, just plant your seeds in any pot and watch them thrive!

6. Leafy Vegetables


If you enjoy making up fresh salads regularly, why not add spinach, kale, and lettuce to your urban garden? In fact, some garden centers actually sell containers with a variety of leafy vegetables already planted together. Or you can grow them separately if you prefer. Either way, give them lots of sunlight and water and you’ll be eating healthy greens as often as you like.

7. Spider Plant

Of course, not all plants for potted gardens have to be a fruit or a vegetable; sometimes it’s nice just to have something decorative. Spider plants are one of the most common plants for container gardens because they are easy to care for and are known for helping clean the air in your home. All you need to do is provide it with well-drained soil, bright sunlight, and a bit of water now and then.

8. Snapdragon

Another great plant to add to your small garden is a snapdragon. These are hardy plants that grow straight and tall, have colorful blooms that look fantastic when mixed with a variety of other flowers or on their own, and even self seed.

9. Pansy

pansy closeup

Pansies are probably one of the most common potting plants ever, most likely because they can be planted alongside everything from vegetables to herbs to ferns and other flowering plants. These pretty flowers are easy to grow and can last all year long when kept inside.

10. English Ivy

English ivy is a fast-growing plant that looks amazing in hanging baskets because of its long, dangling branches. However, since it is a climbing plant, it looks really good when you give it a place to thrive as a vine as well. English ivy also does a great job at cleaning the air of formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide, making it a terrific houseplant to have around.

11. Fern

The last item on this list of common container garden plants is the fern. Ferns are leafy plants that do best in the shade, so if you have a balcony or apartment that doesn’t get a lot of sun, you can still enjoy the benefits of having a houseplant by getting a fern. One thing to remember when planting one of these in a pot is to add rocks to the soil to provide it with adequate drainage.

Now that you have a place to start, it’s time to fill your small home with vibrant greenery!

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