I never grew up taking care of plants and the one little plant that I had in college survived for a total of 8 days before I killed it. Because of my lack of knowledge and my fatal attempt, I always told people I didn't have a green thumb. However, when my mom bought me my first house plant 2 years ago (I can't believe I've kept it alive so long!!!), I fell in love with the idea of having plants in our home.
BUT, we live in a condo/apartment right now that has made being a plant mama and gardening a huge challenge. Our apartment has a balcony with an over-hang, so our main source of light for the living room must travel a long way to hit my plants. We also have no windows in the kitchen and no shelf or counter space near the windows in our master bedroom. With limited options for plant homes, it has been difficult keeping them alive (I've already killed 2 on accident!).
Below are some ideas to help improve your apartment planting and gardening skills.
There are 2 things to keep in mind when working with house plants in an apartment: location and mobility. Let's assume you are like me and don't have very many options on locations for your plants. Oliver has a dresser in his room near a window that can house some greenery (see below) and I have one bookshelf in the living room that gets a smidge of consistent light hitting it. That is not enough space to fuel my plant love. So, instead LOOK UP. Hanging plants are the way to go. They don't take up any table space and can be hung near windows that don't have viable surface area. The philodendron above was a gift from a friend when it was a baby and I love watching it hang there and grow! As soon as we move, I want plants hanging in every corner of our house!
The planter above was made by Virginia from ViCeramics Etsy shop in London. Here stuff is adorable and I want her to custom make me some pieces when we move. If you don't see the size you want in her shop, just message her and she can custom make something for you!
The second thing to consider is mobility. Plants don't have to stay in one place! I have a certain corner of the house that looks so nice with a plant in it but it gets barely any sunlight. Instead of ruling it out as a plant home, I just move the plant into direct sunlight a few times a week. Before I leave for work in the mornings, I put the plants that don't get enough light outside or on the floor near a window. When I get home, I just move them back! Don't forget that your plants can be move around to ensure that they get enough light.
The other thing that I have been dying to do is grow a vegetable and herb garden. However, I don't know the first thing about gardening, don't have a window in my kitchen to put herbs on, and don't have a garden space at our apartment. If this sounds like you, you need to try Sproutbrite! This company sends a box with seeds for planting as well as detailed instructions about how to plant and care for you babies. I got the herb garden kit and can't say enough good about it.
They 100% percent took care of the "not knowing how to garden" aspect of my problem. All that I needed in addition to the Sproutbrite box was some soil and mini planters.
Since it is only February, I have only been allowed to plant Sweet Basil so far. I used a planter from Marissa Grana that you have seen before - here - because I killed it's plant by over watering it - oops. I plan to pot all of my herbs in this small little planters. It won't allow them to grow very large, but in our small space, I can't have 10 big planters just sitting around! So now I have solved the problem of not knowing how to garden and not having a garden plot.
The only other problem that apartment people face is a lack of natural light for their mini potted gardens. Remember my tip about moving your plants above? You can do this with your garden as well. When it is nice weather outside, I move my little sweet basil baby to the balcony. When it is too cold to be outside, I move her to my kitchen counter or on the floor by the window when we leave the house.
If you are scared by your lack of knowledge, lack of space, or lack of sunlight - you can't use those excuses anymore because I just gave you easy solutions! Seriously, go to the Sproutbrite website and get yourself a kit. They have boxes for planting fruits and vegetables and wildflowers as well.
In summary: Hang plants, move plants around, get small planters, and check out Sproutbrite!
No Excuses - Happy Planting!
For some more resources, Greg from The Loyal Gardener has a great article on "Square Foot Gardening" that you could use to make a garden on a balcony!
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I am 25 years old with a 2 year old son and a wicked handsome husband living in Birmingham, Alabama.