Indoor Gardening for Beginners: How to Start Planting Your Own Vegetable Garden

There was a time when everyone grew their own food. It was a way to ensure that you had a sustainable source of nutrition, and it was also a way to connect with nature.

But over the years, we have lost touch with our roots. We have become reliant on grocery stores and supermarkets to provide us with our food. This is not good for our health, nor is it good for the environment. We need to start growing our own food again!

Here’s what you’ll find here.

Planteli is full of indoor gardening tips for an indoor gardening beginner. Even if you have no experience with gardening, we will help you get started with your own indoor garden.

In this beginner’s guide, we’ll share with you everything you need to know to start your indoor garden. Trust us, it’s easier than you think!

Our blog is for you if:

  • You want to start a vegetable garden indoors
  • You want to save money on groceries
  • You think it’s a shame to let good food go to waste
  • You are interested in sustainable living
  • You want to eat healthier

Who are we?

I am an indoor gardeners passionate about sustainable living and healthy eating. I started Planteli as a way to share my knowledge with others who want to start growing an indoor garden and grow their own food.

When I first started indoor gardening, I was convinced that I would never be able to keep any plant alive. I had a history of killing even the hardiest of houseplants! But with some guidance and a lot of trial and error, I eventually found success. Now, I have a thriving indoor garden full of vegetables, herbs, and even some fruit trees. It’s been a truly rewarding experience, and I’m excited to share what I’ve learned with others who are just starting out.

Why indoor gardening?

To truly understand the importance of indoor gardening, we must first recognize the current state of our food system. Many fruits and vegetables found in grocery stores are grown using harmful pesticides and shipped from far-off locations, resulting in a significant carbon footprint. Furthermore, the nutritional value of store-bought produce is often diminished due to the long journey it takes from farm to table. By growing our food at home, we not only eliminate these issues but also gain the satisfaction of producing our own fresh and healthy food.

Here are many reasons why indoor gardening is a great idea.

  • For one, you don’t need too much space. Even if you live in a small apartment, you can still grow a lot of food in an indoor garden. We hear of many people that think they can only grow herbs in their sunny window, but the reality is that you can grow almost anything. Well, almost everything, after all, you will not grow a pecan tree indoors ;-).
  • Another great reason to start indoor gardening is that you can control the environment. This is especially important if you live in an area with a harsh climate (which is the new reality to many due to climate change).
  • Growing your food indoors can protect your delicate plants from extreme weather conditions. Actually, indoor gardening also allows you to extend the growing season so that you can enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables all year round!
  • It also provides the opportunity to grow a wider variety of plants, including those that may not be suitable for outdoor gardening in your area.
  • In addition, gardening has been shown to have therapeutic benefits, such as reducing stress and anxiety and improving overall well-being. It’s a great hobby for those looking to improve their mental and physical health while also enjoying the beauty of nature in their home.
  • Growing your own food indoors can save you +$500 per year on groceries and can significantly reduce your carbon footprint by eliminating the need for transportation of produce from far-off locations.

Common Challenges Faced by Indoor Gardeners and How to Overcome Them

While indoor gardening has many benefits, it is not without its challenges. Here are some common issues you may face when growing plants indoors, and how to overcome them:

Pest Control:

Indoor plants are not immune to pests, and it can be challenging to control them in an indoor environment. The most common pests that affect indoor plants are spider mites, mealybugs, and fungus gnats.

Temperature and Humidity Control:

Temperature and humidity levels are crucial for the health of your indoor plants. Low humidity levels can cause the plants to dry out, while high humidity can promote the growth of mold and mildew.

Nutrient Deficiencies:

Plants need a variety of nutrients to grow, and deficiencies can lead to stunted growth or even death. Common nutrient deficiencies include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

By being aware of these common challenges and taking steps to address them, you can ensure the success of your indoor garden.

Choose the type of your indoor garden

There are a few Common Types of Indoor Gardening:

Hydroponic Garden

Hydroponic growing is perfect if you want to get started with indoor gardening but don’t have much space or don’t want to deal with dirt.

Studies have shown that hydroponic systems can produce up to three times more yield than traditional soil-based gardens. Additionally, hydroponic systems can be designed to provide plants with the exact amount of nutrients they need, resulting in higher nutrient content in the plants.

You only need a hydroponic system, water, and a nutrient-rich solution.

Read more: Hydroponics vs. Soil

Aeroponic Garden

Aeroponic gardening is a type of hydroponic gardening where the plants are suspended in air and their roots are misted with a nutrient-rich solution. This method is known for being very efficient as it uses less water and nutrients compared to other methods, and it also allows for faster plant growth.

By misting the roots, the plants are able to absorb the necessary nutrients and water directly through their roots. In addition to being efficient, aeroponic gardens are also space-saving, making them a great option for those with limited space.

However, aeroponic systems can be tricky to set up and maintain, requiring a good understanding of the necessary equipment and nutrient solutions.

Soil-Based Garden

Probably the easiest one to set up. All you need is a container (with a drainage hole), some potting mix, and just a few plants!

This method is perfect for beginners as it is relatively easy and requires no special equipment.

Read more: Vegetable Container Gardening Guide


Aquaponics is another type of indoor gardening system that combines hydroponics with aquaculture. In this system, fish are raised in a tank and the waste they produce is converted into nutrients for the plants. The plants then absorb these nutrients, filtering the water for the fish. This creates a closed-loop system that requires less water and nutrients compared to traditional hydroponic and soil-based gardening.

Aquaponics is a sustainable and efficient method of indoor gardening that can produce both fresh vegetables and fish for consumption. It’s a great option for those looking for a complete indoor ecosystem.

What are the 3 crucial things to consider in growing indoor plants?

In this beginner’s guide, we will share with you the three most important things to consider when growing indoor plants:

Pick the right location

When growing indoors, the location of your plants is vital for two reasons: sunlight and temperature. Choosing the right location for your indoor garden will depend on the type of indoor garden you want to create.

  • If you’re growing hydroponically, you’ll need a place where you can set up your water reservoir and grow lights.
  • If you’re growing in containers, find a place in your home that gets enough light (preferably natural). A windowsill is usually a good choice for small indoor gardens.
  • If you’re using grow tents, you can set them up anywhere in your home with enough space. Ensure that the area is well-ventilated and that you have a power outlet nearby.

Get the right supplies

Before you get started, you’ll need to get the right supplies for your indoor garden.

If you’re growing hydroponically or aeroponically, you’ll need the following: 

  • Hydroponic System – A system that will deliver water and nutrients to your plants. Different types of systems are available, so research to find the one that’s right for you. You can make your own DIY system, but buying one is usually easier (and less messy).
  • Aeroponic System – A system that will mist your plants with a nutrient-rich solution. Again, there are different types of systems available.

If you’re growing in containers, you’ll need:

  • Pots or containers – Pick the right size pot or container for your plant. If you’re growing vegetables, make sure the pot is big enough for the plant to grow to its full size.
  • Potting mix – A potting mix is a type of potting soil specifically designed for indoor plants. It’s usually lighter and has more drainage than regular garden soil. A typical potting mix comprises peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. 
  • Fertilizer – Fertilizer is not always necessary, but it can help many plants to grow more quickly. If you’re using fertilizer, make sure to get one that is specifically designed for edible plants.
  • Pest control – You’ll also need some pest control supplies, just in case your indoor garden becomes infested with pests. Some common indoor garden pests include fungus gnats, mealybugs, and spider mites.

Other accessories your may need:

A grow tent – Grow tents come in all sizes for different needs. They can fit hydroponics and potted plants. Choose one that is big enough for the number of plants you want to grow.

Read more:

Get The Best Grow Tent Your Money Can Buy
The 5 Best Grow Cabinet for Hydroponics or Soil Indoor Gardner
8 Best Grow Tent Kit For Complete Gardening Experience (2022)
How to Quickly Build Your Indoor Room: Grow Tent Setup Guide

Grow light – Grow lights are necessary if you don’t have a lot of natural sunlight in your home. They are providing artificial lighting that simulates sunlight.

Read more:

Grow Lights for Herbs: Buying Guide and 7 Product Reviews
How To Make Grow Lights For Indoor Plants

Fan – A fan is necessary to circulate the air inside your grow tent. This will help to prevent mold and mildew from growing.

Read more: – Control The Temperature of Your Garden With This Grow Tent Ventilation Guide

Thermometer and Hygrometer – A thermometer and hygrometer are devices that you can use to measure the temperature and humidity inside your grow tent.

PH test kit – You’ll need a PH tester to test the acidity or alkalinity of your grow medium or water.

Read more: How to Use A Tester, Strips, Vinegar, or Cabbage to Test Your Soil pH

Pick the right plants

indirect light for growing herbs

One of the best things about having an indoor vegetable garden is that you can grow just about any plant, regardless of the climate. Some plants are better suited for indoors than others. When choosing plants, it’s essential to consider the amount of light and space you have.

One of the questions I often get is what are the easiest vegetables to grow indoors and what is a good beginner plant. The thing is, there is no one answer to that question. It depends on a few factors, such as the amount of light and space you have, the type of indoor garden you’re growing, and your personal preferences, such as what you like to eat 🙂

Different plants produce varying yields when grown indoors. For example, lettuce can produce up to 2.5 pounds per square foot in an indoor garden, while tomatoes can yield up to 5 pounds per plant. Knowing the yield of different plants can help you plan your garden and estimate how much food you can expect to harvest.

Grow Your Own Food Indoors: Find Out How Many Plants Per Person You Need

Here are a few general gardening tips:

  • Start with plants that are easy to grow indoors, such as herbs, lettuce, or tomatoes.
  • If you’re short on space, try growing plants that can be grown vertically, such as climbing vining plants or pole beans.
  • If you want to grow fruits or vegetables that need pollination (such as cucumbers or squash), you’ll need to hand-pollinate them.

Some popular posts on plants that you can grow indoors:

Gardening Basics

When we just got started, there were a lot of terms and techniques that we had to learn in order to be successful indoor gardeners. Here are a few of the basics for indoor gardening for beginners:

Gardening Terms

  • Transplanting – Moving a plant from one container to another. Transplanting is typically done when a plant has outgrown its current pot.
  • Transplanting – Moving a plant from one container to another. Transplanting is typically done when a plant has outgrown its current pot.
  • Harvesting
  • The process of collecting fruits, vegetables, or herbs from your garden.
  • Plant root system – The part of the plant responsible for anchoring the plant in the ground and absorbing water and nutrients.
  • Stem – The part of the plant that supports the leaves and flowers. Stems can be either hollow or solid.
  • Leaf – The part of the plant responsible for photosynthesis or converting sunlight into energy.
  • Flower – The part of the plant that produces seeds. Not all vegetables have flowers, but most fruits do.

Plant Stages

organic potting soil

A plant has different stages of its life cycle:


This is the first stage of a plant’s life cycle. Seeds are encased in a hard shell containing all the nutrients a plant needs to grow.


The process of a seed sprouting and starting to grow. Young plants that have just germinated are called Seedlings. Seedlings are delicate and must be carefully cared for to grow into healthy plants. Depending on the plant, germination can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

The vegetative stage 

This is the stage of a plant’s life cycle when it grows leaves and stems. This is the stage where most plants need the most light.

Flowering stage

the stage of a plant’s life cycle when it is producing flowers. Flowering plants typically need less light than during the vegetative stage.

The fruiting/harvesting stage 

The final stage of a plant’s life cycle when producing fruits or vegetables. This is the stage when most plants are ready to be harvested. Care

Taking Care of Your Plants

potted plants

Just like an outdoor garden, houseplants thrive indoors when each plant receives different care that matches that plant’s needs. Here are a few important things to remember and essential plant care tips:

Regular Watering

All plants need water, but how much is enough water depends on the plant. Excess water is one of the most common mistakes made when caring for plants. Overwatering is just as bad as underwatering, so check the soil before you add water to your plants. We recommend having a watering schedule and sticking to it as much as possible.


As we mentioned before, all plants need light to grow. However, too much direct sunlight or too little light can harm plants. If you’re unsure how much light your plant needs, starting with a lower natural light level and gradually increasing the amount of light exposure is best. If you do not have enough light in your space, you can use grow lights to supplement the light.


Nutrients are critical for plant growth. The best way to provide nutrients for indoor plants is through fertilizer (or plant food). It’s essential to use the right fertilizer for your plants. Different plants need more fertilizer than others, and others plants require no fertilizer.

When you’re unsure how often to fertilize your plants, it’s best to start with a low-nitrogen fertilizer and increase the amount of fertilizer as needed. You should also ensure to only fertilize when your plants are actively growing.

Temperature and humidity

Temperature and humidity can also affect indoor growth. Most plants prefer a temperature between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit and a 40-50% humidity level. If the air in your home is too dry, you can use a humidifier to increase the humidity level. And if it’s too humid, you can use a dehumidifier or grow plants that thrive in high-humidity environments.


Pruning is the process of trimming dead or dying leaves and stems from your plants. Pruning not only makes your plants look better but also helps plants grow more vigorously. You should prune your plants regularly, especially if they are growing quickly. Pruning is done when a plant is in the vegetative stage. 

Pest Control

Like outdoor plants, indoor garden plants can also be susceptible to pests. The best way to prevent pests is to regularly inspect your houseplants and look for signs of pests. Common indoor plant pests include fungus gnats, mealybugs, scale insects, spider mites, and more.

The good news is that there are a few things that you can do to prevent problems:

  • Inspect your plants regularly for signs of pests or disease.
  • Quarantine new plants before adding them to your garden.
  • Keep your plants clean and free of debris.

If you find pests on plants indoors, there are several ways to get rid of them. You can use pesticides, but make sure to choose a pesticide that is safe for indoor use. You can also try using natural pest control methods, such as making your own insecticidal soap or using beneficial insects like ladybugs or lacewings.


Diseases are another problem that an indoor gardener may face. And yes, we have faced them quite a lot lately with our indoor plants. We’ve had indoor plants die from root rot, powdery mildew, and other diseases.

The best way to prevent diseases is to keep your indoor garden clean. If you find a plant with a disease, you can try treating it with a fungicide or other pesticide. You can also try removing the affected leaves or stems.

You will face common diseases during your indoor gardening journey, including powdery mildew, root rot, and leaf spot.

However, there are a few things you can do to prevent diseases:

  • Water your plants at the base of the plant instead of from above
  • Don’t let water sit on the leaves of your plant
  • Remove any dead or dying leaves from your plant
  • Avoid using too much fertilizer
  • Sterilize your soil before planting

With some care and attention, indoor gardening can be a fun and rewarding hobby. By following the tips in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to starting your own indoor garden. Remember to have patience, as it takes time and practice to master. Soon, you’ll harvest fresh fruits and vegetables and have a thriving indoor herb garden!

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