Spring has officially sprung (don’t let the snow flurry fool you), which means it’s time to start thinking about surrounding yourself with some green. Of course, most NYC apartments don’t come with garden plots. So what’s an urban gardener to do? First step: Head to WilliamsburgÂ plant paradise Sprout Home and outfit yourself with everything you might need for an indoor garden. Next, talk to Sprout’s resident expert Tassy de Give forÂ tips on keeping a lush garden in the concrete jungle. We got you started.
What’s the biggest challenge for NYC gardeners?
It’s definitely challenging to find space for green indoors without letting plants completely dominate your home, and getting enough sunlight can be difficult in railroaded or shafted apartments.
What are the best plants for a busy schedule?
The Zz plant is great for city apartmentsâ€”it only needs to be watered a few times per month and can do well in low to medium light. Jade plants are also pretty easy, especiallyÂ if you have higher light from a south or west-facing window.
What if I’m low on space?
A lot of beginners will go with pothos plants. They’re good in low to medium light, pretty easy to take care of, and they tend to trail down in a way that makes them beautiful in hanging planters.
What about plants I can eat?
Rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage are all very easy herbs to grow indoors. I’d recommend against basil and lavenderâ€”they need full, direct sun, so they’re better off in an outdoor garden. Microgreens are surprisingly easy to grow indoors, and a creative gardener might even get away with growing arugula or miniature patio tomatoes indoors.
I have some outdoor spaceâ€”how should I use it?
I recommend a combination of evergreen, annual, and perennials in an outdoor garden. Something evergreen, like a cedar or pine, will stay green all year and give you something pretty to look at in the winter. The annuals tend to be more showy and have a longer bloom, so it’s nice to mix both types of flowers so you’ll see different blooms and colors throughout the season. Coleus is a great annual that’s easy to bring indoors in the winter, and cat mint is a perennial with stunningly purple flowers that thrives in sun to partial sun.
It’s officially spring–can I bring my indoor plants outside?
Right now people are getting really excited for springâ€”I have to keep reminding customers that it’s still a little early to start planting outside. We’re probably going to have another couple of frosts before the season is over, and frost could easily kill your plant! Make sure to ask your local garden center how hardy the plants you’re buying are, and always bring plants inside if it’s going to drop below 45 degrees. May is usually the safest time to bring everything out into the elements.
Finally, trendy mason jar gardens: yay or nay?
Mason jar gardens are cute, very trendy, and save a lot of space, but they don’t have holes to let excess water drain out, which can lead to rotting roots. You’re better off with a nice, classic terracotta planter. If you do use mason jars, just make sure to fill the bottom with rocks or pebbles, and be careful not to overwater your plants.
(Photo courtesy of Sprout Home.)