A quick guide to windowsill gardening

windowsill gardening
The best plants to grow on your windowsillHelinLoikTomson - Getty Images

If you’re short on outdoor space (one in eight British households don't have access to a garden) or you prefer to garden indoors, don't rule out growing herbs and houseplants on your windowsill.

'Having a limited space shouldn’t stop anyone from starting an indoor garden, and in the words of award-winning Chelsea Flower Show garden designer Tom Massey, start small. 'Growing plants can be joyful and provides a connection with nature. If you don’t have a garden consider houseplants to bring that piece of nature indoors, utilise a windowsill to get growing.'

Windowsill gardening is also ideal for novices, those wanting to reap the benefits of gardening or those who are simply looking to flex their green fingers all year round, and not just when the weather outdoors is less than hospitable.

The best plants to grow on your windowsill

• Vegetables

You might have assumed that you can only grow vegetables outside in a vegetable patch or large container, but plenty of veggies can in fact thrive in small indoor spaces. Kale, tomato, radish, peppers and chillies can flourish on your windowsill if given the correct care. Imagine growing your own instead of having to buy it at the supermarket?

bok choy and a chilli plant potted and growing on a wooden window sill of a home during the day
Photo by Joel Sharpe

• Fruit

While you might not be able to grow as many as you would outside, fruits can also be grown indoors, but the challenge is that some varieties grow too big and tall to fit on a windowsill. 'Strawberries and blueberries are the best bet for a smaller space, but they need access to sunlight and plenty of water,' the gardening experts at Garden Buildings Direct explain.

windowsill gardening
Dmitry Koshelev - Getty Images

• Herbs

One of the easiest to grow, having a handful of herbs on your kitchen windowsill will help to make seasoning your favourite dishes all the more easier. Generally, herbs are a great plant to grow indoors because they flourish in small spaces all year round.

Basil, mint, parsley and chives are simple to grow in containers straight from seeds, whereas rosemary and oregano are easier to grow from a small plant. It might be wise to start with the ones you’ll get the most use out of and go from there.

close up of green herbs in plant pots in a domestic home

• Houseplants

A great way to bring the outside in, houseplants often thrive in sunny spots, making them perfect for your windowsill. Cacti require little care – give it a quick water every few weeks if the soil gets dry and the cacti will grow perfectly. 'Indoor plants like succulents, yuccas, aloe vera, and others thrive best on a sunny windowsill,' add the experts at British Garden Centres. There are plenty of other options to add some greenery to your living room, kitchen and bedroom too.

a variety of succulents
Adrienne Bresnahan

• Flowers

If you’re looking to add some colour and visual interest to your space, choosing the right flowers can make such a big difference. Beautiful blooms such as orchids, sunflowers, daffodils, geraniums and violets, all grow well indoors.

blooming beautiful pink geranium on the windowsill, pink pelargonium
Getty Images

How to care for windowsill plants

'Windowsills filled with the sun for most of the day are perfect for creating a mini garden inside the home, but there are some secrets to giving plants the best chance of blooming,' say Garden Buildings Direct. 'Place a small saucer or tray underneath the plant pots to collect any spilt soil, or water. Also remember to regularly prune the windowsill plants to ensure their containers and trays aren't overcrowded – as this could ruin or kill them.'

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