Whether you’re looking to embrace greenery throughout the cooler months, or wish to spruce up your home’s interior with a few plants, windowsill gardens are a great way to grow everything from succulents to herbs in your home and office.
So whether you want to make the most of your space, add some colour, or just take on a new project, here’s how you can get started…
What is a windowsill garden?
First things first, what is a windowsill garden? In a nutshell, it’s a collection of plants or shrubs you grow on a windowsill, either in a hanging window box or in a set of containers indoors.
Windowsill gardens are also a great option for those who have little space to work with or who live in an apartment without a garden.
What do you need for a windowsill garden?
A windowsill garden is easy to grow and is low-maintenance. To grow your own, you’ll need a sun-facing window, containers with drainage holes, and a little bit of patience. You’ll also need to pick a window that is sturdy!
Sunlight: The windowsill you pick should be privy to a minimum of five hours of sunlight each day. This encourages plants that require full sunlight to thrive.
Containers: To grow plants on your windowsill, you’ll need to invest in a container that fits in the space available. You can use anything from single clay pots to a makeshift wooden box, provided that the containers boast drainage holes to allow water to drain into trays below.
Maintenance: As well as regular watering, you’ll need to occasionally harvest or prune your plants. This will avoid any overcrowding issues.
From grow lights to hydroponic equipment, there are many ways to make indoor windowsill plants thrive.
Fortunately, you won’t necessarily need any such equipment, as indoor plants are easier than you think to grow and are an extremely viable option if you’re wishing to add a splash of colour and fragrance to your home.
Windowsill gardens are also great all year round, are extremely cost-effective, and with a little care can bloom time and time again.
Windowsill gardening for beginners
If you’re a beginner grower, fear not! Windowsill gardening is a great way to add greenery to your home be it herbs, plants, or flowers. When starting out, think about the light requirements as previously mentioned.
This is especially important if growing a windowsill garden in the winter months, which is why a south-facing window is always the best option.
To begin growing plants on a windowsill, growers should think carefully about what types of plants they wish to grow. This will allow them to pick pots that are of the appropriate shape and size.
Opt for herbs or leafy greens as these tend to thrive in windowsill gardens, as they’re able to withstand varying levels of sunlight.
Plants that necessitate lots of sunlight (more than five or six hours) may find it a challenge to grow in a windowsill garden, especially during the winter.
Once you have picked the plants and their containers, fill each pot with quality potting soil. When doing so, check each pot has a suitable number of drainage holes.
Once the pots have been filled with soil, transplant the plants or sow the seeds directly into the container. Before placing your new plants on the windowsill, water the plants well and continue to do so on a weekly basis thereafter, or as and when required depending on the plant species.
If unsure, check the top layer of the soil, to determine whether it is dry. Remember that too much water can cause root rot and disease, which is why the soil must drain properly.
Which plants work best for a windowsill garden?
There are a huge number of plants suited to windowsill gardens and the following are among those known to thrive.
Herbs are one of the most prevalent options for windowsill gardens. This is because the majority of herbs grow extremely well in small spaces. When planting several herbs together, try to group them together depending on their watering needs.
Basil, parsley, and cilantro, for instance, require moist soil at all times, while thyme, chives, sage, oregano, and rosemary can withstand much drier environments.
Mint and tarragon grow in a much speedier fashion, complete with wild roots. If left unattended, these herbs can overtake other plants, which is why it’s wise to plant them in separate containers.
If your windowsill doesn’t benefit from an entire five hours of sunlight per day, opt for leafy greens, as these thrive in just two to three hours of light per day.
The likes of loose-leaf lettuce is a great option, especially for beginner gardeners, closely followed by spinach, as both are relatively easy to grow and look after.
Legumes, such as peas and beans, are extremely low-maintenance and are considered ideal for windowsill containers.
Small root vegetables
Carrots and radishes require very little space and are also edible; simply chop them up and add them to salads.
These easy-to-grow plants enjoy warm temperatures that are consistent. For best results, avoid overwatering them as this can cause diseases such as root rot, which will ultimately kill your plants.
If you fear you have overwatered, you should consider replanting your succulents and removing any mushy sections of the roots.
If you wish to grow plants that offer both fragrance and aesthetics, as opposed to sustenance alone, there are numerous flowers to choose from, especially if you have a sunny windowsill to hand.
Popular choices include daffodils, hyacinths, geraniums, African Violets, and cyclamens.
Tomatoes are a must in any home windowsill garden. They’re extremely fast-growing and require little maintenance. Growing tomatoes, when done correctly, can be extremely rewarding.
For best results, opt for dwarf varieties to keep growth manageable and ensure they have a trellis or cage in place to allow them to grow in a structured way.