Houseplants That Look, and Are, Good Enough to Eat

THE TED LARE LOOK
growing edible houseplants indoors

Most of the time, houseplants and edible plants are on different ends of the gardening spectrum. But increasingly, people are starting to recognize the natural beauty of many edible plants. Here are some of our favorites.

Herbs

People have been growing herbs indoors for years, but recently it has become even more popular. Things like countertop hydroponic systems with built-in grow lights have made it even easier to grow fresh, tasty herbs indoors

Not all herbs like to grow indoors, though, and some can be downright difficult. The easiest herbs to grow indoors include: 

  • Bay  
  • Chervil 
  • Chives  
  • Mint 
  • Oregano 
  • Parsley  
  • Rosemary 
  • Thyme 
  • Lemon balm   
  • French Tarragon
  • Sage 

Basil is another edible herb that can also be grown indoors, but it can be challenging. If you buy a pot from the grocery store, it will be packed full of plants fighting for space and nutrients. Your best chance of keeping it alive and happy is to immediately divide it into several small chunks and plant them into their own pots. 

Some herbs that really don’t want to grow indoors include dill, fennel, chamomile, and lavender

growing edible microgreens indoors

Microgreens 

Microgreens are a popular alternative to growing sprouts at home. The risk of salmonella is much lower with microgreens than with sprouts. You can grow quite a lot at once, and they’re a fun way to add interesting new flavors and more zing to salads or sandwiches. You can grow almost any vegetable as microgreens, including: 

  • Amaranth 
  • Arugula  
  • Basil   
  • Beets 
  • Broccoli 
  • Buckwheat 
  • Cabbage 
  • Chards 
  • Chia 
  • Cilantro 
  • Endive 
  • Fenugreek 
  • Kale 
  • Lettuce 
  • Mizuna 
  • Mustard 
  • Peas 
  • Radish 
  • Spinach 
  • Watercress

Microgreens can be grown on a large scale in seed flats, using succession planting, so you always have beautiful carpets of greens available, or you can grow them on a smaller and prettier scale in beautiful houseplant growing containers.

Ornamental Peppers

Ornamental peppers feature brightly colored tiny peppers in red, green, yellow, and purple. As the peppers mature, many will change color. They’re called ornamental mostly because they’re so dang cute. The peppers are safe to eat but we must caution—they can be HOT! You may decide to simply enjoy their indoor beauty.

Growing edible Meyer lemons indoors

Meyer Lemon 

Growing your own citrus indoors has become hugely popular over the last year, and Meyer lemons are the perfect dwarf candidate. The fruits are small and may take a few years before the fruit starts growing, but they’re beautiful and tasty. 

Citrus trees indoors do need some particular care to ensure fruiting. They need humidity, lots of sunshine, consistent watering, air movement (consider running a fan nearby), and fertilizer. Citrus plants will also benefit from a summer vacation outdoors, as long as you make sure to keep up with watering and fertilizing, so they don’t dry out. 

Growing Edible Ginger Indoors

Ginger

Ginger is another plant that you can grow and harvest indoors. Like lemons, it will require a little patience before you’ll harvest it, but it’s pretty easy to grow. Ginger needs a fairly wide pot, but it can be pretty shallow. With any luck, once your ginger plant matures, you’ll get some gorgeous flowers, too! 

Try growing some edible plants indoors this year, whether you’ve got an outside gardening space or not. It’s a fun new challenge to try, and a way to add some more diversity to your indoor plant collection—with some tasty recipe additions, too! Whether you want to grow a citrus tree, or set up a full-blown microgreen operation, we’ve got what you need to get your indoor edible plant garden started, including dwarf citrus trees, so you won’t have to wait years growing them from seed.

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The Ted Lare Look

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