28 Best Indoor Container Gardening Ideas

Another Fine Vine to Train
Photo: Photo: Robbie Caponetto

You can enjoy the outdoors even when you're stuck inside. Bring the earthy greenery, colorful flowers, and intoxicating aromas of your favorite outdoor retreat into your home with an indoor container garden. We're showing you our favorite indoor planter ideas, from playful arrangements of succulents to pots of overflowing vibrant primrose.

No matter the season, there are plenty of ways to bring your garden inside. Indoor planters are easy to create and work in any home area, from the dining room to the den. With tips on maintaining your indoor planters, location recommendations, and design tips, we've made it easy for you to bring these indoor garden ideas to life on your own. Freshen up your home with the glorious textures and colors of your favorite outdoor plants with these 28 creative indoor planter ideas.

01 of 28

Steal the Stage

Steal the Stage

Against a boldly patterned wall like this, a planter must be dramatic enough to hold attention. Dark foliage gives a container impact and gravity. Try pairing greenery, like ferns and palms, with a tall, flowering orchid for the most scenic results.

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. Phalaenopsis orchid
  2. Parlor palm ( Chamaedorea elegans )
  3. Southern maidenhair fern ( Adiantum capillus-veneris )
  4. 'Emerald Ripple' peperomia
02 of 28

Echo Reds and Greens

Echo Reds and Greens
Echo Reds and Greens

Inspired by the wallpaper pattern surrounding the container, this planter celebrates the vibrant color palette. The red florals give an extra third dimension to the wall decor. Pairing an upright grower with a plant that grows horizontally provides a stairstep of color and a diagonal line for the eye to follow.

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. Red flowering kalanchoe
  2. Mahogany fern ( Didymochlaena trunculata )
  3. Episcia ( E. cupreata 'Silver Sheen' )
  4. Spanish moss ( Tillandsia usneoides )
03 of 28

Go Wild with Succulents

Go Wild with Succulents

The thick, waxy foliage of succulent plants seems to have flesh, unlike thinner leaves. Cacti have thorns, but this variety is soft and inviting, giving them presence and appeal—even without flowers. Although they almost appear to be fake, succulents grow satisfyingly fast.

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. Flapjacks ( Kalanchoe thyrsiflora )
  2. 'Spaghetti Strap' agave
  3. 'Hope' peperomia
04 of 28

Experiment with Air Plants

Experiment with Air Plants

Trying air plants ( Tillandsia sp. ) is an excellent way to bring a breath of fresh air to your home's decor. These tropicals love the warm air and regular moisture. Foliage can be delicately textured or thick and comes in greens, silvers, pinks, and reds. Leaves often blush before tiny flowers appear in purples, pinks, or reds.

In the wild, air plants grow on trees and rocks, absorbing moisture through their leaves. (The romantic Spanish moss that hangs from the branches of live oaks in the Coastal South is an air plant.) Because they don't need soil, these textural beauties are great for easy-care terrariums dressed up with aquarium gravel, shells, or pebbles. You can also mount air plants on cork bark or driftwood. Or create a modern look by hanging plants in clear glass globes. (For a great selection of terrarium supplies, visit shopterrain.com .)

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. Hexagonal terrarium
  2. Red air plant ( Tillandsia abdita )
  3. Spanish moss ( Tillandsia usneoides )
05 of 28

Bring Spring Indoors

Bring Spring Indoors
Photo: Hector Sanchez

Here, we've paired an assortment of popular bulbs with an industrial-style galvanized-metal container you might find at a flea market, antique store, or online. Search local garden centers for inexpensive forced bulbs. Select small pots of individually forced bulbs, or look for large containers with multiple blooms for dividing. Make sure to buy healthy, firm bulbs with tightly closed buds. Pack bulbs closely to intensify their fragrance and beauty. Top off your living arrangement with lush, green moss.

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. Dutch hyacinths
  2. Trumpet daffodils
  3. Pink tulips
  4. Grape hyacinths
  5. Miniature daffodils
  6. Green sheet moss
06 of 28

Frame Your Work

Frame Your Work

Container gardening doesn't rely on using a single pot or buying new plants. Gather a few already-planted favorites in complementary colors, and marry them in an attractive tray for an instant arrangement. Choose plants with similar light and watering needs, so they'll live in perfect harmony.

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. Kalanchoe ( Kalanchoe blossfeldiana )
  2. Hydrangea ( Hydrangea macrophylla )
  3. Blue crisp fern ( Polypodium aureum )
  4. 'Kent Beauty' Ornamental hybrid oregano
07 of 28

Enjoy Woodsy Warmth

Enjoy Woodsy Warmth

A mossy basket holds together the lush growth in this woodland arrangement that will help heal your mind, body, and spirit. Add wispy and bold ferns if doily lace-cap hydrangea blooms are not enough. The vine tumbling over the edge adds instant character to this container.

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. 'Shooting Star' hydrangea
  2. Silver lace fern ( Pteris ensiformis )
  3. Silver dollar maidenhair fern ( Adiantum peruvianum )
  4. Creeping fig ( Ficus pumila )
08 of 28

Rotate Your Collection

Rotate Your Collection

Even if conditions aren't perfect (too hot at night or not bright enough by day), you can help them along. Have two pairs of topiaries, such as the myrtles pictured here, and swap them out weekly, so all stay healthy. One is for display, while you have an opportunity to pamper the other. If insects, such as aphids or whiteflies, become a problem, spray them with soapy water, rinse in the kitchen sink, and remove what you can by hand.

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. 'Compacta' myrtle ( Myrtus communis )
09 of 28

Welcome a Green Relief

Welcome a Green Relief

Amid the hard, monochromatic surfaces of life indoors, a leafy garden is a thing to cherish, especially one designed with a rich diversity of leaf sizes, colors, and shapes. No flowers are necessary to enjoy the serenity and comfort of a living work of art right in your living room—or any room.

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. 'Red Dragon' philodendron
  2. 'Vittata' oyster plant ( Tradescantia spathacea )
  3. Peperomia
10 of 28

Collect What You Love

Collect What You Love

Go ahead and overindulge. Succulents are the perfect plant for that. Grouping plants that enjoy the same growing conditions can turn a collection into a showpiece. The varied shapes and colors give these plants season-long interest. A well-chosen container helps this garden appear structurely sound at a distance and beautiful when observed up close.

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. Echeveria
  2. Stapelia
  3. Flapjacks ( Kalanchoe thyrsiflora )
  4. Braided Sansevieria ( S. cylindrica )
  5. 'Aquamarine' pilea
  6. Moses-in-the-cradle ( Tradescantia spathace a)
  7. Hechtia bromeliad
  8. Rhipsalis
  9. Variegated trailing jade plant ( Portulacaria afra 'Variegata' )
  10. Cryptanthus
  11. Hoya
11 of 28

Create with Whimsy

Create with Whimsy

A playful basket is the launching point for this fun arrangement. Orange becomes the theme, taken from the colorfully wrapped rings and fulfilled by a spear of bromeliad and a bouquet of begonia blooms. Both have large leaves, so a finely divided fern and a delicately veined fittonia lend contrast.

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. Rieger begonia
  2. Vriesea bromeliad
  3. 'White Anne' fittonia
  4. 'Florida Ruffle' Boston fern ( Nephrolepis exaltata )
  5. Spanish moss ( Tillandsia usneoides )
12 of 28

Revisit a Classic

Revisit a Classic

Now is the time to stroll down the primrose path. These beauties produce vibrant colors in late winter and early spring, offering shades of blue, purple, red, orange, yellow, pink, white, and more. Primroses thrive in containers, either on the countertop or out on the patio. Add button fern and narcissus for extra fullness, and then finish with a spray of ivy.

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. Tête-à-tête' narcissus
  2. 'Lemon Buttons' fern ( Nephrolepis sp. )
  3. Red, yellow, and purple primroses ( Primula sp. )
  4. Variegated English ivy ( Hedera helix )
13 of 28

Compose a Serene Scene

Compose a Serene Scene

Perfect for shaded summer ease or the muted tones of a contemporary interior, this garden in a pot celebrates the calm of green and white. Bold shapes in both dark green and creamy white provide textural contrast to the other finely cut foliage.

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. White-flowered anthurium
  2. Parlor palm ( Chamaedorea elegans )
  3. Variegated Chinese evergreen ( Aglaonema sp. )
  4. Variegated ivy ( Hedera helix )
14 of 28

Design with Clean Lines

Design with Clean Lines

Try an off-set composition with a tall stem surrounded by a mass of colorful foliage for a unique look. Soft accents of pink (in the orchid and begonia foliage) complement the tones of the metal urn.

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. Fantail willow branch
  2. Phalaenopsis orchid
  3. Calla lily ( Zantedeschia sp. )
  4. Rex begonia
  5. Spanish moss ( Tillandsia usneoides )
15 of 28

Invite Summer Indoors

Invite Summer Indoors

From the sunny yellow walls to the golden, glazed urn, this setting begs for a lush planting featuring warm tones. A long-blooming begonia, as well as fine-textured and variegated foliage, makes this combination work. Note how the small, variegated vine lends definition amid the green foliage.

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. Rieger begonia
  2. Silver lace fern ( Pteris ensiformis )
  3. Autumn fern ( Dryopteris erythrosora )
  4. Variegated creeping fig ( Ficus pumila 'Variegata' )
  5. Asparagus fern ( Asparagus setaceus )
16 of 28

Bring on the Tough Guys

Bring on the Tough Guys

This planting plan will survive in most conditions, so it's perfect for the busy, multitasking gardener. Morning sun or the gentle afternoon shade of tall trees will keep them all happy. Let the soil get moderately dry before watering. Stick a finger in the soil to test whether it's time to water by checking if it feels cool and moist. If it is dry, then it is time to water. (Check soil about half an inch deep).

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. Tillandsia
  2. Stapelia
  3. Rhipsalis
  4. Cryptanthus
  5. 'Aquamarine' pilea
17 of 28

Revive a Wall

This simple planting system transforms any bare vertical spot into a lush living wall. Many outside walls are blank canvases, so decorate them with colorful flowers and foliage. Try this wall planting system that's inexpensive and easy to plant, hang, and maintain. The basic unit ( kinsmangarden.com , $37.95) consists of a frame measuring 14 inches tall and wide by five inches deep, lined with a coco-fiber mat with planting holes cut into the sides and front. As shown here, you can hang two units together to make a rectangle or four to make a square.

Plant the bottom row first by adding some potting mix, soaking the root balls of the assorted foliage in water, and pushing the roots through the holes. Add more soil and plants to the row above to fill out the display. Don't plant the adjacent edges when combining two or more units—you'll squash the leaves in between.

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. Ivy
  2. Nerve plant
  3. Spider plant
  4. Pink arrowhead vine
  5. Variegated dracaena
  6. 'Neon' pothos
  7. Fern
18 of 28

Rely On Leaves

Rely on Leaves

Sometimes, simplicity is best. Even without any flowers, this combination of plants would be lovely day after day because of the handsome foliage and the contrast of big, heart-shaped leaves with the finely cut ferns. Note how the white flowers echo the surface of the glossy white container.

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. White-flowered anthurium
  2. Ferns ( Blechnum sp. )
  3. Spanish moss ( Tillandsia usneoides )
19 of 28

Plant a Little Glass House

Plant a Little Glass House

Terrariums are back, and they are as endearing as ever. There is no better way to minimize care while celebrating plant details. Those with an opening in the glass need more frequent watering, but they reduce the risk of mold developing.

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. Rex begonia
  2. 'White Anne' fittonia
  3. Mosses (gathered on a hike)
20 of 28

Evoke a Foresty Feeling

Evoke the Feel of the Forest

A green, mossy basket imitates a moist, fertile forest floor. Out of it grows a verdant grouping of flowers and foliage. Subtle but essential, the lime-green fern foliage and the light green oregano blooms give the arrangement energy. The watercolor wash of pink in the oregano blooms trails diagonally across from the mauve pineapple lilies to tie the composition together.

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. 'Shooting Star' lace-cap hydrangea
  2. Parlor palm ( Chamaedorea elegans )
  3. Pineapple lily ( Eucomis 'Aloha Lily Leia' )
  4. 'Kent Beauty' Ornamental hybrid oregano
  5. Southern maidenhair fern ( Adiantum capillus-veneris )
21 of 28

Try Ivy Inside

Try Ivy Inside

Fill the void once occupied by holiday decor with this quick fix from your garden center. English ivy topiaries pre-trained on metal forms, like the lollipop and globe shapes above, take up little space but add considerable flair.

To display, line the bottom of a decorative container with plastic. Then slip in the nursery pot—no replanting needed. Top with sheet moss to hide the soil and to create a more finished look. English ivy does best near a bright window and can be enjoyed indoors for short periods if you wet (not mist) the leaves each week to keep them from drying out and inviting spider mites. To water your plant, remove it from the decorative container, water it, let it drain, and return it to the pot. The best way to perk up houseplants is to water them well and then move them outside for a few hours on a warm day.

CONTAINER RECIPE

English ivy ( Hedera helix )

22 of 28

Same Shade Used Three Ways

Use the Same Shade Three Ways

Combining plants of similar colors forms a cohesive look. A bold orange bromeliad echos a cloudlike cluster of kalanchoe and even the tawny new fronds of autumn fern. Because the low urn is visually heavy, the up-facing trumpet of the bromeliad lifts the eye. All others help bring the two together.

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. Guzmania bromeliad
  2. Kalanchoe ( Kalanchoe blossfeldiana )
  3. Mahogany fern ( Didymochlaena trunculata )
  4. Autumn fern ( Dryopteris erythrosora )
23 of 28

Marry the Pot and Plants

Marry the Pots and Plants

A basket made of rustic natural materials holds simple compositions of ferns, mosses, and other greenery. The handle on this basket adds country charm.

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. Mother fern ( Asplenium viviparum )
  2. Rex begonia
  3. Autumn fern ( Dryopteris erythrosora )
  4. Variegated ivy ( Hedera helix )
  5. Spanish moss ( Tillandsia usneoides )
24 of 28

Give Rise to Color

Give Rise to Color

Complementary leaves pair with vibrant flowering plants in this container. This container mimics a garden scene, where the foliage plants, grown in their natural shapes, are chosen to loosen and balance the tall mass of color while subtly concealing the "legs" of the taller plants.

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. 'Orange Star' star of Bethlehem ( Ornithogalum dubium )
  2. Hydrangea ( H. macrophylla )
  3. 'Lemon Buttons' fern ( Nephrolepis sp. )
  4. Echeveria
  5. Variegated ivy ( Hedera helix )
25 of 28

Try This Vertical Version

Try This Vertical Version

Here's a different, trailing take on a vertical wall garden, made possible by a planting frame lined with coco fiber. Choosing plants that grow in trees in their natural habitats will help minimize watering and make the most of the foliage's natural shape (or drape). This planting called for dark, glossy leaves with the same appearance as the blue wall behind them.

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. 'Aquamarine' pilea
  2. Oncidium orchid
26 of 28

Wax Theatrical

Wax Theatrical

The composition of this plant-laden basket leads the eye from the upper left to the lower right. The sweep of upright and trailing plants has the grace of a signature with a flourish, or perhaps a hat tipped just so. It is asymmetrical yet balanced, which is more typical of an arrangement of cut flowers.

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. Silver lace fern ( Pteris ensiformis )
  2. Pink flowered calla lily ( Zantedeschia sp. )
  3. Southern maidenhair fern ( Adiantum capillus-veneris )
  4. 'Glacier' ivy
27 of 28

Perfect a Color Combo

Perfect a Color Combo

Threading a single color through a container garden is like accenting a color in your clothing with a scarf or tie. It pulls it all together. In this basket, the purply pink of pineapple lilies appear again in the calla lilies, and the edges of the oregano blooms.

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. Calla lily
  2. Pineapple lily ( Eucomis 'Aloha Lily Leia' )
  3. 'Kent Beauty' Ornamental hybrid oregano
  4. Autumn fern ( Dryopteris erythrosora )
  5. Spanish moss ( Tillandsia usneoides )
28 of 28

Garden Under Glass

Garden Under Glass

Peek through the glass to see a little magic—vibrant color guaranteed to brighten winter's gray light. Choose a glass container with an opening wide enough for your hand to make a terrarium. Gently add an inch or two of washed, fine gravel. Top gravel with a thin layer of activated aquarium carbon. (You'll find both at your local pet store.)

Next, add moistened potting mix, and you'll be ready to plant. Create a collection of plants, or showcase just one. Good choices include ferns, succulents, mosses, miniature moth orchids, African violets, and kalanchoes. Place your terrarium in diffused light, using a cork pad to protect the surface. Because your container has no drainage holes, be sure not to overwater. Editor's tip: Water with a turkey baster to get the right amount of moisture for your plants. As they grow, trim the foliage when needed.

CONTAINER RECIPE

  1. Miniature moth orchid
  2. Silver ribbon fern
  3. Ripple peperomia
  4. Table fern
  5. Moss
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