Ever wondered how to start an indoor vertical garden? Vertical gardens have been trending, and while they might appear complicated, you can start your own with the right information for growing plants at home.
This guide will help you learn the basics, find what works for you and help you start your indoor vertical garden.
What Is a Vertical Garden System?
A vertical garden system, also known as a living wall or tower garden, is exactly what it sounds like. It is a garden that stands as a tower going up and down rather than typical gardens, which take up horizontal space on the ground.
Most planters attach or hang their vertical gardens up against walls, which causes the name “green wall” or “living walls.”
Some vertical garden kits use hydroponics, a type of gardening where greenery does not use the soil. Instead, the roots of plants are in contact with water. Otherwise, rocks or gravel support the roots, and the water flows through to them.
Why Start a Vertical Garden?
While vertical gardens are aesthetically pleasing, they are also an excellent option for those looking to start a garden with limited space or anyone in colder climates. Using the vertical space in a room allows homeowners who prefer open, uncluttered areas the opportunity to still have a garden!
Additionally, many people who live in a space with little outdoor green space can look to indoor gardening instead.
The best reason to start your vertical garden is to experience the joy of gardening from the comfort of your own home!
5 Best Indoor Vertical Gardens Review
Here are a handful of great gardens for your consideration.
The Aerospring Vertical Growing System is one of the more expensive options for someone looking to start a vertical garden. I would not recommend it to anyone hoping to start their vertical garden at a low cost. Yet, for those already into gardening and hydroponics, this could be a choice for you.
If you are a gardening or health enthusiast who would enjoy year-round fresh produce, this is for you. It even has a mobile app to control the lighting and irrigation within the system!
- Efficient and low effort to maintain plants
- Great for growing food
- Lots of features (grow light, an app for your phone, aeroponic system)
The Vertical Raised Garden Bed has five tiers of planter boxes, made of food-safe plastic. You can also select from brown, gray or green for the color of the planter boxes, giving a little aesthetic choice for your vertical garden design.
Because the planters consist of food-safe plastic, you can grow herbs and vegetables in addition to decorative plants and flowers.
This kit essentially takes a backyard garden and lifts it, as the kit uses wide garden beds similar to those you would find in a typical garden. The five bins are stacked on top of one another, with enough space between them so the user can grow different plants, flowers or vegetables in each tier.
- Simple design
- Easy to assemble
- The planters do not come with drainage holes
(The user must drill the holes if wanted. Drainage is necessary to avoid root rot.)
The VIVOSUN Vertical Gardening Stackable Planter is a five-tier system of individual stacking planters. The tiers give the user the ability to customize their vertical garden to their individual needs.
When you water the top tier of the system, it trickles down, letting you conserve water!
This kit is relatively small compared to other options, with a max height of 2 feet with all five tiers stacked. The short kit makes it an option for those looking to fit a vertical garden in a small space.
While the tiers in the system consist of food-grade plastic, I would recommend growing decorative plants or herbs over vegetables for this planter. The tiered design makes the top opening where plants grow too small for vegetables. If anything, the top tier would be best for any herbs or flowers you would hope to grow.
- Great for small spaces
- Saves water
- Limited space in the individual pots
- Hard to plant after the kit is assembled
The Mr. Stacky Vertical Gardening Planter stands a little over 3 feet tall. It is a five-tier system that is fantastic for decorative plants or herbs and vegetables.
The system holds 20 individual spaces where plants can grow, which makes it an option for those looking to have many different plants in one garden.
Mr. Stacky uses a top-down watering system. Top-down watering is when you water the top tier and it trickles down to water the lower tiers. This approach helps save water and avoid overwatering your plants.
This vertical garden kit is an option for beginners who want a bigger garden that can grow many different things. Many Amazon reviewers found success using this kit to grow strawberries.
- Great for vegetables and herbs
- Easy to use
- The bottom tier does not come with a drip tray
(You will need one if you do not want water all over your floor!)
The Meiwo 7 Pocket Vertical Hanging Planter is the most affordable option on my list, making it great for anyone hoping to start a vertical garden on a budget. This vertical garden kit is unique from the others as it isn’t a standalone system but instead made up of fabric pockets and hung on any wall.
The Meiwo kit shows why the name is often “living wall” because as plants grow, the fabric pockets can disappear behind the greenery. What’s left is a wall of plants.
Given the amount of soil that can fit in each pocket, I would not recommend planting vegetables.
This system is better suited for decorative plants and flowers. This kit is the best option for small spaces since it can go anywhere on the wall!
- Best for small spaces
- Great for decoration
- Not suitable for growing food
- Some users found it difficult to water their garden
Indoor Vertical Garden Buying Guide
Like most things, the key to buying your indoor vertical garden kit is how you plan to use it. If you are interested in growing your food you should consider the following aspects before purchasing your indoor vertical garden.
When searching for the right vertical garden for your needs there are a couple of space specific details you’ll want to consider. First, you’ll need to determine how much space you actually have for your garden. This could be floor space or hanging space. You’ll want to find a vertical garden that can fit comfortably in the required space and provide enough airflow for your plants to grow efficiently.
The second thing you’ll want to consider when looking at your space is how much light your vertical garden will receive. If you’re growing plants that require a lot of sunlight, you may need to consider an area closer to a window or light source. For plants that require partial shade, you may have a little more freedom when it comes to choosing where to place your vertical garden.
Nutrients are an essential component to a healthy vertical garden. When choosing your garden, you can decide between planting soil or hydroponic models. Planting soil provides nutrients readily, though you will have to frequently fertilize your plants to replenish the nutrients in the soil.
Hydroponic systems can help plants grow quickly, however you have to consistently measure pH and nutrient levels to maintain optimal growth. Hydroponic systems also require more parts like a pump system or connection to a water source.
Determining how much time and energy you are willing to put into your indoor vertical garden can help you choose the right model. While indoor garden kits automate a lot of the gardening process, they still require attention to run smoothly and efficiently.
For soil based kits, you may need to consider a design that inhibits the growth of algae or bacteria that could promote diseases from spreading to your plants. You’ll also need to consider whether you want to self water or have a watering system programmed into your system.
Hydroponic systems can help avoid the need for soil or watering, but require sterilization of equipment between cycles, keeping levels in check, and a more difficult set-up process.
What Grows Well in a Vertical Garden?
Vertical gardens can grow several vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and spring onions. It can also grow fruits with shallow roots like strawberries, which have become a popular vertical garden staple.
They also work well as herb gardens, so things like basil, parsley and mint are ideal.
Decorative plants work great in vertical gardens, from flowers to trailing plants like pothos and ivy to ferns and air plants.
How to Build an Indoor Garden?
Now that you know all the background, let us jump into how you can build your indoor vertical garden!
Choosing a Design
Throughout this guide, I have mentioned several different types of vertical gardens, so you have options for the design you choose. The three main types are tower gardens, living walls, and raised planter boxes.
The type you choose is typically a purely aesthetic choice, so find whichever catches your eye and go with that system!
Finding the Right Location
Gardens that attach to the wall should be somewhere you can easily reach (a kitchen or living room are popular choices). Wall gardens fit well into corners and raised planter boxes sit against a wall, so pick a space and slide it there. Since plants need light, they need to be in a well-lit area.
Caring for Your Garden
Cultivating your garden is the best part! Make sure to research the care directions for whichever indoor plants, herbs, or vegetables you choose. You should also stick to a schedule of watering and trimming if needed. Try to monitor the light your plant gets, and they should thrive.
Indoor vertical gardens make it easier for those in small spaces and cold climates to have gardens. I hope this guide has helped you learn everything you need to know to start your very own vertical garden.
With the tips and tools in this guide, you should be able to create your vertical garden. Learning to care for a garden is a great hobby that has the extra benefit of producing great decorations. Gardening is not as difficult as it may seem, and the accessibility that vertical gardens offer makes it even easier and more fun!