How To Level Up Your Tabletop Garden | Indoor Planting Tips

Whether you’re in need of a beautiful new centerpiece for your dining table or looking to enhance your work in the kitchen with freshly grown vegetables and herbs, you’ve come to the right place.

Tabletop gardening has become increasingly popular over the years. Many indoor gardens don’t need much space to thrive and are surprisingly simple to maintain. Plus, with the amount of time we spend in our homes and offices these days, indoor gardening is an amazing way to bring nature into your space.

The lazy gardener

There are plenty of indoor garden kits on the market with lots of cool features to help your plants grow. With their LED grow lights to self-watering systems, these smart gardens are great value for beginners or busy professionals. However, they aren’t always the best choice for your indoor garden, especially if you want a fixture that will elevate your living space for years to come.

In this article, we will discuss the many types of plants that you can grow indoors and let you in on the secret to a long-lasting tabletop garden. Ready to get started?!

The First Step: Designing your tabletop garden

Before you buy pots and plants, the first order of business is designing your tabletop garden. There are a few important things to consider if you want to maximize the beauty and efficiency of your garden.


Succulent flowers stand in a bathroom as a decoration. Cosiness concept. Modern bathroom

Since the surface is likely to accommodate more than just your new garden, it’s imperative that you choose small plants that aren’t too tall, bushy, or otherwise imposing on your living space. 

You may also want to consider measuring your tabletop before choosing a container. There’s nothing worse than sitting down to eat and realizing you can’t see your dinner guests because the plant display is in the way!

Space, lights, and water levels

©FotoHelin / Shutterstock

To help your plants grow to their optimum potential, it’s important to place them in the correct position in your office, house or apartment. Not all locations will produce the same results!

For example, what are the light and temperature conditions of the tabletop where you will grow your indoor garden? Many indoor plants need a lot of direct sunlight to grow well, so make sure your chosen location is in a place where they can receive enough light and warmth. 

Additionally, be careful that your tabletop is at least 3 feet from any heating or air conditioning units. This kind of ventilated air is dehydrating and will strip plants of their much-needed moisture.

The geographical location of your house also makes a big difference where extreme weather conditions can infiltrate the house. For example, many indoor plants won’t tolerate cold temperatures, so keep your plants away from open windows.

Related article: Landscaping in Southern California

How do you garden indoors in a house?

©otsphoto / Shutterstock

While it may seem intimidating at first, gardening indoors is actually much simpler than you might think! Here are a few rules of thumb to follow when starting your indoor garden:

  1. Find the perfect spot for your plants. Whether it’s a kitchen counter plant or tabletopmake sure your plants are receiving enough light. If the leaves are looking a little small, or they begin to turn a shade of pale yellow or green, you may want to move your green friend closer to the window.
  2. Choose a pot that gives your plant room to grow. Plants will usually outgrow their first container from the nursery quickly, so have a larger pot on hand that will allow more space for the roots to grow healthily.
  3. Keep your vegetation healthy with good soil. Ask your local nursery about your plant’s specific needs when it comes to soil type and ideal nutrient levels. Vegetables and fruit plants especially require plant food and fertilizer to grow the best yields.
  4. Establish a regular watering routine. Moisture-loving plants will need a drink every other day or so, while succulents and other plants may last several days or even weeks without water. If you tend to forget to water your plants, consider purchasing a self-watering system to keep your plants thriving.

Choosing the right plants

When choosing plants for your tabletop garden, you’ll want to pick varieties that thrive well in containers. Fortunately, there are plenty of options to choose from, and they aren’t only limited to flowering plants.


Succulents look great with ribbed planters
Succulents look great with ribbed planters / ©Anthropologie

Native to the desert, these plants are quite hardy and won’t punish you for forgetting a day or two of watering. Especially if you are just starting your indoor gardening journey, they are an ideal plant for beginners and those with a less-than-green thumb who still want to enjoy the many benefits of indoor gardens.

There are a ton of succulents to choose from, but some make for better tabletop gardens than others. While very popular, larger varieties like aloe or snake plants might grow to take up too much space on your surface. However, smaller species such as baby jade or zebra plants can grow individually in small pots, or as part of a larger garden display, like a terrarium.

Related article: How to build the perfect indoor garden with succulents.


vegetables in containers
©Grace Thomas / The Spruce

There are so many benefits to growing your own produce. Not only will you save money at the grocery store, but the satisfaction of cooking meals with fresh vegetables from your garden is something money can’t buy. And the best part? There are several different varieties of vegetables and fruit that will grow perfectly in your tabletop garden!

  • Carrots are an excellent choice because they don’t need a large surface area to grow. Although, since they are root vegetables, they will require a tall planter with deep soil.
  • Cherry tomatoes don’t require deep soil like carrots, so you can easily grow them on a sunny window sill or your kitchen counter.
  • Microgreens are the seed sprouts of young vegetables such as arugula or Swiss chard. They are packed with the same flavor and even more nutrients and can go from seeds to your salad plate in as little as a week.

Related article: Beginners guide to growing vegetables in your apartment

Fresh herbs

Fresh herbs
©Barthelemy Rigaud / Unsplash

If you’re interested in upgrading your dishes in the kitchen, how about growing herbs in your tabletop garden? These plants are ideal for a small space because they only require a small pot, soil, and lots of light to produce tasty additions to your food all year-round.

Mediterranean herbs such as sage and rosemary grow well in dry soil with lots of heat. Whereas other plants like basil, cilantro, mint, and parsley prefer moist conditions. Just make sure that your pot has adequate drainage to prevent excess water from pooling and creating problems for your fresh herbs.

Light is one of the most important factors when it comes to growing herbs indoors. Without enough light, your herbs will grow too tall and leggy. South-facing windows are ideal for these plants.

Don’t have any windows facing south? You need our guides to grow plants in North facing windows and East facing windows!


Babys breath

Don’t underestimate the traditional flower arrangement for your tabletop garden. It’s still a wonderful way to add color and life to your indoor space.

The only downside to this option is that, when it comes to blooming, most flowering plants are limited to a specific season. While it is entirely possible to switch up your flowers every few months when the seasons change, this may not be ideal if you’re looking for a more low-maintenance display.

Regardless, there are still a variety of options that grow well on surfaces in pots and containers. From poinsettias to orchids, you are sure to find a flower that will grow perfectly in your indoor garden.

If it’s privacy, safety, and aesthetic beauty you are after, why not try a spiky plant?

How do I build a cheap indoor garden?

watering indoor plants

If you’re a true beginner in the garden, or just looking for a cheap and easy way to grow herbs, vegetables, or other plants inside, an indoor smart garden might be the right choice for you.

Here are some of the best indoor garden kits, according to senior writer for CNET’s Home & Kitchen David Watsky, who tested the efficiency of a range of smart gardens:

  • Click & Grow Smart Garden 3.  Starting at only $80, this is a great choice for an indoor gardening beginner with a not-so-green thumb.
  • AeroGarden Bounty Elite Artisan. Complete with an adjustable LED light stand, plant food, self-watering pump, and an optional trellis for your tomatoes or vertical garden, this smart garden offers a ton of bang for your buck.
  • InGarden Superfood Growing Kit. Perfect for microgreens, this indoor gardening kit is compact, clean and easy to use. Even better, the LED grow lights run on a timer so your plants have all the light they need to grow quickly and healthily.

These options are a smart investment for beginners or busy professionals, but you don’t need a fancy smart garden to get started.

If you have pots on hand already, they will probably work on your surface as long as they are the right size for the plants.

If you’re looking for a more sustainable option, it’s best to look at fiberglass planters.

Are indoor hydroponic gardens worth it?

home garden
©vadim kaipov / Unsplash

Not really. Although they may seem like an attractive option for a beginner or busy professional, there are definitely a few drawbacks when it comes to growing plants an indoor garden kit.

While these indoor garden kits are relatively cheap and seem like great value because of their additional features, in the end, you get what you pay for.

Due to their plastic composition, many of these smart gardens aren’t likely to withstand the test of time, and will probably need to be replaced after a few years. 

Many indoor hobby gardeners want plants for their aesthetic beauty, and while these kits are designed for growing herbs, vegetables, microgreens, and other food products, they are not designed with style in mind.

The secret to leveling up your tabletop garden? Fiberglass planters!

Planters Etc fiberglass pots and planters use only the highest quality resin with no fillers, so they are lightweight but very durable. This quality is especially important for your tabletop garden as it may need to be moved around more frequently. 

If you have a busy home with lots of children or pets running around, here’s another worry you may have about your tabletop garden: what if it gets knocked over accidentally? Fiberglass won’t chip or leech chemicals and can be easily repaired and refinished, unlike some other materials like terracotta and plastic.

With proper care, fiberglass planters will last for years, indoors and outdoors. Even in the direct sunlight required for some herbs and microgreens, these pots will never fade, crack, or lose their shine.

Final thoughts


Despite popular opinion, indoor gardening is an easy way to add beauty and functionality to your home. Whether you want to create a beautiful display of flowers on the dining room table or harvest edible plants in your kitchen, all you need to get started is a pot and your imagination.

A smart garden may be a great choice for a low-maintenance tabletop garden. With a range of features like grow lights and hands-free watering systems, growing an indoor garden has never been more simple. 

However, these indoor gardening kits aren’t always the best choice for a high-quality display. Fiberglass planters are the way to go if you want a tabletop garden that never loses its luster. Once you’ve chosen the type of plant you want to use in your garden, the possibilities for customization are endless.

Our planters are available in many different colors, sizes, and shapes. Visit our shop to find one that works perfectly on your tabletop.

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