Google+ Organic Gardens Network™: 66 Things You Can Grow In Containers

Monday, December 27, 2010

66 Things You Can Grow In Containers

Growing your own food is exciting, not only because you get to see things grow from nothing into ready-to-eat fruits and veggies, but you also don't have to worry about the pesticides they might contain, and you definitely cut down on the miles they -- and you -- have to travel.

As it turns out, with pretty minimal effort, anyone can be a gardener. My boyfriend and I are essentially first-timers this season and so far have the beginnings of strawberries peeking out, tomatoes are on their way, the basil's about ready for a big batch of pesto, and once the last frost hits, the peppers, kale, spinach, chard, and mesclun will be on their way, too. All on a tiiiny little terrace (with the help of a little DIY carpentry).

If you're up to the challenge -- and it really isn't much of one -- growing your own food can be so rewarding. And so much cheaper! Just be sure to choose the right planter or container, learn how to maintain it properly, and go find yourself some seeds (or starter plants)!

Here's a starter list of all the crazy things even urban gardeners, without space for a garden, can grow at home.

Tree Fruits - Including Apples

1. Apples can be grown in a container; you can also grow them on the balcony or other small space using a technique called espaliering.
2. Kumquats
3. Avocados (plenty of extra tips online if you search)
4. Blackberries
5. Blueberries (sometimes helpful videos are available online)
6. Pomegranate
7. Cherries
8. Figs
9. Pears

Citrus Fruits

Citrus trees in particular are said to be good for beginning gardeners and are easy to grow indoors, so don't let inexperience or lack of outdoor space stop you from enjoying fresh-picked, hyper-local fruit.
10. Dwarf oranges
11. Grapefruit
12. Tangerines
13. Meyer Lemons
14. Limes

Tropical Fruits

Tropical fruits can also be surprisingly easy to grow indoors, even in non-tropical climates. Such as...

15. Bananas (look for container gardening tips online)
16. Pineapple
17. Papaya
18.Gurvas (several varieties)

The Real Surprises

19. Hops -- yes, as in the “spice” ingredient in beer. Turns out they're easy to grow!
20. Aloe Vera
21. Strawberries
22. Tea (well, herbal tea)
23. Quinoa!

The Non-Surprises

24. Tomatoes
25. Summer Squash
26. Other Squashes, like Acorn and Pumpkin
27. Hot Peppers
28. Sweet Peppers
29. Cucumbers


30. Small Cantaloupe
31. Jenny Lind Melon (an heirloom cantaloupe)
32. Golden Midget Watermelon


Just about any herb grows well indoors -- just be sure that if you're going to do any container-sharing, you do your research first about which herbs co-habitate well together. (Some will hog water, for example, and leave the others dried out.)

33. Basil
34. Oregano
35. Parsley
36. Rosemary
37. Chives
38. Catnip
39. Thyme
40. Sage
41. Parsley

Leafy Greens

42. Kale
43. Mesculun Greens
44. Spinach
45. Swiss Chard
46. Lettuces (plenty of options there, from micro-greens to head or loose-leaf)
47. Mustard greens
48. Collard greens
49. Arugula

Root Vegetables

50. Carrots
51. Beets
52. Potatoes

Other Healthy-sounding Stuff

53. Sprouts
54. More sprouts: mung bean and lentil sprouts
55. Wheatgrass
56. Kohlrabi
57. Turnips
58. Rutabagas
59. Celeriac
60. Parsnips
61. Jerusalem Artichoke
62. Sugar snap peas
63. Rhubarb (not ideal in a container, but it can work)
64. Mushrooms (again, more tips online if you look)
65. Pole Beans
66. Aaaand... asparagus, although some disagree that it does well in a container. Try it if you're ok with a risk!


67. You can grow your own loofah, too, but you'd need a garden rather than a container for that.

Like this idea? Be sure to check out these 6 Crazy Concepts for Micro Gardens That Actually Work to get inspiration for designing your own garden in a small space. While you're at it, check in with this Organic Gardening feature for tons more info on making your garden grow.

by Planet Green


  1. Sounds cool, thanks for the tips, it really helpful for me.

    Just like to share with you a famous quote...

    "The voice of parents is the voice of gods, for to their children they are heaven's lieutenants. " -- Shakespeare

    You can get more famous quotes at

    1. What does a religious quote have to do with organic gardening tips? I think you have the wrong blog.

    2. I am a renter so I can only grow in containers. Renters have to move about every year to two where I live so no point in planting anything. I moved 28 times in 23 years so my containers go with me whereever I have to move. I grow a full herb garden, lavenders, basil,sage,thyme,rosemary, Lemon Verbena(for my own homemade teas) in containers. They all do great. I also grow Nemisha, Diaschia and gerainimes along with jasmine. You do have to watch them for dryness. I am trying out lettuce and peppers this year, no luck with tomatoes in containers yet.

    3. Might as well get use to it. People like Anonymous of May
      25 will always be around to act like idiots. Just ignore
      them. Maybe they will go away!
      And HOW in the world can they think that is a
      religious quote. What an idiot !

    4. You didn't read it fully. It is not a religious quote nor did she say it was a religious quote. It's Shakespeare. She was simply thanking the blogger for the advice and sharing a Shakespeare quote. You are the one who brought your drama into it. Who's the idiot? Go back to highschool english class please.

    5. We should not allow one to hijack a conversation with inane and inappropriate commentary. Some have the unique ability to respond with much appreciated intellect and wisdom. Most (like me) choose to ignore and put distance between one that blatantly displays bizarre and rude behavior. To refocus, what is the right container for growing an organic garden? I have old whisky barrels that I have much success with bell peppers and hot peppers, but zero success with tomatoes.

  2. Thank you Tanya, for the quote and link to more. Glad this post was helpful to you!

  3. I recently found this container garden. It is called "The Garden Master's Bucket Garden". I have one now and I love it!

  4. Don't forget about Radishes!!!

  5. you have two parsleys! #35 and #41 in Herbs :) thanks for the tips! i rent, and tried to grow basil in a little puddin cup or somethin' and it didn't grow very well, it dried up, i think i got 8 little leaves :( i can't wait to try this! :D

    1. I am sure that is because there are 2 types of parsley, flat leaf and moss.

  6. i went to a lady up the road she has cows and she had these big black 30 gallen tubs and when she got them thay had salt blocks in them thay was verry exspensive to her but i went out there for her cow poo to put on all my vegies in my garden and i asked her what are them and she told me and she ask me if i want some of them i said yes please and so about a month later i went back for more poo and she gave me more tubs i have put my bell peppers in them and tomatoes ,.and there growing verry well i also put vingar on them just a tea spoon or 2.

    1. I have tomatoes, carrots, corn (yes,corn ) and potatoes planted in the large tubs that cattle minerals come in. They make great plants as long as you have drainage holes. I had one farmer ask how many I wanted he had a bunch of them all over his place. I only took 8 but wish now I had taken more. Next spring I think I will get more since I will than be able to plant them so they get the morning sun. Here my area only gets the afternoon sun. sadly

  7. You can definitely grow Loofah in a container, you just need to train it on a trellis so it won't take over the rest of wherever it's growing. I grew some last summer and will be growing some this summer and trellis it to cover our sliding glass window and help keep our apartment cool.

  8. Any tips on how to help perennials survive the winter in pots? I'd love to grow rhubarb, but I'd pretty much have to grow it in a container and I'm in zone 5 so I'm not sure it would survive.

    1. Rhubard grows wonderful in Alaska. However, it is in the ground. I would think in a container, it might be less apt to freeze if covered. Just a thought!

  9. lvriniel - I suggest you post your question over on our facebook page and you will have access to over 26,000 other gardeners who can offer you some great feedback on your question. You can find us at

  10. A note about the girl friend has just harvested her first loofah that she grew in a container. She lives in a mobile home park, so has limited space. She surrounded the pot with chicken wire (the rabbits chewed her loofah last year) and the loofah grew up the wire. She has 2 more ready to harvest. It does not get a big yield, but enough. We live in south central Pennsylvania in case you are wondering the zone. I will be using some of the seeds from her loofah and doing this in my own garden next year.

  11. Hi Laurie, It's exciting to hear that someone has had success with container gardening, especially for something that is not the norm. I hope you also have good luck planting the seeds from your friends loofah!

  12. Lol Shakespeare isn't religious..however... this earth and what it gives us when cultivated is a miracle...

  13. This was a very inspiring post! I am hoping to have a few indoor plants of my own including spices & a lemon tree...we'll see how these things go for us this year as it will be my first time to do indoor gardening!

    Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

  14. We started doing a little container gardening when we rented and couldn't dig a garden. I grew tomatoes and Jenny grew petunias. It was great fun.

    This year I would like to grow a lot more things in containers.

  15. Thanks for list! Last year I tried Swiss chard and peppers.

  16. I am going to try radishes, lettuce, and cucumbers in containers. I have already planted strawberries, sweet peppers and tomatoes in a garden box my husband built, and they are all doing very good!

  17. Thank you for the suggestion and the "top plants for dorms" article. Because of these articles I purchased my first apartment plant, and yup, it's a Meyer Lemon tree =)

  18. Thanks for another magnificent post. Where else could anybody get that kind of info in such an ideal manner of writing?
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    Please be aware that some people develop large blisters after coming into contact with the sap from parsnip leaves and stems. The reaction also needs sunshine to happen. This is a larger concern with wild parsnip which is an invasive weed. However, for the first time last summer I developed the blisters on my fingers after lightly weeding my garden parsnips on a semi-sunny day. (I usually wait for cloudy days and/or wear long sleeves and gloves.) I was not specifically breaking off any parsnip leaves or stems, and was actually being careful to only touch the weed I wanted to pull. However, a few days later I had a number of blisters which lasted about a week.
    My concern is that if your parsnips are in a container in a small space, you are more likely to brush against them, and put yourself at risk. I'm sure they can successfully form in a container, but please put it in an out-of-the-way location to keep you and your guests safe.

  20. Thank you for the tip regarding Parsnips. It is good information to be aware of when gardening.


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