24 Newbie-Friendly Vegetables You Can Easily Grow Indoors

Winter weather doesn’t have to mean the end of harvesting fresh vegetables. You could always garden undercover, outdoors. Or you could try your hand at growing food indoors. Yes, it is possible to grow vegetables inside during the cold months or just because you lack outdoor space. However, it’s not the easiest way to garden and you shouldn't expect huge yields.

The biggest challenges of growing edibles indoors are low light and a lack of pollinating insects and wind. However, on the positive side, you can control water, soil, and fertility. Unfortunately, pests and diseases may follow you indoors, but since the plants are right under your nose, you should be able to stop problems before they become major headaches.

General Indoor Growing Tips

  • Use a good quality potting mix, not garden soil.
  • Containers should have good drainage and be sized for the particular plant. For instance, shallow and rooted greens only need about a two-inch depth, but deep-rooted tomatoes will want at least 12 inches of soil.
  • Sunny windows do not usually provide enough light for healthy, stocky plants. The days are just too short, and the light is too low in the sky during winter for a plant's needs. You might want to use some type of supplemental lighting, either a plant light or a full-spectrum fluorescent light.
  • Don’t place your plants so close to the window that they are subjected to drafts or close to a heat source that could dry them out.

Carrots are ridiculously accommodating. Growing them in containers is not just a great option for indoor growing, it also solves the problem of trying to grow them in heavy, rocky soil.

Smaller carrots are easiest to grow inside. They need less space and mature quickly. Since you’ll be seeding multiple plants—unlike a single pepper or tomato plant—a long container, such as a window box, is ideal. The key for good germination is to keep the soil moist. Just lightly cover the seeds with some damp peat moss so the seeds don’t dry out, but no hard crust forms over them, preventing germination. Seeds should germinate within two weeks. Days to maturity will depend on the variety you are growing.

Garlic Greens

Garlic has very particular temperature needs to form bulbs, but you can easily have a steady supply of garlic tops or greens that can be used instead of scallions. You don’t need a large container for garlic sprouts. A depth of about four inches should suffice. Simply plant the individual cloves about one inch deep and water regularly. The cloves should sprout in about one week.

Let them grow to eight to 10 inches before you begin harvesting. Cut off what you need and leave the rest. You generally only get one flush of growth from each clove. They may sprout again, but the quality declines, so start new cloves when you begin harvesting the current crop.

Hot Peppers

Even though pepper plants collapse at their first brush with frost, they are tropical perennials. You can try sweet or hot peppers, starting both of them by seed. You can also pot plants from your garden in late summer and to bring indoors for the winter. You won’t get a huge harvest, but they will fruit.

Use a container that is at least eight inches tall. Hot peppers will need at least 10 hours of light each day. Don’t over water. Allow the container to dry out between watering. The plants are self-pollinating, but you may need to help them along. You can either jostle the plants to shake the pollen from one flower to another or use a cotton swab to dust each flower with pollen.

Lettuce and Other Salad Greens

Lettuce is quick growing and shallow rooted, so it won’t need a deep container. It will also continue to regrow if you go the cut-and-come-again route. Choose a container that is two to four inches deep, and fill it with dampened soil. Sow your seeds and gently press them into the surface of the soil. Mist to keep the seeds moist and you should see germination within about one week.

Allow the plants to grow at least four to six inches tall before you start harvesting. Cut or pull the outer leaves and allow the center of the plant to continue growing.


These tiny, fresh sprouts are probably the easiest edible to grow indoors. They don’t take up much space or much time. Microgreens are just a mix of seeds of various greens and herbs, such as beets, radishes, kale, Swiss chard, and basil.

Since these greens will be harvested as seedlings, you don’t need much soil. A shallow (two inches deep) tray works well. Fill it with soil, moisten it, and scatter your seed. Barely cover the seed with soil, but press gently so that the seed makes good contact with the damp soil and won’t dry out. Water with a gentle stream or spray to keep the soil moist, and you should see germination within days.

Start harvesting when seedlings are they have developed about two sets of true leaves. Use a scissor to snip them off at the soil level and you may get another spurt of growth.

You can’t grow bulb onions indoors, but scallions, such as garlic greens, do just fine. In fact, they may rival microgreens with their ease. You don’t even need seeds.

Some gardeners have had success simply replanting the root end of scallions they purchase, after using the tops. You can root the whole scallion in a glass of water, and plop the bunch of them in one glass with only about one inch of water in the bottom. When the roots have reached a couple of inches in length, move them to a shallow container of potting mix and let them continue growing. You can harvest just the green tops, leaving about one inch of the stem to regrow or pluck entire scallions out of the container, to use the white portion.

You usually see tomato plants die off at the end of the season, but tomatoes are tropical perennials. It's probably best to leave these garden plants outside since they're usually too large and already experiencing problems by the end of the season. However, starting a new plant from seed at the end of summer can be grown on indoors. Tomato seeds germinate fairly quickly. Once the seedlings are three to four inches tall, move them to their “permanent” pot and make sure they have at least 10 hours of light per day. It’s a lot, but this is a fruiting plant and it needs that much light during winter.

Start feeding with a water-soluble organic fertilizer when you move the seedling to its new pot. Once the plants start setting flowers, you will need to shake them periodically to allow the pollen to fall from flower to flower. Without pollination, no fruits will form. The plants can become top heavy and staking may be necessary.

6. Tomatoes

If you like bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches then you’ll be interested to know that you can grow tomatoes indoors. If you like fresh salads, then you’ll be interested to know that you can grow tomatoes indoors.

However, smaller tomato varieties are usually what do best when being grown indoors. So keep that in mind if you decide to add them to your indoor garden.

If you like fresh salads, then you’ll definitely want to grow lettuce indoors. You can grow romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, or leaf lettuce.

So whichever variety of lettuce you decide to grow, just know that there are multiple ways to grow them indoors. Now you can enjoy fresh salads year round.

Spinach is a great vegetable to have on hand. It makes delicious side dishes, is great to use in smoothies, and also is wonderful for salads as well.

So if you’d love to have a power vegetable that contains a ton of health benefits, then you might really want to consider growing spinach indoors.

9. Broccoli

Broccoli is probably one of my favorite vegetables. It is heartier so it handles temperature variations a little better than some other vegetables might.

Plus, it tastes so good with cheese on it. You can also steam it, boil it, or bake it inside a casserole for your enjoyment.

10. Cauliflower

Ever since cutting carbs has become a huge thing in the health industry, cauliflower has made a huge comeback. Were you aware that you can use cauliflower in the place of potatoes?

Well, you can. So if you are interested in cutting back on your carbs, or if you just love the taste of cauliflower, then you’ll be happy to know that it can be grown indoors.

11. Potatoes

You may not think of growing potatoes indoors, but you certainly can do it. Basically, you just plant them in a deeper pot with potting soil over the potatoes.

Then you wait patiently as the plants grow under grow lights. Obviously, this is not a vegetable with a quick harvest, but it is still nice to be able to grow potatoes year round if you desire.

12. Avocado

Would you believe that I was not a huge fan of avocados while growing up? What was I thinking? As I grew up I discovered Mexican cuisine. It is probably my favorite type of food now.

And through that process I became very well acquainted with avocados. They are so delicious and so good for you too. However, it is advised that if you are going to grow your own avocados that you don’t grow them from a pit but rather a purchased avocado seed. To learn more about that check out this resource on how to grow Avocados.

14. Mushrooms

My oldest son loves mushrooms, and I usually buy them from the store because picking wild mushrooms scares me.

However, those days are soon to be over because you can grow mushrooms indoors. You don’t even need sunlight. You basically dampen the soil where the mushrooms are planted and then place them in a dark closet or attic.

15. Scallions

Scallions are a great addition to many recipes. For me, I love them to top off a bowl of loaded potato soup.

So when I discovered these little gems could be grown indoors, I got super excited. If you love scallions too, then you might want to try growing them inside and see what you think.

16. Peppers

You probably wouldn’t have guessed that peppers make a good plant for your windowsill, but surprisingly they do.

So if you’d like to try to grow bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, or banana peppers indoors, then as long as you have a sunny window you should be good to go.

17. Eggplant

Eggplant is another vegetable that makes a good plant for a sunny window. I have to admit, my family is not a huge fan of eggplant. It was because of one deceiving meal we had where I made eggplant parmesan.

So basically, it smelled really good but the recipe wasn’t the best so instead of the eggplant being crispier (which my family would’ve preferred) in their mind it was inedible. Needless to say, I’ve had a hard time getting them to try eggplant ever since.

18. Radishes

Radishes are a great vegetable to grow indoors. They don’t take long from planting to harvest which is great for people that like to enjoy their harvest quickly.

So if you are looking for something that you can plant and it will provide fresh produce in a short amount of time, then you might really want to give radishes some consideration.

19. Dwarf Beans

What do I mean by dwarf beans? I mean planting a pot or two of bush beans or string beans and growing them indoors.

But I don’t recommend planting a bean variety such as pole beans. If you go with a smaller variety, they can grow in a pot indoors under grow lights, and you can enjoy fresh green beans year round.

20. English Peas

I love green peas. I think they are absolutely delicious, but in my experience, it takes a lot of them to do more than enjoy a small meal every now and then.

So growing them indoors, you’d have to understand you won’t have enough to can or freeze with this method. However, you could still enjoy them as a side dish every now and then.

Kale is a wonderful vegetable. I love it for my smoothies because it packs a ton of vitamins. I also love turning them into kale chips.

So if you like this sturdier green for random snacks or even for cooking, then you might want to consider growing it indoors this winter.

22. Swiss Chard

I am a huge fan of swiss chard. I like it cooked, but I also love rainbow swiss chard. The reason is because I try to eat a variety of colors in my diet.

See, the more colors you eat in your diet, the more vitamins you are usually taking in. This is a great way to get lots of vitamins from one plant.

23. Arugula

Arugula has a peppery flavor in my opinion. Some people love it for that reason and others don’t. I happen to be one of the people that enjoy it.

So if you’d like an easier green to grow in your home, then you might want to consider arugula. It will definitely add some variety to your everyday salad.

24. Sprouts

I would’ve never guessed how much I truly enjoy sprouts, but I really do enjoy them. They are started by soaking the seeds in water.

Then they grow and are harvested when they sprout. I add them to my salads, and they are yummy. So if you are looking for something easy to grow as an addition to your indoor salad bar, then you might want to consider this option.

Well, there you have it folks! Over 20 options of vegetables you can grow right inside your home all year long. Some do require a grow light to make it work, but those are easy enough to find.

But I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter. What vegetables do you grow indoors? Do you have any tricks that help you produce more of a harvest, or that help your plants grow better? What recipes or dishes do you use to utilize the vegetables you grow indoors?

Finally, does growing items year round inside your home help you overcome those ‘winter time blues?’ And what else do you do to kick those blues during the cold winter months?

We love hearing from you all so please share your thoughts with us in the space provided below.

This was a whole new learning curve on growing food. Emilio’s knowledge and enthusiasm for this type of growing was invaluable. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in learning more about growing our own food in this northern climate of ours. Looking forward to starting my spinach!

A single ZipGrow Tower is ideal for learning.

It can be tough to set aside the initial investment for a large, indoor food system. Before committing, try a single tower and see if this system works for you.

It can be tough to set aside the initial investment for a large, indoor food system. Before committing, try a single tower and see if this system works for you.

A single ZipGrow Tower makes it easy to learn all the steps necessary to grow food with hydroponics. What you learn for one ZipGrow Tower is transferable to other techniques or to scale up to many towers.

A single ZipGrow Tower makes it easy to learn all the steps necessary to grow food with hydroponics. What you learn for one ZipGrow Tower is transferable to other techniques or to scale up to many towers.

Very Low Maintenance

A single ZipGrow Tower is very easy to take care of and will only require occasional maintenance. The water and nutrients can last for weeks without needing to be changed.

Very Low Maintenance

A single ZipGrow Tower is very easy to take care of and will only require occasional maintenance. The water and nutrients can last for weeks without needing to be changed.

A single tower can grow up to eight plants comfortably. That’s a large salad once a week. It’s a bite-sized approach to learning how to grow indoors that makes sense for a lot of people.

A single tower can grow up to eight plants comfortably. That’s a large salad once a week. It’s a bite-sized approach to learning how to grow indoors that makes sense for a lot of people.


I love being able to produce at least a little of my own food. Thanks for the great ideas!

Hi Deborah,
Great advice in this article to grow food indoors. I have thought of doing this myself but not sure if I have the room for potatoes, but the sprouts are something I definitely try. I wish more people would grown their own food.- it is so economical and the nutrients valuable is so much higher. Hi Amber,
Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays Pinned & tweeted!

Hi Deborah,
Just a note to let you know that I have chosen your post as one of my features for this weeks Real Food Fridays blog hop that goes live every Thursday @ 7pm EST. Thank you sharing and being part of our mission to make it a healthier world.

Thank you so much! I am delighted to hear that you have featured this post! I appreciate it!

This is actually a topic I’ve been a little obsessed with the past couple of years. Just this past week I made a post on how to grow green onions indoors. It’s amazing what you can do with a wide enough window sill!

Lovely post! The tips are very useful and I’m definitely having them on mind for future projects. For this winter I’ve decided to try growing up spices indoors. Till now all the plants look very nice and seem to feel good on my kitchen window. Thanks for the helpful tips!

thanks so much for sharing this! I really need to try harder at this gardening thing. I’m currently trying to grow a salad mix and cucumbers as well as wildflowers. I also have spider plants and aloe to clean the air in my apartment. 🙂

I have a garden outside. Not sure how to grow anything indoors because the cat steals plants.

Great article Deborah. Grow lights are fantastic. My window sill microgreens never did very well but investing in a grow light has made an enormous difference. I think I need another one as I go through the greens and herbs so quickly! I’ve just planted some pea shoots. So much cheaper than buying bags of them in the supermarket plus they are organic.

This sounds like an awesome idea. I have never thought about that. I will have to try it.

Hi Betty,
Yes, I hope this will inspire you to try growing something in a little sunlit corner of your home! All the best to you!

Смотрите видео: Top 10 easy to grow vegetables for beginners

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