Plants Questions

What Plants Can You Grow in Your Kitchen? Here’s Our Top 10 Picks

Growing plants in your kitchen has numerous benefits, so we have put together a collection our top 10 picks

The kitchen is an excellent environment for growing plants. In most homes, the kitchen is a room with plenty of natural light. Many people choose to grow herbs in the kitchen. A kitchen window sill can be a great place for growing parsley and oregano in containers.

The good news is that the kitchen can also be suited for growing a wide range of apartment plants. In the following lines, you will discover that growing plants in your kitchen is not only fun but will also bring you many benefits.

Moreover, it’s quite easy to find room for plants in the kitchen if you follow a few simple tips. And if you don’t know what plants to choose, we have put together a collection of the best plants that are suited for growing in the kitchen.

Advantages of growing plants in the kitchen

Growing plants in your kitchen is an activity that comes with many advantages. Read on to find out how plants can improve your daily life.

Improved air quality

While any plant will purify indoor air to a certain degree, some plants do a better job at this. Plants can do a great job filtering food odours and they can also increase oxygen levels. In addition to that, plants can also purify the air of harmful chemicals which are often found in cleaning products.

Regulated humidity

If you bake frequently, the air in your kitchen might often feel dry. Adding some plants to your kitchen can fix this as plants expel most of the water that they are given, thus regulating your indoor humidity levels.

Improved ambience

It is a well-known fact that plants induce relaxation, they sharpen the focus and create an overall feel-good ambience. Whether cooking is a hobby or a chore, you will surely enjoy your time in the kitchen more if you are surrounded by some plants.

How to add more plants to your kitchen

The kitchen is a highly functional space. It might feel like every space is optimized for cooking and storage and there isn’t any room for plants. But, there are many ways in which you can make room for plants in the kitchen. You might have to reevaluate your vertical space and the hard-to-reach spaces which you never use. Here are a few ideas:

Vertical garden

Surely, not all of your walls are covered by kitchen furniture and appliances. There must be at least a piece of a wall that you can use to hang some plants. There are many vertical garden systems that you can buy from gardening shops, but you can also make your own system. You can use shelves or a pallet as the basic structure, and fill all the available shelf space with different types of plant containers.

Hanging containers

Hanging planters are usually used for cascading plants. There is a wide variety of cascading plants to choose from, ferns being the most popular choice. Hanging terrariums are also a great choice. Since they are closed environments, terrariums won’t help much with purifying the air and regulating the humidity. However, they are very pleasing from an aesthetic point of view and they can be very uplifting.

The top of your wall cabinets

You can’t store things on top of your wall cabinets because it would look bad. Nonetheless, you can use this space for some plants. You should probably choose shade-loving plants, but this is definitely an idea that you can explore.

Top 10 plants for growing in the kitchen

Now that you have found room for growing plants in your kitchen, we have gathered a list of the green companions that are more likely to thrive in this room. Keep in mind that not all areas of the kitchen are the same. Some areas have more natural light, some are closer to the stove, and so on. As such, you must keep in mind the needs and growing requirements of each plant.

1. Hedera Helix

Also known as English Ivy, this cascading plant is great for a hanging planter. Hedera Helix features luscious pointy leaves which come in a variety of shades of green and variegation patterns. Each variety has different requirements, so make sure to place it accordingly. For example, the variety with dark green leaves prefers shade, while variegated plants need direct sunlight. It is best to place variegated plants by the window, as long as the afternoon soon does not hit them directly.

English ivy growing in a pot
English ivy growing in a pot

English Ivy prefers moist soil with good draining properties. It needs to be watered at least once a week in the summer. Fertilizer is not necessary but occasional compost will give it grow boost. Regular pruning is also not necessary, but you do need to check it regularly for parasites and diseases. It is susceptible to aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, and scale.

2. Aloe

This is by far one of the most resilient plants in the world. You can’t kill it even if you try. It needs plenty of natural sunlight to grow. It will survive in the shade and partial shade as well, but it won’t grow a lot. If possible place it on a sunny windowsill. It grows well in dry conditions, so don’t worry if it is near the stove or above the radiator.

Aloe Vera Growing in Pots
Aloe Vera

There is one way in which you can kill an Aloe Vera: if you water it too frequently. Ideally, you should allow the top 3-4 cm to dry off completely before watering the plant. When you do water it, drench the soil completely, allow it a couple of hours to absorb the water in the saucer, and then get rid of the extra water. It doesn’t need any fertilizer, nor does it need pruning or other types of regular maintenance. It won’t die if you forget to water it. On the contrary, it thrives on neglect.

3. Spathiphyllum

Also known as Peace Lily, this is one of the easiest flowering plants to grow indoors. It is not actually a lily, but its flower looks like a tropical lily. It features glossy leaves with pointed lance-shaped tips. The leaves are usually dark green, but there are also some variegated forms. What looks like the flower is actually a modified leaf which protects the spadix. This is a spike featuring countless tiny flowers.

Spathiphyllum
Spathiphyllum

The Peace Lily adapts to most indoor environments, but it prefers sunny locations and warm temperatures. It is also very sensitive when it comes to drafts, so you might want to keep it away from the cooker hood. As far as watering goes, don’t allow the soil to dry out completely. Keep it moist but not soggy. Fertilize every two months during the growing season.

4. Pothos

This tropical forest plant is one of the least demanding interior plants. Its native habitat has a colder climate, but this plant easily adapts to moderate indoor environments. Pothos is a cascading plant with glossy dark green or variegated leaves. It looks best when grown in a hanging planter or on a shelf where its vines are allowed to overflow. A mature indoor plant grows between 1 and 6 meters. It’s a moderate grower so it will need to be repotted once every two years.

Golden Pothos or "Devils Ivy"
Golden Pothos or “Devils Ivy”

Pothos thrives in shade and low humidity. As a general rule, pale leaves mean that the plant is getting too much sunshine. The disappearance of variegation means that it is getting too little sunshine. It prefers well-draining soil and it will grow faster if you feed it once a month. Keep in mind that this is not a pet-friendly plant. It is also toxic for humans so keep it away from children.

5. Zamioculcas Zamiifolia

Also known as the Zanzibar Gem or the ZZ plant. It originates from the dry regions of Africa. It has upright dark leaves, it thrives on neglect and it is very easy to propagate. Nonetheless, it is also toxic, so keep it away from pets and children.

Zamioculcas zamiifolia

The Zanzibar Gem prefers low light conditions. Well-drained potting soil will do just fine for it. Allow the soil to dry completely between watering sessions. It is very resilient to most pests and diseases. It requires occasional pruning and a monthly feeding during the growing season. Since it grows well in the shade, you might want to consider this plant for a dark corner or the top of the counters.

6. Sansevieria Cylindrica

This plant is more commonly known as the African Spear plant or the cylindrical snake plant. It is a succulent plant, featuring upright green leaves with subtle stripes. Indoors, it can grow up to 2 meters in height, and about half a meter in diameter.

Sansevieria Cylindrica aka "African Spear"
Sansevieria Cylindrica aka “African Spear”

It is a sun-loving plant but a bright afternoon soon can hurt it. It can also survive in the shade, but it will grow more slowly in the absence of the sun. It needs soil with good drainage and occasional feeding during the growing season. If the leaves start curling, it can be an indicator that the plant is not getting enough water. It can also mean that it has drained its soil of nutrients and it needs new soil. You can braid the leaves for a neater look.

7. Chlorophytum Comosum

This plant is more commonly known as the Spider Plant. It is very appreciated for its cascading, variegated leaves. The leaves are thin, long, and arched, which makes the plant ideal for hanging planters. The Spider Plant is known to have exceptional air purifying properties, and it is very low maintenance.

Planting Spider Plants
Planting Spider Plants

Spider plant likes bright, indirect sunlight. It prefers well-draining soil and even moisture. This means that it doesn’t like it if the soil gets fully dry, nor does it like it soggy. It’s a moderate grower, so it will need its pot changed once every other year. It can also benefit from a monthly feeding during the growing season.

8. Hypoestes Phyllostachya

Green plants are great, but if you are looking to add a splash of colour to your kitchen, this plant is just what you need. Also known as the Polka Dot Plant, this plant comes in many varieties. Most feature bright green leaves with pink spots, but some varieties feature dark green leaves with yellow or purple spots. It is a low-growing plant that will reach a top height of 60 cm.

Polka Dot plants work indoors or outside
Polka Dot plants work indoors or outside

Polka Dot Plant prefers rich, well-draining soil. It likes warm temperatures and it needs to be watered regularly. It can get a bit leggy, so you might need to prune it from time to time. It blooms sporadically in the summer, but the flowers are insignificant. Bright, indirect light is ideal for it.

9. Aspidistra Elatior

Also known as the Cast Iron Plant, this houseplant was very popular in Victorian times. Its popular name comes from the fact that it is very low-maintenance and nearly indestructible. It features large paddle-shaped leaves and can grow up to one meter in height. It also lives for quite a long time.

Aspidistra Elatior
Aspidistra Elatior

Despite being a slow grower, this plant adapts to any environment, be it light or shade, dry or humid. It prefers to be watered regularly, but it won’t hold it against you if you forget to water it from time to time. It is not a succulent plant, so it needs water, but allow the soil to dry out completely during watering sessions.

10. Calathea

This is one of the most beautiful indoor plants. It is very popular due to its unique and complex variegation patterns. It can grow up to 90 cm in height and about 50 cm in diameter. It’s a slow grower but in optimal conditions, it can reach maturity in a year.

Calathea Ornata also known as a "Pinstripe" plant
Calathea Ornata also known as a “Pinstripe” plant

This plant needs indirect light. You can place it on a north-facing windowsill or in a shadier location if your window gets too much sunlight. Calathea likes moist but not soggy soil. It is best to use distilled or purified water. This plant is not fond of dry environments, so it is best to keep it away from the stove. It doesn’t need pruning and feeding is only necessary if you really want to boost its growth.

What plants are you growing in your kitchen? Share your favourite kitchen plants in the comments below!

Miruna is an experienced content writer with a passion for gardening. She is the proud owner of an outdoor rose garden and an indoor collection of tiny succulents. She bought her first succulent 10 years ago - an adorable Echeveria Setosa. Now she owns more than 100 succulents and cacti of different colors, shapes, and sizes. Miruna is a versatile writer and, as you might have guessed, her favorite topic is gardening. Contact miruna@gardenbeast.com

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