Tiny Space? Grow a Mini Indoor Garden!


A mini indoor garden is perfect for a small apartment or office space. You might have thought surrounding yourself with lush greenery was not be possible. Fortunately, there are creative ways to incorporate plants into your decor. One of the best ways is to create a mini indoor garden in tin cans or other containers.

These miniature gardens make great gifts for yourself and others. Here’s everything you need to make a mini garden for your tiny apartment.

mini indoor garden planted in tin cans

Choose your mini indoor garden plants

You will need to be selective when choosing plants for your garden. Plants with shallow roots and minimal watering needs work best in this setting. You can buy succulent transplants or start from scratch with carefully chosen seed collections.

Some of the best plants for miniature gardens include:

  • Herbs – mint, thyme, lemon balm
  • Grasses – dwarf mondo grass, sedge, alfalfa
  • Others – Dwarf umbrella plant, tiny flowering plants

Succulents, cacti, moss and creeping plants are also ideal for tiny gardens.


Choose your container

While mint tin gardens started in Altoid tins, the idea has evolved over the years. You can grow a mini indoor garden in just about any small container, as long as you can incorporate drainage.

plant growing in a seashell

Here are some creative “mint tin” alternatives for your tiny garden:

  • A teacup
  • A colander
  • A tin can
  • Recycled plastic bottles
  • An old shoe
  • A wicker basket
  • A toy truck
  • A candle holder
  • Muffin tins
  • Seashells

If you choose something that doesn’t have naturally occurring drainage or can’t be drilled (like a teacup), use rocks under the soil.


Get the right potting mix

When choosing soil for your miniature garden, look for recommendations based on the plants you’ve chosen. Generally speaking, you’ll want a well-draining potting soil with a sand component. Even if you can add a few drainage holes, it’s worth adding a thin layer of mini gravel or river stones underneath the dirt.

an assortment of plants growing in large painted tin cans

Add some extras

Your mini indoor garden isn’t limited to traditional house plants. You can get creative and make a small zen garden or fairy garden. Creating mini container gardens is a popular hobby for crafters, and it’s relatively easy to find miniature accessories online.

For example, if you create a garden in a teacup, you can add a doll-sized table and tea set. Look for things like small pebbles as walkways or miniature bird baths to create the illusion of a real garden. If you’re feeling crafty, you can stain a popsicle stick with tea and use it to create a sign. Write “My Garden” using a felt tip marker and make it a focal point of your mini garden.

flower bulb growing in a tea cup

How to make your mini indoor garden

Now that you have the various components, it is time to put your garden together. Here’s how:

  1. Clean out your chosen container with hot soapy water.
  2. If you are using plastic or metal, flip over the vessel and drill holes in the bottom. Just a few to help with drainage. If you have a mint tin, keep the cover as a catch tray underneath.
  3. If you are not using plastic or metal, add some rocks to the bottom of your container, as mentioned above.
  4. Scoop in the potting mix on top of the rocks, giving it a slight shake to let it settle in the open spaces underneath.
  5. Plant your seeds or transplants, covering them with a bit of soil.
  6. Place your garden based on the type of plants you’ve used (i.e., in a sunny window or in bright indirect light).
  7. Water as needed.

If you decide to grow your mini indoor garden using seeds, wait until they’ve started growing before placing your extras. By doing so, you reduce the risk of damaging your plants and can determine if you need to thin them out.

Don’t be surprised if your one mint tin garden turns to ten or more over time. Creating mini gardens is a fun project that becomes addictive quickly.



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