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Apartment Gardening Essentials From an Apartment Gardening Expert

If your colleague won’t stop going on and on about how the cold weather is destroying her backyard tomato plants, and you found yourself muttering under your breath “that’s nice that you even have a garden in which to grow tomato plants,” here’s an idea: Get your indoor garden in order. We spoke to Todd Heibel, the general manager of Sprout Home, a garden and flower shop with locations in Brooklyn and Chicago, to get his picks for the best apartment-friendly plant-wares and accessories.

“I love finding things that are beautiful and kind of sculptural but also serve a purpose. Every plant needs water, and this is something you’d be proud to leave out in your kitchen.”

“You can pot your plant right in these collapsible hand-woven planter baskets. Just put a plastic saucer in the bottom, and then put the plant [in its plastic pot] inside. They come in tons of different colors, and have a more bohemian feel than terra-cotta. They’re more affordable than big pots, too.”

“If you have enough sun in your kitchen, or have a little terrace or even a fire escape, you can grow a mini herb garden. With this one you don’t even have to worry about getting anything dirty, because it’s an all-in-one hydroponic herb kit for growing parsley, mint, and basil. This is great for parents to do with their kids to get them started into gardening. Even for beginners, you really have to try to screw these up.”

“When it comes to soil, most houseplants just need a regular lightweight potting mix. I like to use a potting mix that has an organic feeding mechanism built in, like Ocean Forest or Black Gold. Succulents and cacti prefer a mix particularly made for them that allows the water to drain through more readily, so they don’t get root rot.”

“Is there a stretch of your block that’s unattractive and lacking greenery of any kind? Just flower-bomb it. It’s a whole seed pack of wildflowers that grow super fast. Scatter the seeds, mix them in (just a quarter of an inch or so is fine, because they take root really easily), and you should get a whole selection of beautiful wildflowers shooting up within a few weeks.”

“These Pottery Pots are great for apartments; they have a beautiful modern aesthetic and are very durable. They also come in shapes and sizes that are manageable for small spaces — you might not have room for a big pot, but you can always find a home for a little plant somewhere.”

“You can just put a pot in here, or a succulent, or an air plant. Janelle Gramling’s work is beautifully textured and hand-done. A lot of people forget that the room in front of their windows is space too, where you can have living plants, which adds a lot of atmosphere to a room.” [Ed. Here’s another hanging ceramic air plant pot we like.]

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