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Maintaining a garden can seem like a daunting task, especially if you live in a crowded city with limited space and resources. But in reality there are many ways to create a successful, thriving garden in your home. It’s all about knowing which plants are best suited for your space and time constraints.

The following types of plants are ideal candidates for a low-maintenance urban garden with a small footprint. And while this list is by no means exhaustive, it’s a great place to start.

Indoor plants

In a densely-populated city, outdoor space is a real luxury. Making use of indoor plants is a smart move, even if you’re among the lucky few who have access to a balcony or a terrace. Not only will indoor plants serve as decor, but they also help to keep the air clean. Peace lilies, spider plants, snake plants, and succulents are all popular choices. If you want to get a little more unconventional, you can try bamboo or zebra plants. A little research will turn up an impressive number of plants that thrive indoors with low to medium light that will liven up your space.


Using fresh herbs instantly improves the quality and flavor of your dishes, and herbs don’t get much fresher than being plucked right from your windowsill. In addition to cooking, some herbs can be used for medicinal purposes. You can grow aloe, chamomile, and sage to use as treatments for burns, anxiety, and asthma, and a surprising number of other ailments. They don’t take up much space at all, and aside from looking gorgeous, growing herbs will give you flexibility with your dinner menu and some home remedies that are bound to come in handy.

Tall & Lean

If you’re short on space, opting for tall, lean plants (otherwise known as fastigiate plants) is a wise choice. Forget flowering bushes and wide foliage – focus on plants that take up less room at their base and draw your visitors’ eyes upward. Plants like columnar apple trees and varieties of hibiscus flowers will brighten up your space without cluttering up the floor.

Remember, there’s no one kind of urban garden that everyone should follow. The trick is to find what works best for you and your living environment. Identify how much light your plants will get, how often you’ll be able to (or remember to) water them, and what you want to get out of your garden. Knowing this before you start gardening will help you make the best decisions when choosing plants for your space.