So it’s springtime and all the hardware stores and home goods stores are brimming with seeds, plants and gardening supplies galore.
But if you are new to the world of gardening, which plants are the easiest to start growing?
This topic probably brings much debate, and there are many factors that come into play, such as how much space and light you have to offer them, and how often you will remember to water.
Herbs will be the easiest to grow if you are short on space as they can often thrive indoors, and then provide you with fresh seasonings throughout the year. Vegetables are wonderful and rewarding to grow, as there is nothing quite as satisfying as eating something you just plucked from the vine. Flowers are always another option for something easy to grow; there are many options that are easy to grow in a pot or small planter bed. If you do not want flowers or vegetables, there are always the traditional, leafy, indoor plants that tend to be very hardy and thrive with little water and light. And last, but not least, there is a cactus; for some people it is the best place to start learning to keep a plant alive.
Here are the top 10 options of plants, in various categories, to start your growing experience.
Basil: Better Homes and Garden calls basil “one of the easiest herbs to grow, making it a great top 10 must-grow plant. Add it to sauces, soups, and salads for a spicy, tangy flavor. The many varieties, from lime basil to Thai basil, have flavors ranging form citrusy to spicy with a touch of anise. Grow a few and explore the different tastes. Basil grows equally well in the garden and in containers, and its clean, long-lasting foliage makes it a great plant for the edible landscape, too.”
Rosemary: This herb is pretty, aromatic and tastes delicious in all types of dishes. It is on Health.com’s list of top herbs to grow. Apparently the smell of rosemary may even improve your memory according to a study from the University of Northumbria. Rosemary will grow well in a pot, indoors or outdoors as long as it gets sun. It likes small, frequent watering’s in well drained soil.
Thyme: This small, but plentiful herb is a wonderful option for an indoor or outdoor, potted herb. It needs plenty of sunshine, but otherwise it stays small. According to Health.com, “Thyme has long been used as an herbal remedy for respiratory problems such as bronchitis, and it also has antiseptic properties. (Thymol, one of the compounds it contains, is a key ingredient in Listerine.)”
Tomatoes: One tomato plant can produce several pounds of fruit from midsummer to frost, making it a wonderful plant to start growing. They can be grown in a pot or in the ground, just be sure to find a bushing or container specific variety or your tomato plant will start vining all over the place. Tomatoes are very popular container plants, so it is easy to find a well growing container, specific plant at your local nursery.
Beans: Green Beans especially are very versatile and forgiving vegetables to try and grow. If you are limited on space make sure to choose a bush variety so you do not have to worry about creating a trellis. Beans are very easy to start from seed if you want to be brave. They come in all types of varieties; green beans even come in purple if you want to mix it up with different vitamins.
Cucumbers: Biting into a juicing cucumber during the hot summer months is nothing short of refreshing. They are also excellent for flavored water. One plant will easily keep you full of cucumbers during the entire grow season. They will sprawl and vine if allowed, but they can also be trained onto a sturdy trellis. There are bushing varieties available if you want to grow one in a container. Make sure to choose a slicing, burp-less variety versus a pickling cucumber.
Sunflowers: Sunflowers are easy to grow and easy to impress the kids. These should not be grown inside unless you find a dwarf variety, but they are easy enough to grow outside that you can plant the seeds straight in the ground and watch them go.
Fuchsias: These pretty little flowers come in all shapes and sizes. They make a wonderful container or hanging basket flower. With a decent amount of water and care they will give you wonderful amounts of color and fun.
Snake Plant: According to Better Homes and Gardens “This carefree succulent plant tolerates neglect extremely well. If you’ve had no success with houseplants other than plastic ones, give snake plant a try. In addition to the tall form pictured here, shorter, bird’s-nest forms are available. All types withstand low light but appreciate brighter conditions. The only problem likely to develop is root rot if you overwater the plant.”
Cast-Iron Plant: According to Better Homes and Gardens this plant live up to it’s name. It “withstands neglect, low light, low humidity, and a wide range of temperatures. It grows slowly so purchase a plant that is large enough for the space in which you intend to use it.”
Many plants are toxic to animals. So if you have animals, make sure to research your plants before bringing them inside incase your pet decides it wants to take a nibble on your new houseplant.