Best Indoor Gardening Books for Dorms and Small Spaces

cat with houseplants

Because Alibris is based in Northern California, many of our employees are apartment dwellers. Space for a garden is at a premium. As we we enter the back to school season, we can sympathize with those of you living in cramped quarters for the first time.

To our college-bound freshmen: yes, your living space has gotten smaller. It’s not just you. This happens to all students so don’t worry. You’re most likely living in a dorm room or small apartment with roommates that you may have just met very recently. You may have noticed a lack of plants in your life. Well, that can change! Indoor gardening will make your small space look like a home, improve the air quality, and provide you with delicious herbs to put on that boxed mac and cheese. It’s just a page away.

Students may have inspired this post, but even if you’ve lived in the same apartment for twenty years or you just want to grow some indoor plants with your grand-kids, we have the books for you. Indoor gardening is for everyone.

Indoor Gardening For BeginnersIndoor Gardening For Beginners

by Mike T. Anderson

Indoor Gardening For Beginners by Mike T. Anderson may be a good place to start if you have never tried to grow anything before. This beginners book will teach you step-by-step indoor gardening. The author explains the importance of lighting and fertilization, as well as how to achieve it, indoors. The book explains what kind of bulbs and plants work best indoors. If you have never even picked up a spade start with this book first.


Indoor gardening the Organic WayIndoor Gardening the Organic Way

by Julie Bawden Davis

Indoor Gardening the Organic Way by Julie Bawden Davis fits in with some of the other books we’ve shown off on our blog in the past, as it is all about going organic. If you’re going to eat organic you might as well be organic while growing your own plants. There are plenty of ways to get cancer these days, why make your house plants one of them? This book is filled with up-to-date information on using all-natural growing principles in the specialized indoor environment. If you want to grow house plants the way nature intended, instead of the chemical companies, then this is the book for you.


 Indoor Kitchen GardeningIndoor Kitchen Gardening

by Elizabeth Millard

Indoor Kitchen Gardening by Elizabeth Millard is my favorite on this list. If you are going to spend all the time to grow plants, for their beauty and calming effect, you might as well also grow something you can eat. When you’re cooking it’s always a lot more fun to be able to say, “these tomatoes came from our garden.” Turn your apartment or dorm room into a year round vegetable garden with this book. Learn how to grow micro-greens, herbs, sprouts, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers and more. The author is part owner of Bossy Acres, a 100-member community-supported farm in Minnesota that provides seasonal produce to members and area restaurants. This book is good advice from an expert.

Seed Starter JPEG

Seed Starter

by Maureen Heffernan

Finally, consider Seed Starter by Maureen Heffernan. For more than a century Burpee has been a household name when it comes to vegetables and flower seeds. You may want to check out the Burpee site when making your own seed purchases. Seed Starter has a section on sowing seeds indoors as well as outdoors. With 50 color photographs and 50 line drawings this book makes a nice encyclopedia of seed-starting organized by plant. Information on transplanting, trouble-shooting and thinning indoor plants can help you as you grow your own indoor garden.


Gardening has been thought of as a hobby of outdoor enthusiasts but these books will help you take that hobby indoors so that you can have your own indoor garden.


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