Small-Space Gardening

If you use containers of different shapes and sizes, you can fit them together in eye-pleasing groupings for small-space gardening.

Succulents in a open terrarium

Think inside the box or inside a terrarium. Most plants will do fine, growing happily for many years inside of a decorative container. The main ingredients for the plant’s success in these containers are adequate sunlight, airflow, fertilizer or compost and are pruned as needed.Teapots for planters in small-space gardens


You are not just limited to foliage plants and flowers. You can grow vegetables too, using Earthbox® type containers, stackable planters, and square-foot gardening strategies.


The sky is the limit!

Vertical gardening is becoming more popular as our space reduces for good gardening. Vertical gardening is an ultra-creative strategy which allows walls to come alive! You can put “reduce, reuse, recycle” philosophy to work as you repurpose old hanging shoe racks as vertical lettuce and herb planters.

Versatility in growing plants on a vertical wall
Versatility in growing plants on a vertical wall. Photo by: Cherry Laithang

Condo-variety fruit trees

Mangoes (Mangifera indica L.) cultivars such as Cogshall, Mallika, and Pickering are called condo varieties. They can be grown in a pot in a space 6-8’ tall and still produce a fair amount of outstanding fruit. Key lime trees (Citrus x aurantifolia) can successfully produce enough limes to make a few pies each season.


A Focal Point

Small statues add a focal point to small spaces.
Small statues add a focal point to small spaces.

Small gardens should have a striking focal point, use unusual plants, such as a small flowering tree, an art object or both. Use cohesive colors and complementary materials as you fill the small space area. In “living wall” planters, such as the one pictured below, the plants are the art!


Getting Started

You just need a little motivation and creative skills. Look to the internet for great ideas. Watch for classes on small-space gardening. Don’t feel limited by lack of space; be inspired by all that you can do with it!

More Florida-friendly tips can be found on our webpage.

Bring your gardening problems to us. We have a Plant Diagnostic Clinic located 1303 17th Street, West in Palmetto. You can also call us at (941)722-4524. You can email a gardening problem or photo to

Content by Susan Griffith, Florida-Friendly Landscaping Coordinator, edits and revisions by Lisa Hickey, Urban Horticulture


Posted: June 27, 2018

Category: Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Home Landscapes, Horticulture
Tags: Container Gardening, Small-space Gardening, Vertical Gardening

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