Best Indoor Gardening Books: 12 Picks for All Skill Levels

Does it ever seem like indoor garden bloggers and influencers have it all magically figured out while you’re left out in the cold?

When you’re bombarded by images of plant perfection, it’s easy to feel as if you won’t ever possess the tools, skill, time, budget (ad infinitum) to take that leap with your plant-growing game.

Exhausting, right? Don’t worry – it’s definitely not just you.

Whether you’re just getting started with indoor gardening or want to tackle more advanced techniques or specific areas, I can guarantee you’re merely a scroll away from finding your next plant bible.

You’ve got this!

Key Takeaways

Gardening Under Lights is ideal for those eager to learn more about grow lights. The best book for those with small homes is Indoor Edible Garden.

The perfect pick for houseplant enthusiasts wishing to challenge themselves is Houseplants: The Complete Guide.

Indoor Kitchen Gardening Highlights: sprouts, microgreens & herbs; accessible; budget friendly; realistic equipment suggestions; beginner friendly; $
Gardening Under Lights Highlights: science of lighting, up-to-date gear recommendations, technical, thorough, intermediate-expert, $$
Indoor Edible Garden Highlights: creative methods for growth, apartment friendly, inspirational, budget friendly, diagram/picture heavy, $
Indoor Gardening Highlights growing systems/techniques; apartment friendly; encompasses fruit, flowers, herbs & veggies; $
Indoor Kitchen Gardening Handbook Highlights: growing preparation/projects, encouraging, great for beginner-intermediate levels, budget-friendly, inspirational, $
Indoor Vegetable Gardening Highlights: basic steps & necessary tools, general overview, beginner friendly, mentions outdoor gardening, $
Year-Round Gardening Highlights: tips on extending the growing season indoors/outdoors, advanced, season-specific suggestions, Swedish-inspired approach, $$
Indoor and Vertical Gardening Highlights: general indoor & vertical gardening techniques, aimed at beginner-intermediate urban gardeners, space-specific suggestions, $
Indoor Gardening Secrets Highlights: setting up the ideal environment, generalized; beginner/intermediate friendly, soil and compost recipes, $
Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening Highlights: soil-sprouted greens, low tech, no grow lights/greenhouses necessary, aimed at low-budget/family homes, $$
Houseplants: The Complete Guide Highlights: popular houseplants & difficulty levels, care needs and placement suggestions, ideal for beginners/intermediates, $$
Houseplants 101 Highlights: implementing healthier houseplant habits, easing decision fatigue, valuable for beginners/experienced growers, $$

Main Recommendations

Indoor Kitchen Gardening

This is a valuable, humorous guide for those needing to be eased into the basics while providing the average gardener with some extra insight.

While tomatoes and peppers are referenced, the focal point appears to be on growing smaller edibles like herbs, sprouts, microgreens etc.

However, the in-depth suggestions on lighting and troubleshooting sections will inspire confidence in beginners to try bigger projects.

  • Main focus of the book: Growing small indoor gardens
  • Number of pages: 224
  • Hardcover or paperback: Paperback
  • Best for: Beginners and those wishing to learn how to start seeds

Gardening Under Lights

This book delves breathlessly into why specific lights can be detrimental or beneficial to certain plants and provides clarity at every stage with illustrations of the entire light spectrum from the coolest to the warmest bulb tones.

There’s a concern that novice gardeners will find the initial light-heavy portion too technical, but the remainder of the book offers helpful growing tips for trickier plants such as bonsai and orchids.

  • Main focus of the book: Mastering grow light use
  • Number of pages: 248
  • Hardcover or paperback: Hardcover
  • Best for: Intermediate tech-savvy houseplant growers

Indoor Edible Garden

This novice-friendly guide encourages gardeners to make the best of whatever they have – think apartments with no balconies, poor lighting setups, and long Midwestern winters.

Allaway offers charming advice on everything from using readily available pantry supplies (sprouting microgreens in cupcake liners) and utilizing cramped nooks and crannies in inspiring space-maximizing fashion (vertical gardening on doors/dining carts).

  • Main focus of the book: Growing herbs/plants creatively
  • Number of pages: 224
  • Hardcover or paperback: Paperback
  • Best for: Beginners with limited space/resources

Indoor Gardening

In this book, Rosser covers how to grow various fruit trees, flowers, herbs, and vegetables indoors and considers both beginner and seasoned gardeners by outlining how different designs (terrariums to windowsill gardens) and techniques (soil vs hydroponic) can breed success.

Those already familiar with indoor gardening may find the care and maintenance suggestions a little sparse.

  • Main focus of the book: Exploring indoor systems/techniques
  • Number of pages: 148
  • Hardcover or paperback: Paperback
  • Best for: Novice-intermediate gardeners with limited space

Indoor Kitchen Gardening Handbook

Though Millard’s guide is aimed at most gardeners, it will inspire particular confidence in colder-zone growers thanks to her realistic account of Midwest gardening.

She also takes care to highlight the best varieties of specific vegetables, herbs, and microgreen seeds to ensure greater results.

The focus in this guide is on the importance of prep and growing inspiration while things like the best lighting, soil mediums, etc. are fairly generic and presented as more of an afterthought.

  • Main focus of the book: Inspiring projects to get started
  • Number of pages: 192
  • Hardcover or paperback: Hardcover
  • Best for: Beginner-intermediate growers

Indoor Vegetable Gardening

This will whet the appetite of newbie indoor gardeners looking to get an understanding of the basics of growing herbs and big vegetables.

Smith dedicates chapters to the basic principles, essential tools needed, tips on planting, and how to maintain plants with tips on pest and disease control.

It’s worth noting that readers found typos and repetitions within the book, which may make instructions unclear for complete beginners who are less familiar with garden terminology.

  • Main focus of the book: An overview of the basic steps
  • Number of pages: 86
  • Hardcover or paperback: Paperback
  • Best for: Beginners to herb/vegetable gardening

Year-Round Gardening

This thorough guide encompasses both indoor and outdoor gardening with Swedish-inspired advice on successful planting prep and using certain spices and vegetable plants to extend your growing season.

There are many helpful nuggets for novice and practiced gardeners here, though some Scandinavian-specific tips may not translate so well to humid US growing zones.

  • Main focus of the book: Season-extending tips for indoor/outdoor growth
  • Number of pages: 160
  • Hardcover or paperback: Paperback
  • Best for: Intermediate cold-climate gardeners

Indoor and Vertical Gardening

Essentially an updated version of Rosser’s earlier Indoor Gardening book, this contains the same vegetables, fruits, and flower-growing guides but with a newly added section detailing the benefits and setup suggestions for vertical gardening.

This goes into things like trellis tutorials, pros and cons for your space, and the best plants/veggies suited to a living wall.

  • Main focus of the book: Indoor/vertical garden inspiration
  • Number of pages: 292
  • Hardcover or paperback: Paperback
  • Best for: Beginner-intermediate urban gardeners

Indoor Gardening Secrets

This small-but-mighty tome is packed with inspiration and genuinely practical steps for beginner and seasoned gardeners wishing to grow anything from herbs to small indoor trees.

Brenden breaks down what to expect from your unique space, pollution, and hardiness and includes clear tutorials on making your own soil, containers, and organic fertilizer.

  • Main focus of the book: Providing the right environment for houseplants/edibles
  • Number of pages: 120
  • Hardcover or paperback: Paperback
  • Best for: Beginner-intermediate growers

Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening

This comprehensive guide champions an old-school approach to growing indoor greens with a super accessible “no grow lights or greenhouse” method.

Burke makes sprout and microgreen gardening sound rewarding and simple with guides to soil vs. soilless mediums, how to become a daily gardener, and recipes for lunch, quick bites, and dinner sides.

  • Main focus of the book: Benefits of non-traditional sprouting
  • Number of pages: 208
  • Hardcover or paperback: Paperback
  • Best for: Beginner growers/families on a tight budget

Houseplants: The Complete Guide

This houseplant bible is jam-packed with valuable insights to lure beginners out of their comfort zone.

Steinkopf lays out the ideal needs of the most popular houseplants with additional troubleshooting sections, placement suggestions according to space, and more.

A broad resource for helping novices choose the right plant according to practicality and skill level.

  • Main focus of the book: Profiling 125+ species from easy-difficult
  • Number of pages: 272
  • Hardcover or paperback: Hardcover
  • Best for: Complete beginners to houseplant hobbyists

Houseplants 101

This friendly guide speaks to anyone who has ever killed multiple houseplants and is eager to build better habits.

A criticism of the book is that Shepperd doesn’t divulge enough about the pitfalls he experienced/how he overcame them, but the detail in other areas, from pest control and light recommendations to edible plant guides, makes this a worthwhile read.

  • Main focus of the book: Making better selections/understanding care
  • Number of pages: 218
  • Hardcover or paperback: Paperback
  • Best for: Hesitant/unlucky plant parents

That’s a Wrap! 

While some might overlap with general information on indoor gardening, each of the above guides speaks to a certain type of gardener.

If you want to grow kitchen herbs and greens on a budget, have a boxy apartment calling out for vertical gardening suggestions, or simply need some inspiration before you get started – there’s something here for you!