If you enjoy eating healthy green vegetables and have a thing for houseplants, spinach is a perfect choice! They’re not too particular about sunlight and can handle some shade. Since the roots don’t go too deep, they can grow perfectly well in pots. So when thinking about starting a small indoor kitchen garden, spinach is a must-have, and you should definitely growing it!
These beautiful greens add plenty of attraction to your indoor setting, not to mention the continuous supply of fresh vegetables for your everyday recipes. If you’re wondering how to grow spinach indoors, here’s a complete guide to getting you started.
What Kind Of Plant Spinach Is?
Spinach is a hardy annual vegetable that doesn’t take much effort to grow, whether you do that outdoors or indoors. They have an imposing nutritional profile, and you can consume them in a variety of ways. Young leaves can be added to fresh salads, while larger ones are typically cooked and consumed just like other green vegetables. For example, spinach juices are trendy among diet-conscious people.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Spinach?
With higher concentrations of iron, vitamins, and calcium than most other vegetables, no wonder it was Popeye’s favorite! It’s low on calories and an excellent source of Vitamins A, B, C, and K.
If you want to reap the multitude of health benefits that a spinach platter offers, you might like knowing that’s it’s one of the hardiest vegetables to grow. They’ll grow indoors all year round, even when it’s freezing outside!
They don’t need a lot of space and will thrive happily on a windowsill. They are perfect edible houseplants, even for those who are new to gardening.
How To Grow Your Spinach Indoors?
Though growing spinach from the comforts of your own home isn’t difficult at all, there are some things you should know beforehand. Make sure all the essentials are covered well to help the plants thrive. Here’s how to grow spinach indoors in a pot:
What Size Pot Do You Need To Grow Spinach?
As already highlighted, you don’t need “a bottomless pot” when growing spinach. A pot that’s 6 to 8 inches (about 15 to 20 cm) deep will provide plenty of space for the roots to develop. As for the width, choose a wider pot if you have space and grow several plants.
Large window boxes or wooden crates will easily hold many plants at a time. Make sure it has drainage holes at the bottom and fill it up with some good quality potting mix.
How To Plant Spinach Seeds In A Pot?
Sow the seeds about ½ an inch (about 1,3 cm) deep in the soil. Sprinkle some potting soil over the seeds if they’re still exposed. You wouldn’t need to worry about spacing at this stage since you can always thin the seedlings once they start appearing.
Ideally, a 3-inch (about 7,5 cm) gap between seedlings is advised, but you can also grow them closer, with a 2-inch (about 5 cm) gap if you plan on harvesting young leaves only.
What Is The Best Spot For The Pot?
Once you’ve planted the seeds, place the container next to a bright window. Choose a sunny spot for fall plantings, but a shadier window will do better for the warmer months. Ensure the temperature is between 50 – 80°F (about 10 – 26,5°C) for optimal germination, although spinach can also sprout at temperatures as low as 40°F (about 4°C).
If you keep the soil evenly moist and the temperature is ideal, spinach should start sprouting in about 5 to 14 days, depending on the variety. Take care of the plants, watering and fertilizing them as needed to help them grow their best.
How Do You Know When To Harvest Spinach?
You can start harvesting baby greens in about 40 to 50 days once the plants are at least 3 to 4 inches (about 7,5 to 10 cm) tall. Snip only a few leaves at a time from the outside of the plants, leaving the center to continue growing.
You can also harvest the entire plant 3 inches above the base, and it will resprout many times for a continued harvest.
What Growth Conditions Does Spinach Need To Grow Well?
So now you know how to sow the spinach seeds, help them germinate, and take care of the young plants until they’re ready to be harvested. But, besides the primary care, some specifics will help it grow to its fullest potential, so you get lots of flavorful spinach leaves in just a few months. Here’s what you should know:
How Much Sunlight Does Spinach Need To Grow?
As long as they don’t get a lot of direct sunlight, spinach will grow happily on your kitchen window. Since bright sunshine is often hard to achieve in most homes, spinach makes the perfect choice to grow in some shade.
If you’re growing it in the fall or winter months, a sunny spot will suit them best. In a subtropical or tropical climate or the case of spring and summer plantings, look for a location that receives some shade, especially during the afternoon.
How Much Water Does Spinach Need?
Your indoor spinach needs consistent moisture to grow optimally. Remember to water it each time the topsoil starts drying but make sure the soil isn’t soaking wet at any time. The pot should be able to drain well. Otherwise, the plants will be prone to rot and fungal diseases. Also, make sure the foliage is kept dry while watering the plants to avoid plant diseases.
If You Want, You Can Mulch!
If you want to bring out the best in your indoor spinach plants, there are some extra steps you can take—mulch around the plants to maintain their moisture content and slowly release nutrients into the soil.
How Often Should You Fertilize Your Spinach?
Nitrogen is good for spinach, just like all other green vegetables, since it promotes foliage growth. Planting the seeds in compost-rich soil will give them a good start, but you can encourage growth by feeding them with a balanced liquid fertilizer at midseason. If you want to keep it organic, you can provide it with fish emulsion or compost tea instead.
What Spinach Types Are Good For Indoor Growing?
There are different varieties you can plant depending on your preferred taste and texture and your climate.
Renegade is a bolt-resistant variety that grows slowly, giving consistent harvests all season. It’s a high-yielding variety that you can plant indoors at any time of the year.
Butterflay is a semi-savory variety that can easily grow indoors or outdoors and which you can harvest at almost any growth stage. You can enjoy baby greens or let the plants grow to a foot (about 30 cm) long and harvest mature leaves.
3. Red Cardinal
Red Cardinal is a fast-growing variety preferred for harvesting baby spinach. It will work well in partial shade and won’t need much care to thrive. The smooth leaves harvested from Red Cardinal work well in salads.
4. New Zealand Spinach
New Zealand spinach works well in warmer climates and forms a bushy, dense growth for plenty of harvests, even in little space. Though they aren’t considered ‘true spinach,’ they’re just as healthy and delicious.
5. Malabar Spinach
This one is another heat-tolerant variety that thrives without much effort. Like New Zealand spinach, it’s not ‘true spinach.’ The texture, taste, and nutritional content are quite similar.
What Mistakes To Avoid When You’re Growing Spinach Indoors?
When growing spinach indoors, there are some things you’ll need to avoid:
- Don’t crowd the plants, or they won’t grow to their true potential. As the plants grow bigger, you can thin them to 6 inches (about ) apart. To remove an entire plant, cut it just below its crown.
- Don’t delay harvesting the leaves for too long. Increasing temperatures and daylight hours can trigger bolting. Harvest all the leaves before the weather warms up, and the plants go to seed. The leaves turn thicker and bitter once the plants bolt.
- Don’t tug on the plants when picking the leaves since spinach has shallow roots that can easily damage. Use scissors or pruning shears to snip the leaves.
- Avoid exposing spinach to temperatures higher than 80°F (about 26,5°C). However, it’s unlikely that indoor plants will experience such high temperatures. Still, they’ll need to be shaded if you’re growing them on a hot, sunny balcony, for example.
How To Grow Spinach Indoors? – In A Sealed Package
|Temp Required||40 To 80°F (About 4,5 To 26,5°C)|
|Sowing Time||All Year, But Preferably Early Spring Or Fall|
|Type Of Soil||Loamy|
|Harvesting Time||40 To 50 Days|
|Light Duration||6 To 8 Hours|
|Watering||Maintain Even Moisture|
|Fertilization||Balanced Liquid Fertilizer At Midseason|
I hope you now know how to grow spinach indoors. And whether you’re still wondering if you should do it, remember that spinach is one of the easiest vegetables to grow. Also, let’s not forget the beautiful dark green foliage impressive enough to make a bold statement! Growing a compact indoor spinach garden is satisfying and rewarding. In just over a month, you’ll have plenty of fresh greens for your healthy recipes.
I hope you have a wonderful experience growing spinach in containers on your window!