You’ve probably seen gardens in all kinds of places. Front yards, back yards, rooftops, parks—and that’s only outside. There are also plenty of ways to work a green thumb indoors. Hello, house plants! You can practice your gardening inside with container gardening, succulents, and even veggies and herbs.

But have you ever heard of a staircase garden? 

Like other types of gardening, creating and tending to a staircase garden can be easy—and it will definitely be fun, too. Keep reading to learn more about bringing a little more life into your home. 

Where to Put a Staircase Garden

As you can probably guess, a staircase garden is created on or around a staircase! With a little creativity and a willingness to get some dirt under your fingernails, you can transform any set of stairs in your home or on your property. 

Indoor Staircase Gardens

Mix and match these techniques and approaches to create the indoor staircase garden of your dreams. 

plants in stairwell
Source: instagramWho said you can’t put houseplants on your steps? (Via @kathalaman)

If you’re already a houseplant enthusiast and find yourself bursting at the seams with indoor greenery, it might be time to look at your stairs. Put a potted plant on each step, allowing plenty of space for people to comfortably and safely walk up and down. You might just need to buy a few more plants to complete the full staircase. 

plants on stairs
Source: instagramThere’s something magical about vines. (Via @stoic__gardener)

If you’re ready to take your staircase garden to another level (get it?), consider adding vines to the mix. Train them to grow up and around your banisters for some added whimsy. 

Source: instagramThis staircase garden designed by is particularly lush. 

If the space and layout in your home allow for it, you can add plants into any nooks and crannies in and around your indoor stairs. This might require a bit more maintenance than the suggestions above, but if you like the overall effect, it will be well worth it. 

Outdoor Staircase Garden

Indoor staircases shouldn’t have all the fun. If you have a flight of stairs of any size outside your home, dress it up with greenery and flowers. Here are a few outdoor staircase gardens to inspire your own. 

plants growing on stairs
Source: instagramStaircase garden or secret garden? (Via @kay_hashimoto)

Steps made of stone or brick are just begging for green touches! You can plant greenery and flowers in pockets of soil surrounding the steps or position potted plots strategically. 

outdoor stairs
Source: instagramStaircase gardens, like this one by @anuenani, are perfect for apartment living.

Sometimes, creating an outdoor staircase garden is as simple as arranging potted plants around a wooden staircase. This is the perfect option for anyone who lives on an upper floor of an apartment or who doesn’t have a lot of space outside for planting. 

tomato plant
Source: instagramVeggies can grow on a staircase too! (Via

Use the banister of your outdoor staircase to stabilize vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, or cucumbers. You can also plant an herb garden on the stairs. 

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How to Create a Staircase Garden

As you can see, there are many ways to imagine a staircase garden, which means there’s more than one way to create one as well. The most important thing is to work with your space. If you’re working with a wide staircase, you have plenty of room to build your garden out of potted plants on the edges. If there’s space around or under the staircase, you can put greenery there. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can use your banisters as a sort of lattice for vines. 

Like it is with all kinds of gardening, plant selection is also key to successful staircase gardens. When you choose the right plants for the environment, you’ll see them thriving so they can really add to the aesthetics of your home. 

Choosing Your Plants

Half the gardening battle is choosing the right plants. 

The most important factors when it comes to choosing plants are sun requirements, water requirements, temperature, and space. Look closely at the care suggestions for any plant to evaluate whether or not it’s a fit for your specifications before purchasing it. The right plants will be different for every space and every person. 

Broadly speaking, here are some plants that tend to do especially well in indoor and outdoor gardening:

Best Plants for Indoor Staircase Gardens

  • Peace lilies 
  • Pothos 
  • Snake plants 
  • African violets 
  • Boston fern 
  • Ivy
  • Spider plants 
  • Fiddle leaf figs 
  • Philodendron

Best Plants for Outdoor Staircase Gardens

  • Maidenhair fern
  • Hayscented fern 
  • Philodendron
  • Caladium
  • Oakleaf hydrangea 
  • Hostas 
  • Desert roses
  • Armeria

How to Care for a Staircase Garden

watering plant
Every plant needs its own kind of TLC. 

Caring for a staircase garden is all about caring for the particular plants you’ve chosen. Pay close attention to the sun and water requirements for each plant you bring in, and stick to them as much as possible so your garden blooms! 

When caring for your staircase garden, it’s also important to be mindful of safety. Stairs can be dangerous even when there aren’t plants growing on and around them. Prune loose vines, leaves, and other greens so they don’t interfere with your ability to move. 

Level Up Your Garden 

You can use your green thumb from the ground floor all the way to the top of your home by creating a staircase garden. Inside or outside, staircase gardening is a gorgeous addition to your decor and landscaping. 

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Written By

Alli Hoff Kosik

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