How To Make an Indoor Container Water Garden

Having a garden right inside your home brings a measure of peace and tranquility.  Using plants as decorative elements inside the living room, dining room or kitchen is a great way to bring nature indoors.  You can go a step further than simply bringing in a potted plant or two.

Water gardens offer a soothing alternative to regular potted plants.  It will give your space a Zen-like quality.  You can easily make your own indoor container water garden with materials from your local garden store.

Materials Needed

  • Leak proof water container
  • Water
  • Small pots (for plants)
  • Aquatic plants
  • Soil
  • Gravel
  • Bricks or different sizes of pots
  • Optional: fountain or other decorative elements


  1. Start by deciding where to place your indoor container water garden.  This will determine how big your container will be and how many pots you will need.  The location should receive at least 4 hours of sunlight each day.
  2. Select a leak proof water container from the gardening store.  You can choose a large flower pot, a square container or even a cylindrical or barrel shaped receptacle.  Just make sure no water will leak or seep out of the container.  If you need to, use a sealing compound or a thick garbage bag to ensure no leakage occurs.
  3. Pour water into the container.  The level should be no more than two thirds of the receptacle.
  4. Place your plants in the small pots with soil.  This soil should be roughly three fourths of the pot.  Add a layer of gravel on top of the soil.  This will keep the soil in place.
  5. Put the potted plants on top of overturned empty pots or bricks.  Arrange the potted plants.  Vary the height for better visual impact.  It is also important to know the water depth that each individual plant can take.
  6. Finish filling the large container with water until about half an inch below the rim.
  7. Enjoy your indoor container water garden!


  • In choosing a container, stay clear of metal containers because metal has a tendency to rust or corrode.  You can use a ceramic container for as long as it has been pre-sealed to prevent water from leaking.
  • Use different interesting water plants like Water Hyacinth, Horsetail, Water Blue Bells, Arrowhead, Water Lily, Lotus, Fanwort, Japanese Iris and many more.  Choose different leaf shapes, textures and growth habits.  If possible, choose plants that do not require full sunlight for more than 4 hours a day.
  • Instead of gravel, you can also use sand to keep the soil in place.  Colored stones are also available in garden stores.
  • Install a small fountain or add a fish or two.  Rocks and other decorative elements will improve your indoor water garden’s visual appeal.
  • Make sure to maintain the correct water level at all times (1/2” below the rim).
  • Remove dead leaves when necessary.  Don’t let the dead stems and leaves fall into the container to keep the water clean.
  • If necessary, add fertilizer to keep the plants healthy.

You don’t need to be an avid gardener to make your own indoor container water garden.  All the materials you need are found in your local garden store.  The store personnel are great resource persons who can give you tips and advice in creating your water garden.  Don’t forget to research on the internet for design and maintenance ideas.


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