Growing herbs, fruit & veg in an apartment

by Lala

I’ve been living in Shanghai for a few months and of course I have missed gardening. I’ve collected several orchids, succulents and other ornamental houseplants like anthuriums.

Above: My highly fragrant Buddha’s Hand citron (Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis), grown kind of bonsai style & a white phalaenopsis orchid.

Most recently, I have started growing herbs, fruit and vegetables. It is quite challenging but fun trying to make the best of the space I have available indoors and on my balcony to grow the things I love to look at, and love to eat. In South Africa I had 2000 square metres of garden to work with. Here, besides the inside of my apartment, I have a balcony of about 4 square metres. Quite an adjustment, but not an impossible project. I was already a fan of container gardening back home.


Above: My balcony space with some of my plants out getting sun. Usually most are indoors. Tomorrow my friend will help me set up a shelf for them outside.

The keys to success  besides the obvious water, are sufficient light and appropriate organic, non-toxic fertilisers and herbicides or pesticides when needed. If you are going through the effort of growing herbs, fruit and vegetables then of course you should make sure that you don’t use toxic chemicals on them. In today’s video I discuss what I use.

If you’re short on space but would love to have fresh mint & citrus for your mojitos or rosemary for that roast lamb, this video is for you. I share my experiences & tips for growing herbs, fruit & veg in my apartment. I’ve always had a garden but kept potted plants too, so this is not too unfamiliar.

If you’re in Shanghai, these are my sources for the plants I have mentioned in the video:

Herbs: From Fields Organic grocery, Shanghai (bought on the app)

Citrus & peppers: Fushan Vegetable & Flower Market, Shanghai (visited in person, but some shops also deliver)

Above: Karnivale chilli peppers. A common, fun chilli that is often sold as an ornamental. When young, the chillies are many different colours. This is edible. Watch the video for important information before tucking into these.


Above: In the video, the leaves are “red packets” are already removed from the calamondin trees.

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