The Best Leafy Greens to Grow in Containers

A gardener holding a variety of freshly harvested leafy greens.

There’s nothing quite like a summer salad made from fresh greens that you’ve grown and harvested right on your own patio. Here are our favorite tips for growing leafy greens in containers, and the best ones to choose.

Tips for Growing Leafy Greens in Containers

Because leafy greens do not have large root systems, you don’t need to choose a particularly deep container to plant them in (6 to 12 inches will do just fine). It is more important to pick a container with good drainage and enough surface area to fit a good crop of greens. 

Leafy greens are delicate and because they have shallow root systems, they dry out quickly. Make sure to check the soil often and water frequently, or plant your leafy greens in a self-watering container to simplify the process and make sure that they are getting water as needed.

When planting leafy green seeds, plant them densely, spacing seeds about ½ inch apart. As the plants grow, you will likely have to thin them to ensure that your greens have enough room to grow. To thin, simply remove every second plant or so and use the thinned plants in salads as microgreens.

Greens are easy to grow from seed throughout the spring and summer. Once you’ve harvested your crop of greens, you can simply plant a new one!

The Best Leafy Greens for Container Gardening


Kale will thrive in either full sun or partial shade. Kale can continue producing well into the fall, so it is a great option if you want a crop that you can enjoy for longer. 


Spinach grows quickly and easily in containers and can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Place planter in full or partial sun. Harvest the large outer leaves and leave the small inner leaves to help the plant grow and produce more leaves.

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard grows best in full sun. This leafy green comes in a number of colorful varieties and is known for its high nutrient content. Keep in mind that swiss chard leaves get quite large, growing to be at least a foot tall, so place your planter in an area that can accommodate the size.


Lettuce grows well in full to partial sun. Lettuce requires frequent watering but the roots do not like to be soggy, so make sure that you have good drainage and water as needed but do not overwater.

A great container garden starts with a great planter! Algreen has a unique selection of containers and self-watering planters in various designs, materials, and colors to suit any style.


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