30 Best Leafy Vegetables To Grow In Containers


I wanted to grow some leafy vegetables in my container garden and did some research on the options available.

I found out there are a ton of options you have. So let’s look at the 30 best leafy vegetables you can grow in containers.

VegetableContainer SizeSunlightWaterMaturity
SpinachDepth – 6 inches

Width – 12 inches

At least 6 hours2 inches dry soil25 days
CeleryDepth – 8 inches

Width – 8 inches

At least 6 hoursEvery day100 to 130 days
Swiss chardDepth – 12 inches

Width – 8 inches

At least 6 hoursEvery day45 to 60 days
KaleDepth – 12 inches

Width – 12 inches

At least 6 hours2 inches dry soil70 to 80 days
Mustard greensDepth – 6 inches

Width – 6 inches

At least 6 hours2 inches dry soil30 to 40 days
WatercressDepth – 6 inches

Width – 6 inches

At least 4 hoursEvery day55 to 70 days
ArugulaDepth – 8 inches

Width – 6 inches

At least 6 hours2 inches of dry soil45 to 60 days
Collard greensDepth – 12 inches

Width – 24 inches

At least 6 hours2 inches of dry soil60 to 75 days
Brussels sproutsDepth – 12 inches

Width – 12 inches

At least 6 hours2 inches of dry soil100 to 110 days
Bok choyDepth – 20 inches

Width – 12 inches

At least 6 hours2 inches dry soil45 to 60 days
LettuceDepth – 6 inches

Width – 12 inches

At least 6 hoursWater every day45 to 55 days
CabbageDepth – 12 inches

Width – 12 inches

At least 6 hours2 inches dry soil80 to 180 days
EscaroleDepth – 6 inches

Width – 12 inches

At least 6 hours2 inches dry soil30 to 45 days
Chinese broccoliDepth – 8 inches

Width – 6 inches

At least 6 hoursWhen surface is dry60 to 70 days
EndiveDepth – 6 inches

Width – 12 inches

At least 6 hours2 inches dry soil85 to 100 days
Broccoli rabeDepth – 24 inches

Width – 24 inches

At least 6 hoursWhen surface is dry40 to 70 days
Beet greensDepth – 10 inches

Width – 24 inches

At least 6 hours2 inches dry soil50 to 70 days
AmaranthDepth – 6 inches

Width – 12 inches

At least 6 hours2 inches dry soil40 to 50 days
PurslaneDepth – 8 inches

Width – 8 inches

At least 6 hours2 inches dry soil45-60 days
RadicchioDepth – 12 inches

Width – 12 inches

At least 6 hoursWhen surface is dry35-45 days
SorrelDepth – 8 inches

Width – 8 inches

At least 6 hoursWhen surface is dry60 days
Lamb’s quartersDepth – 8 inches

Width – 8 inches

At least 6 hours2 inches dry soil45 to 60 days
Turnip greensDepth – 8 inches

Width – 8 inches

At least 6 hours2 inches dry soil30 to 60 days
CauliflowerDepth – 12 inches

Width – 12 inches

At least 6 hours2 inches dry soil70 to 120 days
BroccoliDepth – 12 inches

Width – 12 inches

At least 8 hours2 inches dry soil100 to 150 days
Chinese savoyDepth – 12 inches

Width – 18 inches

At least 6 hours2 inches dry soil50 to 80 days
ChicoryDepth – 12 inches

Width – 12 inches

At least 8 hours2 inches dry soil85 to 100 days
TaroDepth – 6 inches

Width – 12 inches

At least 6 hoursEvery day200 days
Radish greensDepth – 6 inches

Width – 12 inches

At least 6 hours2 inches dry soil22 to 70 days

Spinach

Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that is popular throughout the world but originates from central and western Asian. You can get spinach for eating that is fresh, frozen, canned, or dehydrated.

Spinach is easy to grow in a container as it has shallow roots and big leaves. You don’t need a very large container. One that is 6 inches deep should be sufficient. You can grow several seeds in a single container and harvest the leaves as soon as they grow around 2-4 inches.

Spinach is a cool-season crop so the best time to grow it in early spring or late fall. It requires at least 6 hours of full sun to grow well. You should also water the plant as soon as the soil is dry.

Celery

Celery is a plant that has a long tapering stalk with leaves at the end. You can consume the stalk as well as the leaves of the plant.

It’s easy to grow celery in a container that is 8 inches deep. You can grow several stalks in one container.

Celery is a cool-season plant that makes it best to grow in early spring or late fall. You need to provide 6 hours of sunlight to the plant and make sure to water the soil well.

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is a plant related to beets and spinach. It has a unique thick stem with leaves. The stem can have different colors like white, red, or yellow. You can consume the stem and leaves of this leafy vegetable.

This is a plant with shallow roots so a container that is 8 inches deep should be sufficient to grow several of these plants.

They are a cool-season vegetable so best to grow them in spring or winter. You can start harvesting them as soon as the leaves grow 2-4 inches tall. They do need at least 6 hours of full sunlight and soil that has good moisture.

Kale

Kale is a member of the cabbage family and comes with leaves that can be green or purple in color. It can be eaten raw, sauteéd, or in a soup.

You can plant kale in a container that is 12 inches deep. This is a cool-season crop so grow it in early spring or fall to get the best growth and harvest.

Kale requires 6 hours of full sunlight and takes about 70 to 80 days to reach maturity. You can start harvesting the leaves as soon as they grow 4 inches tall.

Mustard greens

Mustard greens have large leaves that are light or dark green in color. You can eat the leaves and stalks either raw or cooked. The seeds can be used as a spice.

Mustard greens are a cool-season vegetable that you can grow in early spring or fall. You need a container that is just 6 inches deep to grow them.

It requires full sun to grow well and you need to water them when the soil gets dry. The harvest time for mustard greens is 30 to 40 days.

Watercress

Watercress is an aquatic plant found near streams and springs that belongs to the cabbage family. It has small, round-edged, wavy leaves that have a peppery flavor. You can use it in salads, soups, and sandwiches.

The best time to grow it is in fall or spring as the other leafy vegetables. You need a small container that is just 6 inches deep. But you do need to water it every day to keep it moist.

The plant requires full sun to grow well and takes about 55 to 70 days to reach maturity.

Arugula

Arugula is a leafy green vegetable that originated in the Mediterranean and has a distinct peppery taste. You can use arugula in soups, salads, sandwiches, and pasta.

You need a container that is 8 inches deep to grow ars ugula. The plant needs full sunlight of at least 6 hours per day. You need to water it when the soil becomes dry.

The arugula plant takes about 45 to 60 days to reach full growth and maturity.

Collard greens

Collard greens belong to the same family as cabbage and broccoli. They have dark green leaves and a thick stem that you need to remove before eating. They go well in a soup, stir-fry, salads, and meat dishes.

Collard greens can be grown in a container that is at least 12 inches deep. You need to give it at least 6 hours of direct sunlight to grow well.

You can stick your finger in the soil and if it’s dry to about 2 inches, you need to water the plant. The collard green takes about 60 to 75 days to reach maturity.

Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts also belong to the cabbage family and are used for their edible buds that look like small cabbages. It’s good to eat them with your salad, boil them, or toss them in your meat dishes.

You can grow Brussels sprouts in a container that is 12 inches deep. It does require full sun to grow well which means at least 6 hours per day.

Brussels sprouts need moist soil to grow well. As soon as the soil turns dry a few inches, you need to water it. It can take about 100 days till you find your Brussels sprouts have matured.

Bok choy

Bok choy is a type of Chinese cabbage that does not have a head but only green leaf blades. You can use raw bok choy in salads and sandwiches or toss them in a stir-fry with chicken, pork, or beef.

Bok choy has deep roots so you need to grow them in a container that is at least 20 inches deep.

It’s a cool-season crop that needs at least 6 hours of daily sunlight to grow well. Water the plant well so the soil remains moist but not soggy.

You can harvest the bok choy 45 to 60 days after sowing the seeds.

Lettuce

Lettuce is a member of the daisy family and you can use its leaves in salads, soups, and sandwiches as a crunchy addition.

Lettuce is a cool-season leafy vegetable that has shallow roots. You can grow several of them in one container that is 6 inches deep.

You can start harvesting the leaves once they are 3-4 inches tall. You need to water the plant every day to keep it growing well.

It’s a plant that needs full sun which means at least 6 hours every day. Once you sow the lettuce seeds, it takes about 45 to 55 days to reach full maturity.

Cabbage

Cabbage is a leafy vegetable that comes in green, purple, or white color and is used for its head. You can bake or sauteé it. You can shred it for slaw or use it as a side for meat dishes.

Cabbage is a leafy vegetable you can grow in a container that is 12 inches deep. You need to water the plant when the soil dries up.

It is a cool-season plant but you do need to provide it with at least 6 hours of sunlight every day.

Once you started growing cabbage from seeds, you can harvest them from 80 to 180 days depending on the variety.

Escarole

Escarole is a leafy vegetable that belongs to the bitter leafed group. It looks similar to a head of lettuce with short, wide leaves. You can enjoy it raw as a salad or cook, grill, sauteé it. You can also add it to soup.

Escarole has shallow roots so you can grow them in a container that is 6 inches deep. They do need full sunlight of at least 6 hours per day.

You need to water the plant as soon as the soil turns dry. You can check the dryness of the soil by sticking your finger a 1-2 inches in the potting soil.

The escarole will be ready for harvest 30 to 45 days after sowing the seeds.

Chinese broccoli

It’s a plant similar to broccoli with thick, flat, blue-green leaves and thick stems. The best way to use it is in a stir-fry Chinese dish. You can cook it as a side dish with meat.

Chinese broccoli can be grown in a container that is 8 inches deep. You need to provide 6 hours of sunlight so the plant grows well.

Chinese broccoli likes to grow in moist soil so you need to water the plant every day. It takes about 60 to 70 days for the plant to reach maturity.

Endive

This is a leafy vegetable belonging to the chicory family. It has a crisp texture with a sweet flavor and mild bitterness. You can eat them raw in salads or you can fry, grill, or roast them as an accompaniment to your main dish.

You can grow endive in a container that is 6 inches in depth. The plant needs to be watered whenever the soil turns dry.

You need to place the container in a location that receives full sun. You can expect a harvest of the plant after 85 to 100 days of sowing seeds.

Broccoli rabe

This is a leafy vegetable that resembles broccoli but does not form a large head. You can eat the leaves, stem, and buds of this plant. It has a nutty flavor similar to mustard and tastes great when you cook or sauteé it.

The broccoli rabe is a large plant with deep roots so you need a container that is 24 inches deep and wide.

The plant prefers full sunlight so you need to place the container in a location that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight.

You need to water the broccoli rabe as soon as you see the surface of the potting soil has turned dry. The plant will be ready for harvest after 40 to 70 days.

Beet greens

Beet greens are the leaves and stems of the beet plant. They make a good alternative to vegetables like spinach or swiss chard. You can eat them steamed, sauteéd, braised. You can add them to soups and salads.

You need to plant the beets in a container that is 10 inches deep and sufficient for the roots. Beets like full sunlight which means at least 6 hours every day.

You need to water the plant when the soil turns dry. The easiest way to find this out is by sticking your finger 1-2 inches in the soil and check the moisture.

You can start harvesting the beet greens 50 to 70 days from sowing the seeds.

Amaranth

Amaranth is a plant whose leaves are used as a vegetable in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. It’s a versatile vegetable you can use in salads, soups, stir-fry, and curry.

Amaranth needs a container that is 6 inches deep and 12 inches wide to grow well. You need to water the plant every time you find the soil has dried out in the container.

The plant is a cool-season vegetable that you grow in spring or fall but needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight to grow well.

After you have started the seeds, you can harvest amaranth in 40 to 50 days.

Purslane

This is also known as pigweed and is a leafy vegetable with a red stem and small, green leaves. You can eat this vegetable fresh or raw like spinach. You can use it in salads, sandwiches, soups, or a topping.

You can grow purslane without any issues in a container. You need one that is 8 inches deep.

The purslane plant prefers to grow in direct sunlight of at least 6 hours every day. You want to keep the soil moist by watering it every few days if you check and the soil is dry.

You can harvest the purslane plant 45 to 60 days after sowing the seeds.

Radicchio

This is also known as Italian chicory because it’s quite often used in Italy. It has a bitter and spicy taste that reduces when you grill or roast it. You can eat it raw as a salad, grill or sauteé it to add to pasta, stew, or risotto.

If you have a container that is 12 inches deep, you can grow a radicchio plant in it. The plant likes to remain in moist soil all the time. So it’s good to water the potting soil whenever the surface seems dry.

You need to keep the plant in a place where there is at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day. You can then harvest radicchio after 35 to 45 days of sowing seeds.

Sorrel

Sorrel is a leafy vegetable that looks similar to spinach and has a tart, lemony flavor. That makes it good to use in a salad or in a yogurt-based topping. It will also go well with fish.

The sorrel plant needs to grow in a potting soil that is at least 8 inches deep and wide. You can water the plant when the surface of the potting soil is dry.

The plant does need good sunlight so place the container in a location that gets 6 hours or more.

You can harvest the vegetable 60 days after you have planted seeds in the container.

Lamb’s quarters

Also known as wild spinach this is a member of the amaranth family of vegetables. It’s commonly eaten in Africa and Asia but considered a weed in Europe and America. You can eat it cooked or raw. It makes a good addition to salads, soups, stir-fry, and omelets.

This leafy vegetable can grow in a container that is 8 inches deep and wide. You need to place the container in a location that gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day.

Check the moisture of the potting soil before you water the plant. It needs to be dry at least a couple of inches before watering.

You can harvest this plant 45 to 60 days after sowing the seeds.

Turnip greens

These are the dark, leaves you find on the top of turnips. They have a peppery flavor which makes them suitable for soups, stir-fries, quiche, and stews.

You can grow turnips in a container that is 8 inches deep. These are plants that prefer the cool season of early spring or fall.

You can grow them in a location that gets 6 hours of direct sunlight. And you need to water the soil so it remains moist.

You can harvest the turnip greens 30 to 60 days after planting the seeds.

Cauliflower

This is a plant that belongs to the Brassica family. You only eat the head of the plant. You can eat it raw as part of a salad or slaw. Or you can roast it and eat it as an accompaniment or snack.

You can plant cauliflower in a container that is 12 inches deep and wide. This helps you grow the plant as long as you provide 6 hours of sunlight.

You do need to water the plant every day or at least when the soil has dried up a couple of inches. You will be able to harvest the cauliflower after 70 to 120 days.

Broccoli

Broccoli needs a container that is at least 12 inches deep. You need to provide it good sunlight of at least 8 hours to grow well.

The broccoli plant prefers moist soil but it should not be soggy. You can stick your finger 1-2 inches in the soil and if it’s dry water the plant.

It takes time for broccoli to grow and you can harvest the vegetable in 100 to 150 days.

Chinese savoy

This is another type of Chinese cabbage that does not have a head but long, leaves that you can eat raw or cooked. It makes a great addition to a salad, stir-fry, or a meat dish.

You can plant Chinese savoy if you have a container that is 12 inches deep. You need to take care the plant gets at least 6 hours of direct light every day.

And you need to water the plant as soon as the soil turns dry. You will be able to harvest the vegetable between 50 to 80 days after planting the seeds.

Chicory

Chicory is a woody, herbaceous plant that belongs to the dandelion family. It has small, green leaves and bright blue flowers. You can eat the leaves as part of a salad or cook them up as part of a stir-fry, sauteé, or vegetable dish.

You can grow chicory in a container that is 12 inches deep. You need to keep it in a location that is getting 8 hours of sunlight every day.

You need to water the potting soil so it remains moist but not soggy. Once the seeds are planted, you can harvest chicory in 85 to 100 days.

Taro

These are the heart-shaped leaves of the taro plant. The starchy root of the taro plant is edible but the leaves can be eaten as well. Make sure to cook them well because raw taro leaves are poisonous. You can eat the leaves in soups, stews, and casseroles.

Taro can be grown in a container that is just 6 inches deep. You need to give it full sun and water the potting soil every day to keep it moist.

Taro takes a long time to grow and will be ready for harvest only after 200 days.

Radish greens

Radish greens are the leaves from the top of radish plants. The leaves have a fuzzy texture that does not make them suitable for a salad. But you can cook and eat them in stews and soups. You can also make pesto out of the leaves.

Radishes are fast to grow depending on the variety. You can grow them in a container that is 6 inches deep.

Radishes are a cool-season vegetable that grows well in early spring or fall. You want the plant to get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight during this time.

And you want to keep the potting soil well-watered so the soil remains moist. You should be able to harvest the radish greens 22 to 70 days after planting the seeds.

Kevin

Kevin’s sick of eating mass-produced vegetables that contain harmful chemicals and lack nutrition and taste. He wants to grow his own food and help others do the same even with limited growing space.

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