Joanna Gaines' Top Tip For Growing A Successful Garden

Joanna Gaines, star of the popular HGTV series "Fixer Upper," knows a lot about renovating houses and making a space not only feel good but also look good. Surprisingly, despite Gaines's interior decorating and organizing skills, she only recently got into gardening. After a few successes and failures with her new hobby, Gaines took to her blog, Magnolia, to share her biggest gardening takeaway – never bite off more than you can chew as a beginner gardener.

In fact, Gaines recommends that newbies "start small" and get a few plants that are easy to take care of like herbs that can be placed on a window sill in your kitchen. This is great advice for new gardeners because the biggest mistake that most beginners make is forgetting to water the plants regularly. Placing a few plants in a room you visit regularly, like the kitchen, will automatically make it easier to remember to care for them. Other good location options could be in the living room behind your TV, in your home office if you work remotely, or even in the bathroom window.

Easy indoor potted plants for beginner gardeners

Once you've chosen the perfect location, it's time to choose a few plants that are easy to take care of and don't need too much care and attention — because nothing is more demotivating than buying a beautiful plant that requires more care than you realized and watching it slowly die. The easiest way to start gardening is to begin with indoor potted plants. This is because, with indoor plants, you can better control their exposure to sunlight and it is easier to remember to water and take care of them.

If you want some fuss-free potted plants, there are plenty of great options to choose from including the tall-growing, big-leafed ZZ plant (which is okay with infrequent watering), the drought-resistant aloe vera, the impossible-to-kill snake plant, and the forgiving spider plant. If you are looking to start a simple kitchen herb garden, go for easy-to-take-care-of herbs that grow well indoors like mint, thyme, rosemary, oregano, chives, lavender, and sage. 

Mint is a quick grower and, as long as it is watered frequently, will take over any pot that it's in. Furthermore, oregano and chives grow quickly and can always be restarted if the previous plant dies. Lavender and sage and beautiful aromatics that look great and are also drought-resistant.

Easy outdoor plants for beginner gardeners

Once you decide to make the move to start an outdoor garden, the best place to begin is with plants and flowers. This is because there are many hands-off plants that do well with minimal care and watering outdoors, as opposed to vegetable gardens which need more care and protection from pests like squirrels, birds, and rabbits.

If you want a perennial flowering bush that will keep coming back and is decently drought-resistant, you could try peonies. Peonies have beautiful pink flowers and will come back every year for decades. Other good fuss-free flowers include coneflowers which do well in sunny areas, hostas which are great for shade, dwarf daffodils which are bright yellow, and hardy geraniums.

If you want to try your hands at an outdoor vegetable garden, you should first pick an area in your yard with good soil and plenty of sun. Next, you may want to protect the perimeter of your garden from hungry critters by lining it with chicken wire or some other deterrent. When choosing your veggies, it's a good idea to start with three to four easy-to-care-for plants. Some great starter veggies include lettuce, green beans, zucchini, cucumber, carrots, and cherry tomatoes.