The 12 Best Plant Starter Kit Essentials of 2023

Our top picks from Plantflix, Urban Outfitters, Joyful Dirt, and more

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Best Plant Starter Kit Essentials

The Spruce / Amelia Manley

If you want to grow houseplants from seeds, you'll need the right supplies. It's also a good idea to do a bit of research before purchasing the type of seeds or plant that you're hoping to buy. "Knowing the plant will save you so much time and potential frustration down the road," says Amanda Rose Newton, a Board Certified Entomologist and member of The Spruce Gardening and Plant Care Review Board. "Research which varieties will do well in your area and how long they need to harden off before transplanting."

We spent hours researching plant starter kit essentials from the top gardening brands, evaluating ease of use, effectiveness, and value. Our favorites include a seed collection from Plantflix, grow lights from Yoyomax, and plant food from Joyful Dirt

Scroll down for the best plant starter kit essentials available online.

Our Top Picks

Plantflix "Grow Your Own Jungle" Houseplant Seed Collection

Houseplant Seed Collection

Courtesy of Plantflix

What We Like
  • 9 exotic indoor plant variations

  • Seller is willing to offer planting advice

  • Relatively low-maintenance plant species

What We Don't Like
  • Plant variations may not be for everyone

To start your indoor plant journey, you'll need some seeds. We recommend the Plantflix Houseplant Collection, which comes with eight packets of various indoor-friendly species. You'll get seeds for growing a monstera, a philodendron selloum, a dragon tree, and a china doll plant, plus two types of hypoestes phyllostachya seeds for white, and pink polka-dot plants.

Each packet includes approximately 20 seeds—except the monstera which only included ten seeds—and they should be stored in a cool dry place until you're ready to plant them. Be sure to plant them in moist soil and keep them in a bright warm spot, since they're all tropical indoor plant seeds. We love that Plantflix is willing to offer virtual assistance in planting these seeds and that the seeds come with general care instructions, plus individual sheets for each plant type. However, we recognize that not everyone may be looking to grow these types of plants, so this jungle seed collection may not be the best option for every beginner. Nonetheless, this "grow your own jungle" kit is a great starter pack for anyone interested in growing their own house plants.

Price at time of publish: $53

Material: Plant seeds | Amount: 170 seeds | Color: Not applicable | Items Included: 9 seed packets

MIXC Seedling Starter Tray Kit, 10-Pack

Seedling Starter Tray

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • 120 cells total

  • Humidity domes included

  • Drainage holes in each liner tray

What We Don't Like
  • Trays may not be durable for repeat use

A seed tray, like the MIXC Seedling Starter Tray Kit, is an essential tool for initially planting your seeds, before moving them to larger pots. This tray kit comes with ten trays, each of which has 12 1.5-inch square compartments with drain holes. These trays also come with a clear domed cover with adjustable vents, allowing you to regulate the humidity level for each type of seed you plant. The dome also gives you a clear view of your seedlings, and you can ensure bugs and pets stay out of your seedlings.

A transparent tray also lifts out of the larger green trays, so you can observe root growth and check on soil moisture. While this kit does come with enough trays that you may not need to use all of them initially, we're skeptical of their long-term performance as they're just made from thin plastic. We recommend handling these trays with care and keeping them out of reach from little ones or pets, who may knock them over.

Price at time of publish: $36

Material: Plastic | Amount: 10 trays | Color: Green | Items Included: 10 main trays, 10 clear trays for watering, and 10 humidity domes

Miracle-Gro 6 qt. Indoor Potting Soil Mix

6 qt. Indoor Potting Soil Mix

Courtesy of The Home Depot

What We Like
  • Compatible with a range of houseplants

  • Designed to retain moisture

  • Feeds up to 6 months

What We Don't Like
  • Not best for plants that require a sandy or rocky soil

When it comes to gardening, Miracle-Gro is a household name. The brand's Indoor Potting Mix is blended with nourishing ingredients to support a wide range of houseplants while also resisting gnats and aphids. This blend also contains coconut coir, a natural fiber that absorbs and then releases water, which in turn retains moisture so your plants can thrive.

This six-quart bag contains enough soil to feed your plants for up to six months with regular soil changes. Keep in mind that while it is compatible with several types of houseplants, you may want to conduct additional research to ensure your houseplant does not need a sandy or rocky environment.

Price at time of publish: $6

Material: Indoor potting mix with coconut coir | Amount: 6 quarts | Color: Not applicable | Items Included: 6-quart bag of potting mix

The Sill Organic Lava Rocks

Organic Lava Rocks

Courtesy of The Sill

What We Like
  • Enough for several smaller plant pots

  • Great material for planters with no drainage holes

  • Can absorb excess water and release it over time

What We Don't Like
  • Not a perfect solution for overwatering

Lava rocks are a great additional planting layer for pots without drainage holes. The porous substance absorbs moisture and then slowly releases it, helping to correct overwatering. This 4.25-liter bag from The Sill contains enough organic lava rocks to cover the bottom of four to five small five-inch planters, or two to three medium seven-inch planters.

The bag also offers additional planting guidance for beginners. You should only use up to one inch of lava rocks on the bottom of your indoor pots, and this mix should not be used for outdoor planting. Keep in mind that lava rocks do not completely solve excessive overwatering, so it may still be worth investing in pots with drainage holes.

Price at time of publish: $18

Material: Organic lava rocks | Amount: 4.25 liters | Color: Black and brown | Items Included: 4.49-quart bag of lava rocks

Urban Outfitters 2" Live Assorted Succulents Set of 4

Assorted Succulents

Courtesy of Urban Outfitters

What We Like
  • Individual care instructions provided

  • Fully rooted plants

  • Can be easily transplanted to a terrarium or terracotta pot

What We Don't Like
  • No way to choose type of succulent

If you want to skip the seedling step, you can always purchase small starter plants like this set from Urban Outfitters. You'll receive four live succulents, each rooted in soil in a two-inch square plastic container. Although you do not have the option to select which type of succulents you receive, the assortment will vary based on season, size, and readiness. You'll receive specific care instructions for your succulents when they arrive as well.

It's recommended that you transfer your succulents into slightly larger planters and water them to give them the nourishment they need to thrive indoors. We love this set because it's a great starter kit for building your own terrarium or succulent garden at home, without having to purchase several types of succulents separately.

Price at time of publish: $20

Material: 2-inch mini succulents | Amount: 4 succulents | Color: Not applicable | Items Included: 4 fully-rooted mini succulents in 2-inch plastic pots

LE TAUCI Plant Pots with Drainage Hole, Set of 3

LE TAUCI plant pots, set of 3, black color


What We Like
  • Three different size pots

  • High-quality ceramic and glaze finish

  • Mesh circles and hole plugs included

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

A set of high-quality planters is a must for any beginner gardener, and we love this set of 3 ceramic plant pots from LE TAUCI. Each pot has a drainage hole, so you don't have to worry about overwatering your plants, as you learn their individual needs. You can also choose between 7 glaze finishes that range in color from black to green and blue.

This set varies in size—starting at 5.5 inches and growing to eight inches—so you'll have a few options as your plants grow and need to be repotted. They also come with three mesh circles and three silicone plugs, which help to prevent soil from falling out of the hole. You can always choose to plug the drainage holes if you'd prefer to use lava rocks for drainage. Although we recognize that this set of pots is well-made and a great option for beginners, we wish they were slightly less expensive.

Price at time of publish; $48

Material: Ceramic | Amount: 3 plant pots | Color: Black, navy, reactive glaze black, reactive glaze blue, reactive glaze green, reactive glaze white, or white | Items Included: 1 5.5-inch planter, 1 6.5-inch planter, 1 8-inch planter

Joyful Dirt Premium Concentrated All Purpose Organic Plant Food

Organic Plant Food

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Equals up to 4 gallons of liquid fertilizer

  • Easy to store and use

  • Safe to use around pets and kids

What We Don't Like
  • Specific amount not listed for sprinkling on dirt

  • Expensive

Incorporating plant food into your watering routine ensures your indoor plants are receiving the nutrients they need within their controlled planting environment. Joyful Dirt is an organic formula that's the perfect balance of gentle and nourishing for fertilizing houseplants. It comes in a three-ounce shaker, similar to spice containers, which allows you to easily store it with your other smaller indoor gardening tools.

JoyFul Dirt's formula is safe to use around pets and kids, and it can replace up to four gallons of liquid fertilizer, commonly used on outdoor plants. They recommend either sprinkling the mixture directly on plants before watering or mixing one tablespoon of fertilizer for every 1/2 gallon of water. Our only concern for this fertilizer is that a specific amount is not suggested for the direct application method. So if you're looking to be precise, we recommend mixing it with water according to the suggested measurements.

Price at time of publish: $20

Material: Mycorrhizae ad other nutrients | Amount: 3 ounces | Color: Not applicable | Items Included: 3-ounce shaker of powdered plant food

Pine Tree Tools Bamboo Working Gloves

Bamboo Working Gloves for Women and Men

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Breathable material

  • Reinforced finger grips

  • Great for detailed tasks

What We Don't Like
  • Smaller sizes listed in separate links

A pair of gardening gloves will come in handy when you're ready to transfer your small plants into bigger containers. This pair is made of breathable and absorbent bamboo with reinforced rubber grips on the palms. Your hands will stay clean while you work and be protected from pokes, scratches, and irritating residues.

These gloves are known for their tight, "second skin" fit, so if you prefer looser gloves, you should order one size up. Their tight fit makes them a great option for high-dexterity tasks like separating roots and gripping hand trowels. Our only complaint about these gloves is that they're listed under separate links for smaller sizes online, making the virtual shopping experience a bit confusing.

Price at time of publish: $17

Material: Rubber and bamboo | Amount: 1 pair of gloves | Color: Green | Items Included: A pair of bamboo and rubber gardening gloves

Yoyomax Grow Light for Indoor Plants

Grow Light for Indoor Plants

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Adjustable light direction

  • Heads can be turned off and on separately

What We Don't Like
  • May not be able to clip onto super thick edges

A grow light can make a world of difference when growing plants in the winter or in low-light areas. This multi-head option from Yoyomax has three adjustable gooseneck arms with 60 full-spectrum LED lights. It clamps onto the edge of a table, windowsill, or shelf and is powered through an outlet. We recommend installing this light on a thinner edge, as it may not be able to clamp onto thicker shelves or tables.

With 39 red and 21 blue LEDs, it delivers the optimal balance of photosynthesizing light for indoor plants. Plus, the heads can be turned off and on individually, and the six dimmer modes allow for customizable illumination. The lamp will also remember your latest settings and turn on at the same time each day, when left plugged in.

Price at time of publish: $26

Material: Plastic | Amount: 60 full-spectrum ELD lights | Color: Blue and red | Items Included: 1 adjustable grow light

E.Palace Stainless Steel Water Can

E.Palace Stainless Steel Water Can


What We Like
  • Multiple sizes and colors

  • Resists rust build up

  • Resists bacteria growth

What We Don't Like
  • Small spout

You'll also need a watering can that's suited for indoor plants. Size is a major factor for indoor watering cans, which don't need to be as large compared to their outdoor counterparts. We love this option from E. Palace, which is stainless steel and the ideal size for taking care of smaller plants.

The stainless steel will ensure that it resists bacteria growth and also resists rust buildup. We recommend emptying this watering can after each use and allowing it to dry before storing it. You can choose between three finishes and three sizes, so even your larger indoor plants will be sure to receive enough water without multiple can refills.

Price at time of publish: $14

Material: Stainless steel | Amount: 15 ounces, 30 ounces, or 50 ounces of water | Color: Silver, copper, or gold | Items Included: 1 stainless steel watering can

OFFIDIX Glass Spray Bottle Plant Mister

Glass Spray Bottle Plant Mister

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Available in multiple colors

  • Plastic pump resists rust

  • Can double as decor

What We Don't Like
  • Small handle

Many indoor plants don't need to be watered very often. However, misting them can provide a much-needed humidity boost and prevent over-drying. This glass mister from OFFIDIX has a vintage-inspired design with a plastic pump to resist rust. It even doubles as decor, when placed on a shelf next to your retro watering can for an Instagram-worthy display.

At just over 6 inches tall and 3 inches in diameter, this chic little mister is the perfect size for tending to delicate houseplants. It's also available in multiple glass colors, so you can choose one that best fits your personal style. We recommend emptying this mister after each use, to avoid any bacterial build-up.

Price at time of publish: $13

Material: Glass and plastic | Amount: 200 milliliters of water | Color: Green, transparent, blue, purple, or olive green | Items Included: 1 glass plant mister

BlueMake Mini Transplanting Set for Indoor Plant Care

BlueMake 12 Pieces Succulent Plants Tools

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Includes every tool you could need to transplant

  • High-quality materials

  • Multipurpose set

What We Don't Like
  • Small pieces could be choking hazard

Transplanting houseplants can be tricky, especially if you don't have the right tools. Most gardening tools are designed for larger plants, but the BlueMake Mini Transplanting Set has all the tiny utensils you need for transferring your starter plants. It can also be used to help maintain the health of your indoor plants and begin new plants by propagating

It comes with 15 pieces, including two different soil scoops, two mini shovels, plus a rake. Pruning and cleaning tools are also included such as curved tweezers, a leaf trimmer, and a handheld dust blower. These tools are made with durable plastic handles and rust-resistant metal heads for the shovels and rake. We recommend keeping this set together in a sealed pouch and out of reach of small children, who may choke on the small pieces.

Price at time of publish: $13

Material: Plastic and metal | Amount: 15 tools | Color: Black and silver | Items Included: 1 watering bottle (500ml), 2 cleaning brushes, 1 pair of curved tip tweezers, 1 pair of straight tip tweezers, 1 leaf trimmer, 1 Air dust blower, 2 transplanting tools, a mini bucket and shovel set, 1 rake, 1 spade, 1 shovel, and 1 spray bottle (300ml)

Final Verdict

While there are my supplies you'll need to start indoor gardening, we recommend selecting the type of seeds or small plants you'll be working with first. The Plantflix "Grow Your Own Jungle" Houseplant Seed Collection is a great option for anyone hoping to grow beautiful monstera and other humidity friendly plants. A sturdy plant pot is also an essential. The LE TAUCI Plant Pots with Drainage Hole come in a set of three, so you'll have a backup pot once your seedlings take root and grow more.

What to Look for in a Seed Starter Kit

Pot Size

Even though you want to make sure your seeds have plenty of room to grow into happy seedlings, it's important to make sure they don't have too much space. Getting a kit that has a tray with small, separated sections to place your seeds in is a good place to start. Each compartment should be a couple of inches wide and deep. Depending on how many seeds you have, you can choose a tray with fewer or more compartments.

Soil Type

You can't have plants without having a proper growing medium. "For germinating seeds, always make sure you are getting a sterile mix," says Amanda Rose Newton, a Board Certified Entomologist and member of The Spruce Gardening and Plant Care Review Board. "This is commonly labeled as "germination mix". This will hopefully ensure harmful bacteria or fungi are not present. Most sterile blends are also lightweight and easy to drain."

A well-draining, nutrient-rich soil will not only keep your seeds from drowning, but it will give them the food they need to thrive. Consider researching to figure out what nutrients your plant of choice will need most. In most cases, a generic potting soil mix should be fine, but it's always good to double check.

Seed Type

Knowing what your seeds are and where they're coming from is key to successfully starting a small garden. For instance, you don't want to get seeds for a plant that requires a ton of sunlight if you don't have any natural light in your home. You always want to be sure you can produce ideal growing conditions for your seeds, that way they'll grow up healthy and strong.

"During the Winter Solstice, do not despair if your indoor plants drop leaves or are not growing as much," says Newton. "This is exactly what they would be doing outside—winter is not an active season. Time your new seedlings accordingly so that they will be ready to go out during the warmer Spring months." 

  • How do you use a seed starter kit?

    A seed starter kit is used to get your plants growing and help them establish healthy root systems. Usually, a starter kit includes seeds, soil, and a tray. To begin, place soil in each compartment of the tray. Then, add one seed to each compartment and gently cover it with soil. Water the seeds thoroughly. If your tray came with a lid, place that on top to ensure your seeds have enough humidity to sprout. From there, your seeds will grow into tiny plants. Once large enough, you can transplant your seedlings into the ground or into a larger planter.

  • What is a starter plant?

    A starter plant is a small, established plant, often in a 2-inch nursery pot. They are ready to be transferred to a larger pot or planter immediately upon purchasing them.

  • How long will it take to see seedlings?

    While germinating times for different plants vary, normally, seedlings will begin to appear within a couple of weeks. There are several types of seeds that make great beginner options. "Some of the easier seeds to start indoors include lettuce and herbs like basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, and oregano," Newton says. "Many veggies like tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers can even be kept in patio containers after transplanting. There is a misconception that you need a large backyard to grow your own food!"

Why Trust The Spruce?

A writer for The Spruce since April 2020, Theresa Holland has substantial experience covering home goods and gardening products. Once an accidental indoor plant killer, she's learned many tips and tricks for keeping houseplants alive over the years. You can read more of her writing on MyDomaine and Byrdie. Additional reporting was done by Katie Pittman, who has more than five years of experience in lifestyle and digital media and is an expert writer for MyDomaine.

Emma Phelps, an Updates Writer for The Spruce, refreshed this roundup's contents with new product selections and added supplementary information for each product. She also reached out to Amanda Rose Newton, a Board Certified Entomologist and member of The Spruce Gardening and Plant Care Review Board, and asked for her expert opinion on essential products and tools beginner gardeners may need.

Updated by
Katherine Pittman
Katherine Pittman, writer and editor
Katherine Pittman is a lifestyle writer and editor and home expert at The Spruce. She has worked in the lifestyle, fashion, and beauty space for over five years.
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