how to grow lettuce indoors

Growing lettuce indoors

If you are interested in growing vegetables indoors, one of the easiest vegetables to grow is lettuce. Growing lettuce indoors is a must-do because lettuce comes in lots of varieties, grows quickly, takes up only a little space, tolerates less light and less heat than some vegetables.

how to grow lettuce indoors

So let’s learn the basics:

There are four main types of lettuces.

There are nearly 100 varieties of lettuce; however, they all fall into one of four categories: Butterhead, Iceberg, Loose-leaf, and Romaine.

growing lettuce indoors

Butterheads are loose heads with a mild buttery taste. Boston lettuce is the most common variety, and these have become a favorite with hydroponic growers.

Iceberg is also known as crispheads. These are typically tight pale green heads and best characterized with very crisp leaves suitable for chopped salads or crispness to a sandwich.

Loose-leaf are lettuces the grow leaves from a single stem, and they have crisp, large leaves and typically come in green or red. They are great lettuce to grow because you can pick a few leaves at a time, and others will continue to grow.

Romaine grows long v-shaped leaves in a loose tall head. Some leaves can be picked as the plant continues to grow, and some varieties have a more closed head and should be harvested at one time.

Growing lettuce indoors is quick.

Lettuce grows quickly, depending on the variety.

Iceberg lettuce takes the longest from seed to harvest, and these can take from 75 to 100 days to grow nice-sized heads.

Romaine is a bit quicker. To grow a full head of romaine, it will take about 60 to 85 days.

Butterheads and loose-leaf varieties are the quickest at about 45-55 days from seed to table. The best part of these varieties is that they can be picked as each leaf matures.

Growing lettuce indoors takes up little space.

When you want to plant lettuce or any vegetables indoors, it is essential to consider the space needed.

It is pretty easy to determine the space you need for growing lettuce, and lettuce is one of the few vegetables that the whole plant is vegetable. If you are unsure if you have space, go to the market and see how big the plant will be.

growing lettuce

Lettuce works well in 8″ pots, and you can also grow several in a large pot, window box, or other bigger areas.

Since most lettuce grows less than 15″ tall, they work great on shelves. It can be grown on windowsills, kitchen shelves, or bookcases.

Try putting a pot of lettuce amongst your herbs or house plants.

Lettuce is an excellent choice in lower light situations.

Growing lettuce indoors is more manageable than other plants because lettuce needs fewer hours of light than some vegetables.

Lettuce will grow fastest with about 8-10 hours of sunlight a day.

However, lettuce does not like the heat that usually comes with direct sunlight.  So 8-10 hours of a mixture of sun, partial shade, and all shade will keep your lettuces happy.

Lettuce also grows wonderfully under a grow light.  So if you have a drinker area that would make a great spot for growing lettuce, visit the Sow Good Naturally store for unique grow lighting solutions.


Growing lettuce indoors does not require much heat.

Lettuce is a cool-weather crop, which means it grows best in the 70-75 degree range. That is the temperature that most people keep in their homes, so it works well indoors.

Suppose you keep your house a bit colder, in the 60s, no worries. Lettuce does well in lower temperatures as well.

Keep in mind that warmer temperatures will not make your lettuce happy. Lettuce will bolt if the temperatures stay in the 80s for any length of time.

If you choose between direct sunlight and a warm spot or a shaded cool spot, always put your lettuce into the cooler place.

The soil needed for growing lettuce indoors

As with most container vegetables, lettuce prefers organic-rich, well-drained soil.

A consistent low moisture soil level is good. The best garden tool for watering lettuce is a spray bottle, and spray bottles will give the soil a nice even watering without damaging the seedlings.

Fertilizer for lettuce

Since lettuce is a quick-growing vegetable, no fertilizer is needed during the growing period. Remember to start with rich potting soil.

Learn about easy and free ways to make your own organic fertilizers by visiting DIY organic fertilizer

Growing lettuce indoors with hydroponics and aquaponic

Lettuce is one of the easiest vegetables to grow with hydroponics. Lettuce is the best starter if you ever think you would like to try growing indoors using hydroponics or aquaponics.

growing lettuce with aquaponics

The Kratky method, which is a non-circulation method, is typically a good choice for lettuce. These systems are simple to set up. Read Kratky for indoor gardening for tips on how to set up your own Kratky garden.

The other effective way to grow lettuce with hydroponics is the NFT or NFS system. This is also pretty easy to set up at home. In these systems, the water circulates under the plants.

I hope you find this inspiring. It’s never the wrong time to start an indoor garden. Please share, like, and comment. I appreciate it!

Don’t forget to get your grow lighting at Sow Good Naturally.

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