Various outdoor plants to bring inside



Hi there,
I live near a park with tonnes of various plants I wonder if any of them are safe to bring inside and try to grow in my apartment. I’m attaching photos of those that I’ve grabbed so far. Can you let me know what species they are and if they are OK to grow inside (if they survive)? Thanks so much! :)

My apartment faces north but I get a bit of sun in late afternoon.

I’m using a ‘premium organic moisture mix’ for soil that is a mixture of pearlite, peat moss, organic fertilizer, mycorrhizae and a few more items.


It is often a challenge to bring plants from the outdoors into an indoor environment, because of differences in humidity, temperature, irrigation, soil and sunlight, all of which can cause outdoor plants to respond poorly to this kind of move.  Insect pests or soil-borne diseases can also be transferred from the outdoors.

You don’t mention what kind of park you are getting these plants from, but you should be aware that removal of any plant material is illegal under the Toronto Parks bylaws.

From your photograph it is not possible to identify these plants with certainty, although they look like seedlings of the black locust tree, Robinia pseudoacacia.  Park plantings are typically a mixture of perennials that are grown to remain in place outdoors for many years, and annuals, “bedding plants”, which are planted for their colourful blooms every summer.  In general, neither of these types of plants can be expected to overwinter easily indoors.  Many gardeners bring in plants that are known as “tender perennials” – begonias and geraniums are two examples – and it is often possible to nurture these plants along indoors with the appropriate light and pruning until it is time to move them back outdoors again.

Our suggestion is that if you are keen on some winter greenery in your apartment, you look for small, inexpensive houseplants (younger plants are typically less expensive and they will grow into their mature size – you can repot them in larger pots as needed) or culinary herbs that will have a better chance of thriving in your partial sun conditions.   The soil mixture you are using sounds just right.   Here is a popular writer on herbs that can be grown indoors in partial sunlight: and here is a link to our Toronto Master Gardeners beginners’ guide to houseplants, which might give you some ideas:

All the best with your windowsill garden.