Indoor gardening can sound like an intimidating prospect, as plants are supposed to be outdoors—aren’t they? Certain plants, however, can survive and thrive in an indoor environment. Here are 10 tips for keeping your indoor garden happy and healthy:
Location, Location, Location
Some plants require more light than others. One of the most important factors for keeping plants happy is making sure they’re getting as much, or as little, light as they want. Some plants may be happier being placed by windows, and some may want a little bit less light and will do better in a shadier area.
Mist to Avoid Drying Out
In artificially heated or air conditioned environments, some plants may dry out. Misting your plants is a good way to combat this, as it can help keep them from getting too dry. Some plants will do well when misted, and others will not, so be sure to look at the requirements for each specific plant.
But Don’t Over Water!
Over-watering is a cause of problems for many different plants, especially plants that are more accustomed to a dry environment (such as succulents). Plants should only be watered when the soil feels dry to the touch. Some plants, like succulents, only grow their roots when the soil is allowed to dry. In an indoor environment, overwatering can cause roots to rot as well as the potential for other problems.
Use Ice Cubes for Water
A good way to moderate the amount of water plants get, or to water them more slowly, is to place ice cubes in the pot with them. They will slowly melt, allowing the plants to be watered at a more steady rate that can help the water absorb into the soil more slowly.
Using fertilizer can be a good way to assist your plants in getting the different nutrients they need, especially if they are in an indoor environment and may not be exposed to the same things as outdoor plants. Different plants have different needs, so it’s important to make sure you’re providing the right type and amount of fertilizer for each plant.
Not Enough Sunlight? Not a Problem!
Artificial lighting, often called grow lights when they’re used for plants, can be a good way of helping plants get the sunlight they need. Often, you can’t choose the direction of the windows in your home and there isn’t a lot you can do about it. In this case, using artificial light can help plants that need a lot of light if being near a window isn’t enough.
Choose Plants Wisely
Certain plants are easier to grow inside than others, and one of the most important steps in beginning an indoor garden is making sure you choose plants that are capable of being grown to their full potential inside. Many plants that require pollination from things like bees and butterflies (such as plants that grow fruit) are very difficult to grow inside due to the fact that they require pollination from an outside source.
Match Plants with their Environment
Different plants all have different native environments, and sometimes it can be hard to recreate these environments in your home. Plants that tend to like more moist environments will do better in your bathroom, as the air is much more likely to be as moist as they like it. Some plants prefer certain temperatures, and this should be taken into account as you’re choosing plants for your home. A plant will not do well if it’s much colder or hotter in your home than in the plant’s native environment.
Choose the Right Container
There might be a temptation to choose a container for your plant based only on how it looks with the rest of your interior decor. It’s important to consider not only the way the plant will look in your home, but also how the container will function within the life of the plant. For example, glass containers can look very pretty but they can hold onto more water than a desert plant would like, and this can cause problems for the plant in the future.
More Than Just Decor
Some plants can have functions other than being purely decorative. Certain flowers can add calming scents, herbs can be used in cooking, and some plants like aloe have a variety of functions other than being decorative.
Indoor gardening can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many ways to make indoor gardening easier, and using these tips can help bring your indoor garden to life and create a space that can be functional as well as beautiful.
Salman Zafar is an ecopreneur, consultant, advisor, speaker and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection, conservation and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe. Salman is the Founder of EcoMENA, a popular voluntary organization based in Qatar. He is also the Founder and CEO of BioEnergy Consult, a reputed consulting firm active in biomass, waste-to-energy and waste management segments.
Salman is a professional environmental writer with more than 350 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass environmental awareness in different parts of the world.
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