The Beginner’s Guide to Indoor Gardening
Growing indoors isn’t always as easy as it looks. Maybe you’ve had a little bit of success, or maybe you’ve had trouble keeping even the hardiest of plants growing. Plants don’t require a lot to grow and many plants can be grown indoors, but it does require a bit of knowledge to help them thrive. Below is all the information you need to start growing plants inside, whether you’re interested in growing flowers, herbs, or even vegetables.
Why is an Indoor Garden a Good Idea?
Indoor gardens might be the perfect answer for a lot of reasons. In some areas, gardening can’t be done year-round, so indoor gardening gives the opportunity to have fresh vegetables or herbs even when it’s too hot or too cold to grow outdoors. Others like to garden indoors because they enjoy the look of plants within their home or because they love the smell of flowers throughout the house. Anyone can grow indoors, whether they’re looking to grow flowers or vegetables, and can enjoy not only the final result but the whole process of growing plants.
Picking the Right Container
Indoor planting begins with choosing a container. The right size is going to be crucial here, as plants need enough room for their roots. If there isn’t enough room, their growth might be stunted or they might fail to thrive. This doesn’t mean all containers have to be huge, but larger containers are better for plants that are going to get big. As for the shape and material, just about anything will suffice for indoor growing. It is important to ensure any container that is chosen has drainage holes to allow the water to drain through the soil.
Select a Potting Mix to Use
Potting mix is going to be needed for the plant to live in. Good potting soil should be chosen for indoor plants, not just soil from in the yard. Most potting soil will include the right mixture to help hold in enough water without holding too much. The soil should be light, so the roots can get air as well, and compost or other added nutrients is a good idea to ensure the plants are able to grow. It is not necessary to purchase the most expensive bag of potting soil, but it is crucial to buy soil that has what the plant needs to grow. Always read the ingredients before purchasing potting soil to ensure it is a good mix.
Find the Right Place to Keep the Plants
Before planting, it’s a good idea to think about where exactly the plants will be located. Most plants are going to need somewhere that isn’t too hot, too cold, or too humid. Temperatures that are too hot or too cold can kill the plants, but this usually isn’t a problem indoors. Humidity can lead to the growth of fungus and disease if it’s too high, so that is something to think about when choosing where to place the plants indoors. Areas like bathrooms that tend to have a higher humidity might not be a good idea, even if the flowers add to the beauty of the room.
Find the Right Lighting for the Plants
Plants do require light to thrive, especially vegetable plants that are intended to produce enough food to eat. For many plants, especially vegetable plants, just getting light from the window isn’t going to be sufficient. When the window doesn’t provide enough light, it is possible to purchase lights that provide the full spectrum of light. There are many different types of full-spectrum bulbs available today and they can help ensure the plants get the different types of light they need.
Keep Testing Equipment on Hand
Testing equipment doesn’t need to be costly and can be a great way to make sure the plant has everything it needs. There is equipment designed to test water levels, temperatures and humidity, the pH of the soil, and more. While it is possible to look at a plant sometimes and tell what it needs to continue growing properly, testing equipment makes this easier and helps the grower discover issues before they become a problem for the plant.
Water Plants Appropriately
All plants need water to grow, even succulents that thrive on very small amounts of water. It is important, no matter what type of plants are growing indoors, to water regularly so the soil doesn’t end up completely dry. However, overwatering can be just as bad as under watering. Overwatering can drown the plants, as there will be too much water in the soil and no way for the roots to get air. For indoor plants, a good way to test is to feel the soil. If the soil is dry about an inch below the surface, water should be added. If it’s still damp close to the surface, wait a day or two before watering.
Add Nutrients When Needed
One thing that many growers overlook is adding nutrients. Initially, there are nutrients in the soil as long as quality potting soil is used for the plant. Over time, the plant will use up the nutrients in the soil. If fertilizers aren’t used, the plants could end up dying because of a lack of nutrients. Fertilizers can also cause issues if they are overused, so it’s a good idea to learn what the signs of over or under fertilizing look like and to read the bottle and apply the fertilizer properly when they are used. For those growing vegetables indoors, fertilizers can help not only keep the plant healthy but help it produce more.
If you’ve been thinking about growing plants indoors, now is a great time to start. Even if you haven’t been able to grow plants inside before, you should be able to by following the advice here. As long as you take proper care of the plants, most plants are able to thrive indoors and you can have the gorgeous flowers in your home that you want or the vegetables to use when you’re cooking.