Indoor Gardening Ideas

Indoor gardening is a fun activity that adds a touch of nature and hominess to your house. Planting an indoor garden can bring the joy of gardening inside and offer a nice contrast to the white colour outside during the harsh Canadian weather that is here to stay for some time.

Indoor plants can be used to brighten the inside of your house just like the outside. They also help in maintaining the cleanliness and freshness of the air in any room. No matter what the style of your home decor, indoor plants add a touch of freshness and life to your home.

Here are some suggestions to help you care for your indoor garden.

Light
Light is the main source of energy to manufacture food and different plants need differing amounts, which are designated as low, medium, high or very high light.

Temperature
Most varieties of indoor plants do well under normal household temperatures in the range of 25 to 27 degrees Celsius during the day and 20 to 23 degrees Celsius at night. Most tropical indoor plants will tolerate temperatures below that and can be damaged by ‘chilling injury’ if they are.

Water
The most common problems for indoor plants is improper watering. Some plants thrive in drier conditions while other must be kept moist at all times. Too little water can cause wilting and too much water can cause root rot problems. Don’t let the surface of the soil be your guide. Be sure to feel the soil by pushing your finger in an inch or so below the soil’s surface to determine whether or not more water is needed. Another option is investing in a ‘watering meter,’ which can give you an easy and accurate indication of when your plants need watering. Tap water is completely satisfactory for most indoor plants and once a month, plants should be put in the sink and watered thoroughly to leach salts from the soil.

Pots and Containers
Make sure that you have a pot that can adequately allow the water to drain out of it. Also, before putting a plant in a pot you have used for another plant, make sure you clean it out to prevent any diseases that may affect the next plant.

Humidity
The level of moisture in the air can also affect how a plant grows. Low humidity, in most plants, will cause dry leaves and curling. Increase the humidity of the room with a humidifier, especially during winter when the heat is on and the humidity drops. You could also spray the leaves with water, but do that in the morning since spraying overnight may rot the leaves.

Soil
Most nurseries sell a variety of soil mixes for indoor gardening and as long as they have good drainage abilities, are aerated and have good water and nutrient holding capacity, they will be very satisfactory. It is not necessary to use specialty mixes for most types of houseplants.

Fertilization
Most houseplants have reduced fertilizer requirements because of their indoor environment and nutritional problems usually result from over fertilization rather than lack of nourishment. In some cases, specialty fertilizers are needed, but they are the exception.

The most important thing you can do if you plan on indoor gardening is to first learn which plants are suitable for the indoors or can withstand being indoors most of the time. There are literally hundreds of plant species to choose from that are suitable for your indoor garden. Here are a few plants you might want to add to your indoor garden:

African violets - These plants have pretty purple flowers and green glossy leaves. They are quite often grown indoors and can add a colourful splash to your indoor garden. They like light but don't put them in direct sunlight and avoid overwatering.

Philodendrons - These are some of the most popular and hardy of all indoor garden plants. They are full of large green leaves and prefer a medium light. ItT's best to let them dry out a bit between watering and you can keep them little dryer in the winter. They like high humidity but will do okay in most homes. Be sure to wash the leaves off often to remove dust.

Boston Ferns - The Boston Fern is a popular indoor plant that produces a thick bundle of leaves. It requires diffused lighting and will need a grow light in rooms where there is not enough natural light. They can be sensitive to chlorine and tap water so watering regularly with distilled water is best. Boston Ferns can be a bit difficult to grow as they like cool locations with a lot of humidity. Misting your Boston Fern each day can help it be happy and healthy.

Jade Plant - The Jade Plant is succulent and can tolerate very dry conditions. These plants are extremely tolerant and difficult to kill. So if you want to start an indoor garden, consider one of these.

Once you have decided which plant you want, you can choose what kind of container you will need for your indoor plant. Putting plants in pots or other containers adds to their versatility to be transferred from one spot to another. This is the advantage of potting a plant whereas, plant boxes will be heavier to lift and transfer.




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