With the growing number of people living in apartments now, there are an increasing number of us that want a little bit of greenery in the house and therefore give indoor gardening a go. Gardening indoors essentially involves flower pots and the great array of them would definitely make a statement in style in themselves. Indoor gardening however has certain aspects that is unique to it ie the plant is totally dependent on you for lighting, humidity changes, temperature changes, as well as the usual pot plant needs such as feeding and watering.
Challenges of Indoor gardening
The challenges that face the indoor household (or office) plant is immense. It often has to tolerate a wider range of fluctuations in humidity and temperature levels than a plant would outdoors. Take your usual pot plant on the window sill for example. In the daytime, it would experience scorching sun as the glass pane tends to focus heat on the plant a lot more and then in the night time assuming you turn on the air conditioning to cool the house down, the plant experiences cold and a sudden drop in humidity. That's a big ask. Indoor plants already have the usual stresses that pots in flower pots would encounter (eg the odd day when you forget to water and then you decide to give it a double dose when you do remember) plus these additional ones relating to the climate in the room, it's no wonder that so many indoor plants don't thrive. But take heart, with a bit of diligence on your part and some tender loving care, indoor gardening can prove to be a rewarding endeavour.
Indoor gardening tips
- Pick the right plant for the spot. This sounds like the obvious thing to do but so many of us do impulse buys and pick plants that are not at all suitable for indoor gardening. Ferns are the obvious choice because they like filtered light conditions but not all ferns are suitable. Ferns adore humidity and misting something they love so if you are someone who is not regular with watering chores, then give ferns a miss.
- Choose the right spot for the plant. Indoor gardening can be approached 2 ways - you either decide that you want a plant in a particular spot and therefore start your decision from there or you decide what plant you want and then find a spot that suits the plant.
- Use drip trays. Unless you want a permanent water mark on your shelf or carpet, it's best to have drip trays for all your indoor plants.
- DO NOT overwater. More indoor plants actually die from overwatering than underwatering. If you overwater and there's a constant supply of water on the drip tray, what happens is that you 'drown' your indoor pot plant - all the air pockets in the soil are saturated and the plant eventually suffers from 'root rot'. If you find it hard to predict the watering requirements for your indoor plant (they will vary according to the seasons), then it's probably best that you pick a self watering flower pot - these allow the plant to decide how much it needs and you just keep topping up the tray below.
- Use a small watering can. I know this sounds obvious, but there are some of us (me included at times) that decide to empty water in with any old cup that's handy only to discover to our dismay that the water has streamed off the foliage and been directed (as if by magic) onto the carpet.
- If you are going to reuse flower pots for your indoor gardening needs, wash them thoroughly with soapy water to reduce the likelihood of disease transfer from the last plant to the new plant.
Plants suitable for indoor gardening
- African violets
- Creeping Fig
Hydroponics and indoor gardening
Use hydroponics and you can grow plants without any soil! Grow vegetables year round in controlled environments. Lush growth indoors is a reality.