By Michael Jenkins
While we may think of gardening as an outdoor activity, there’s plenty of garden fun that can be had indoors as well. Whether you have a few flowers or herbs on a windowsill or an entire space devoted to your plants, indoor gardening can be just as rewarding as working under the sky. Caring for indoor plants does require a few particular considerations however. So if you’re just getting started in indoor plant care or you’re making the transition from an outdoor garden, let’s go over a few things to remember about caring for indoor plants.
The good news about caring for indoor plants is that many of your skills and much of your equipment are the same as caring for an outdoor garden. Containers, trowels, watering cans, and the like can all be used in either space, so you don’t need to go buy anything extra or anything specialized. Just in case, however, here’s a basic supply list for your indoor garden:
- Containers are a must for any indoor garden, and you can use any appropriately sized containerjust as you would outdoors. The only addition would be to ensure good drainage and a drip pan or plant saucer underneath the container to catch excess dirt or water and keep it off your floors!
- Good potting soil or container soil is a must, and the soil you choose should be right for the plant in question. Just as with an outdoor garden, different plants enjoy different conditions, so make sure you pick the proper soil for what you’re growing.
- Indoor conditions in the winter may be dryer than outside, due to the quirks of how central heat works. Likewise, soil in containers is a bit more sensitive to acidity/alkalinity shifts over time. A good soil testercan help you keep track of your soil conditions and ensure that your plants have a healthy medium in which to grow.
- Indoor plants require gentle, regular watering, so a good watering can is a must. A spray bottle might be easier for smaller, delicate plants or seedlings, so having both around is a good idea. It’s important to water with room-temperature water; water that’s too hot can cause damage and water that’s too cold can cause plants to go dormant.
- Grow lights can help indoor plants in the cooler darker months by providing extra light when the sun’s not shining so brightly. Grow lights can be found at most garden stores or online, and some are very affordable.
Once you have what you need, you just need a space for your plants and the dedication to giving them some time and care. This is where it can get tricky: as we’ve said, different kinds of plants have different needs. You’ll need to do a bit of research and learn about the plants in question and how they best adapt to indoors. They might need more or less water, more or less light, humidity, and of course nutrition. Some may need to be pruned more regularly. Part of the joy of gardening is the constant process of discovery and learning new things, so embrace this with your indoor garden!
Fall is upon us, and winter isn’t too far off. As the seasons move, we hope you’ll take some plants indoors with you for the colder months and help keep the joy of gardening alive all year long. Caring for an indoor garden can be easy, and indoor plants can bring joy and color to your home all year long!