Indoor Gardening
Bringing the outdoors inside

Indoor gardening can bring many positive aspects to the home or apartment. In addition to bringing some color and texture from the outdoors, plants can enhance the indoor living environment. As we learned in our high school biology courses, plants take in carbon dioxide while giving off oxygen in their growing process. Also, living plants can aid in maintaining the humidity of the indoor air.

The principles of gardening, whether outdoor or indoor, remain the same. There must be some kind of container, a proper mixture of soil and nutrients, adequate water and drainage, and adequate lighting. In addition, we need to beware of the possible toxicity of our plants, especially around pets and children. A few colorful plants placed strategically throughout our living quarters will enhance the decor considerably.

All plants will require light of some kind to grow. Some plants require more light than others. If possible, place plants in a location where natural light is available. Putting them near windows will aid in keeping them healthy. Plants with a darker colored leaf require less lighting than those with lighter colored leaves. If light is a major concern, we can use grow lights that are available at various gardening ceners.

Indoor gardening also means we need to be careful and prudent in our watering habits. Overwatering can lead to root rot and eventually death of the plant. The containers holding our indoor plants, and these can be anything we find attractive and complementary to our decorating pattern, should consist of a system of adequate drainage with rocks in the bottom, drainage holes, and some kind of saucer to catch any overflow water. We don’t want our soil mixture to get overly dry but we also don’t want the soil to remain overly damp, resulting in root decay and dead plants.

Indoor gardening plants can suffer during the winter months due to reduced humidity from our home heating systems. One way to combat this is to fill a spray bottle with water and give them a spritz or two during the day. We need to ensure that our plants are not in the direct line of heat coming from heating vents or from the heat of the kitchen.

We need to also be cognizant of any fertilizer needs of our plants. Fertilizer comes is various forms with some being granular, some being fertilizer sticks, and some being in solubale form. Some plants may require a specialized fertilizer. This is especially true of exotic plants.

For a plant that lends itself to a hanging basket, the Boston fern makes an excellent choice for indoor gardeners.. However, it can require some special attention to grow successfully. For this plant, distilled water works best. While they don’t need direct sunlight, they may require a grow light if there isn’t sufficient natural lighting. Daily misting helps keep this plant healthy since it prefers cool places and high humidity.

The Philadendron is another popular plant for indoor gardening. This is a broadleafed plant that requires less light than most house plants but prefer bright light. Wiping down the leaves with water will remove any dust or insects.

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