Have you ever dreamt of having your house filled with an assortment of plant companions? Every corner bursting with a newfound color, scent, and texture? Well, this might be your answer, but what is indoor gardening in the first place and why should you care.
Simply put, it’s a simple act of growing and nurturing plants indoors. The location poses no restrictions, and you can grow plants almost anywhere, whether that be your home, or any other place you want to spruce up – Even your office!
Venturing into the world of indoor gardening unequipped can be pretty daunting. Don’t worry, though, because this article will serve as your complete guide, right from the ground up!
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Why Should You Start Indoor Gardening?
It’s more than a hobby; it’s a way of life that anyone can adopt. Even if your indoor “garden” is only a collection of three plants, you should still start on this route. But what is so special about indoor gardening?
Not only does it carry the benefits of regular growing, but it allows you to garden all year long, rain or storm! No more bad weather is going to get in the way of enjoying delicious, homegrown produce and the scent of your favorite bud.
Here are some of the benefits of indoor gardening:
1. Good Air
Everyone knows that plants are the reason why our lungs get to breathe healthy air. And so, it’s no surprise that indoor gardening results in air that’s better in quality. In case you don’t believe me, check out those science books and see how plants inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen — making the air much cleaner!
And that’s not all! Having plants around your house will also remove harmful toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. Who knew adding a bit of beauty to your place can do wonders for your health?
2. Fresh Produce: All Year, Every Year
While a lot of people yearn to experience all four seasons, a gardener knows that this restricts their plant growing process as most produce is seasonally grown. With indoor gardening, this is no longer a problem.
With the ability to create an environment that is conducive to grow your selected plants, you can enjoy fresh and healthy produce all year round, uninterrupted. This will broaden your palate, but also ensure that the fruits and veggies you eat don’t contain any harmful preservatives and pesticides.
3. Mental Health
Indoor gardening has been proven to be beneficial for deteriorating mental health. People who engage in this activity have a newfound purpose in life: making sure that their plant doesn’t die. Feeling responsible for another living thing, be it as immobile as a plant, occupies our mind and gives us a sense of contributing to our surroundings.
It’s Free Therapy
Gardening and the presence of nature has been known to combat depression, anxiety, stress, and high blood pressure. So, with indoor gardening, you can bathe in these benefits all day long, even while you sleep. There’s nothing like a little at-home therapy to boost your mood.
4. You Can Do It Too!
Yes, I’m looking at you. Is your injury or different ability an obstacle in the way of gardening? Is it also a hassle to visit the grocery store to stock up on your fruits and veggies? Well, indoor gardening is the solution to both these problems.
With your little indoor garden, you can work at the ease of your body while reducing your workload at the same time. That broken leg won’t get in the way of a delicious and wholesome meal any longer.
So, you’re thinking of getting involved in the world of indoor gardening. Before you start, there are some gardening basics that you should have at hand to ensure that you are successful.
Here are some accessories that you should take a closer look at:
– Grow Lights
Artificial lighting is almost always good to have when it comes to growing indoors. But, it’s not any old light that will help your plant grow; different plants need different types of grow lights.
Grow lights get separated into two categories: warm spectrum and cool spectrum.
Warm spectrum lights have a power of about 3000K. This lower setting makes them ideal for growing peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and other fruiting produce. Whereas cool spectrum grow lights have a setting of about 6500K, which makes them perfect for leafy vegetables and seedlings.
Light settings don’t end at spectrum settings; the type of bulb also varies. Some of the most common options include LED, fluorescent, and incandescent. Of these, the best option is LED lights as these turn out to be the best value for money while also saving up on electricity usage.
This affordable grow light is excellent for people who grow only a couple of plants indoors…
…you can get it from Amazon.
– Temperature Regulator
Sudden temperature variations in your plant’s surroundings can prove to be harmful to their growth, with prolonged periods of unsteady temperature resulting in plant death. For this reason, it’s essential to provide your plants an optimal growing environment that maintains a suitable temperature range.
The ideal temperature for growing plants is about 70 -75°F (20-24°C). I recommend that you invest in a thermometer, heating, and an air conditioning unit to ensure that your plant’s surroundings do not vary too far from this range.
– Growing Medium
The growing medium is just a fancy word for the indoor alternative of soil. What’s interesting about this is that most growing mediums don’t contain soil. Instead, using materials such as peat moss, expanded clay, gravel, coco coir, perlite vermiculite, or even gravel is an option.
These materials pack in heightened nutrients that nourish your plant to the full. But, if you do opt to use these soilless alternatives, it’s worth noting that they need more care. The reason is that most people tend to go down the soil route even when engaging in indoor gardening.
– Gardening Tools
Of course, like regular gardening, growing indoor also requires essential tools. Of these, a soil moisture tester is vital to prevent your plant from both running dry or getting oversaturated.
Remember that full-sized gardening tools aren’t compatible with indoor gardening. Instead, a mini version is perfect, including things such as a shovel, spade, watering bottle, and air dust blower amongst others.
If you only have small houseplants in your home, then this 13 piece kit is excellent for you…
…you can get it from Amazon.
Ensure Your Indoor Garden Will Be A Success
While it’s a fun, laidback activity, it needs some attention and care. With a little work, you can make your indoor garden bloom.
And what’s a better way to ensure your garden’s a success than by breaking out some tried and tested tricks:
- Water your plants from the bottom up.
- Give each plant adequate space.
- Don’t over saturate with water.
- Place ice cubes on the soil.
- Keep plants clear of drafts.
- Make use of fertilizer.
- Rotate your plants.
The Beauty Of It?
Indoor gardening does more than improve your health and clear your headspace. It also makes for a unique home decor element. Everyone will agree that plants give your home an attractive and aesthetic look. So, with the right styling elements, you can use your indoor garden to transform your home into an artistic abode. There’s a plant that suits everyone’s tastes.
Here are ways that you can use to style yours:
– Cupped Plants
Invest in small plant holders disguised as cups to make for a quirky, unique look for your indoor garden. Although their size may pose as an obstacle while growing larger plants. This arrangement is ideal for herbs and small vegetables such as mushrooms and tiny plants.
– A Water Garden
This particular placement incorporates water-based plants into the mix, as well as any marine creatures that may be members of your household! The best plants to use in this arrangement are ferns or other plants with strong roots that can stay upright in the water.
Best of all, it creates a self-sustaining environment where the fish feeds off of the plant’s roots, and the plant derives nutrition from the fish excrement. It makes for an ideal experience for those with limited time yet a penchant for new, unique things.
– Plant Pots And Planters
Gather up a couple of glass jars, fill them up with soil, and there you go! Your very own portable indoor garden. You’d be amazed at how well individual plants grow indoors. Herbs and root vegetables, such as green onions, dill, peas, coriander, and green beans thrive in miniature growing systems.
Plus, glass jars and green plants make for a trendy, minimalistic decor piece!
– An Aero Garden
If you’re the kind of person who wants to get in touch with nature but doesn’t own a green thumb, then aero gardens are the perfect way to get involved. Functioning as an indoor greenhouse, aero garden alerts you of any water or nutrient shortages making your life easy.
They’re the perfect fit for today’s technology trend, and the aero garden’s touch screen system makes everything effortless. And the sleek design will fit right into your modernistic home!
You can get an AeroGarden like this one…
– Vertical Gardens
Vertical gardens are a blessing. Not only do they make gardening easy, but they also add serious style points to any living space. The ability to spruce up a dull room with their intricate settings and bursts of greenery, vertical gardens revitalize the area around them.
Vertical gardens appear in several different forms, such as wall hangers, plant stands, and garden towers. The best thing about these options is that they allow you to grow a variety of different plants without compromising on space.
– A Boxed Display Garden
Boxed display gardens are a great way to display houseplants that are self-sustaining, such as cactuses. Plant an assortment of succulents in cute pots and arrange them inside a glass box. This portable indoor garden looks best when placed in sunlight, as the rays passing through glass create a dazzling effect. Your glass box garden is sure to get a lot of compliments, whether it’s on a patio, windowsill or above the mantelpiece.
– Windowsill Planters
Who said that your indoor garden has to be on a proper arrangement? The beauty of this gardening style is that it allows you to experience nature wherever you are, from the comfort of your very home. And this is what windowsill planters do; bring nature inside your home through every window.
By using recycled wood, these windowsill planters take on a rustic look that adds warmth to any living space. And the fun part is that these are constructible through an easy DIY!
Indoor garden walls are nature’s version of art. These easy to use systems make taking care of your plant effortless. And their installed watering mechanisms ensure that no plant runs dry.
There are several ways that these garden walls can pan out. They can either take up entire walls or be restricted to wooden boxes for a patterned effect. Hanging wall planters are another alternative that can be customized to match your living space’s decor.
– Light Planters
Add an artistic element to any old lighting arrangement by transforming your light source into a planter. Attach a plant reservoir beneath a hanging lamp for a bespoke twist on an indoor garden.
You should make sure that when setting up this arrangement that no currents get suffered. And as an added benefit you won’t have to worry about your plant not receiving enough light.
What To Select?
Once you know all the materials you need to set up your indoor garden, it’s time to create your selection. Pick and mix to your heart’s desire and design your very own piece of nature in your home.
It’s important to remember that individual plants are more suitable to an indoor gardening environment than others, such as:
Avocados yield great results when grown indoors. Place a little avocado plant in a pot layered with sand and soil or soil alternative and watch as it grows. You should water the tree often but prevent overwatering.
You can grow carrots indoors in window garden boxes that have measurements of a foot and a half in-depth (about 46 cm), at least. You should fill the box almost to the top with a potting mix that has plenty of humus. Before planting the seeds, you should water the soil, and then after plantation, another layer of soil should be placed for coverage. Your plant should be kept moist and in direct sunlight.
Growing an indoor lemon tree requires some precision. You should measure the size of the pot according to the ball root of the tree. Select a clay or ceramic container that is larger than it and puncture holes into the bottom. The pot should be filled with a loam-based, acidic mix and placed in an area that welcomes eight to twelve hours of uninterrupted sunlight and sustains a maximum temperature of 85°F (30°C).
Remember to water your lemon tree regularly!
– Mandarin Oranges
Mandarin orange trees are pretty easy to habilitate indoors. All you need is a large tree pot with holes on the bottom and a mixture of nutrient-rich soil to help your plant thrive. As far as sun and water are concerned, they require plenty of both with rotations of the plant being vital to ensure that the sunlight absorption is even.
But, it’s ideal for letting the soil run a bit dry between waterings as this is best for your orange plant.
Growing microgreens indoors requires a degree of precision and sticking to a set process. The first step is to fil a tray or pot with potting mix and to dampen the soil with water. Then, you should spread seeds, such as kale, radishes, beets, dill, basil, and swiss chard. Then make sure that they do not come into contact with one another in the plant dish. Finally, cover with a layer of soil.
Your microgreens will need daily watering and a sunny temperature that ranges from 60 to 70°F (from 16 to 21°C).
Tomatoes need considerable care to grow well. You should select a pot, approximately six inches wide, and fill it up with your choice of potting mix. Then you should embed the tomato seeds at least a quarter of an inch deep in the soil.
You should give the plant enough water to keep the soil moist, but also make sure to rotate the pot for the sunlight to reach all sides.
Caring for a tomato plant goes beyond the initial plantation and watering. Once your plant has reached a height of three inches (8cm), you should shift it to potting soil and add fertilizer after another two weeks.
This might surprise you, but laundry baskets are great for growing mushrooms indoors. Their abundant holes make it easy for fungi to sprout and develop. Mushrooms need a dark, moist, and cool environment to thrive, so a location such as a basement or a cupboard under the sink is ideal.
Ensure that your plant is well away from direct sunlight and that temperatures are cold, around 45 to 60°F (from 7 to 16°C).
What About The Finance Side?
One of the only drawbacks of growing a big indoor garden is the cost. It costs a bit more than outdoor gardening due to the added equipment and arrangement materials that you need. But don’t worry, if you’re planning on growing a couple of plants in your home, these costs won’t apply to you.
Here’s a basic rundown of what the equipment weighs in at:
Windowsill growing trays = $3 – $25
Indoor plant growing racks = $30 – $90
Portable indoor growth rooms = $100 – $600
All this is the cost without seedlings and necessary tools. Although this does seem like a hefty investment, the benefits and joy that you will derive will be well worth it.
What Is Considered Or Called An Indoor Garden?
If you research the dictionaries, the definition of an indoor garden usually means something like a greenhouse or “a building with glass walls and roof.” We at Ryhom.com tend to call people indoor gardeners even if they grow only a couple of plants in the comfort of their homes.
How Do I Make An Indoor Garden?
The process of making an indoor garden depends on the plants your planning on growing. Usually, though, the most important things to remember and accessories to get are:
- You need pots or containers – where are you going to place your plants?
- Seeds or seedlings – decide what you want to grow and get the seeds or seedlings.
- Grow lights – Grow lights are optional to people who grow only a couple of plants in their home. But when you have more demanding plants, I would suggest you get them.
As a memory rule, find out how much light the plant needs and find a spot from your home where those lighting needs are met!
- Soil – An obvious thing, and I mean HIGH-QUALITY ORGANIC SOIL!
- Tools – You also need to have some tools, which are smaller in size than regular outdoor gardening tools because you don’t need to make your hands dirty.
- The temperature of your room – Most plants grow pretty well at a temperature of 65 – 75°F (18 – 24°C). Don’t worry about occasional temperature changes of a couple of degrees because your plants won’t mind.
What Plants Can I Grow Indoors?
There are many plants you can grow indoors, but because our post contains information about growing your food, in other words, growing edibles. I want you to know about some that you can grow indoors:
- Lettuce Greens
You can get more information about these nine vegetables from Sheknows.com.
What Are Hardy Indoor Plants?
Hardy indoor plants are excellent for people who don’t have a lot will or time to take care of their plants. A couple of excellent low maintenance and hardy indoor plants include peace lily, dumb cane and jade plant. If you want to get yourself familiar with more plants in this category, check out our post – 10 Low Maintenance Indoor Plants For The “Free Spirit” Person.
I also suggest you consider air purifying house plants that purify your indoor air from carbon dioxide and other toxins. A plant like this is a spider plant, which is a hardy indoor plant and an air purifier (A WIN-WIN for you!). You can find more air purifying plants from our post – 19 Air Purifying House Plants Your Lungs Demand You To Get.
What is indoor gardening? I hope that you were able to find the answer to that question after reading at least parts of our long post. But because this is a conclusion, I want to offer you something useful in a sealed package.
I hope you remember that you can have an indoor garden even with only a couple of plants, and it doesn’t need a considerable investment to get success in it. So, when growing only a couple of plants, the portable indoor growth rooms, and growing racks become useless to you. As a memory rule, remember that “the more plants you grow, the more your costs go up,” because you’ll need more resources. THANK YOU FOR READING!
Featured image credit – © alexkich – stock.adobe.com