Love gardening, but live in an apartment? Here are some tips for flexing your green fingers within the four walls of your home.
You might not have a garden, but you still need to find the perfect plot. All plants need light to photosynthesize and survive – and without it, they will grow tall and spindly, and ultimately die. However, not all plants like the same intensity of light, so check the label carefully before choosing the position at home. A small patio or balcony is ideal for sun-loving plants, as they will be able to absorb more sunlight, whilst a spot near to a window (even with sunlight filtered through a blind or curtain) works better for plants that prefer dimmer conditions. Choose your plant based on where you plan to grow.
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When it comes to the temperature, plants generally like it between 18 and 23°C. It’s worth buying a room thermometer and keeping an eye on air conditioning settings. Always avoid placing plants in draughty areas or near ducted heat or air-conditioning outlets. If it gets too cold, you will notice the leaves turning yellow and falling off, so it’s time to move your plant or switch up the air conditioning a few degrees.
A lack of humidity in the house can be a challenge for indoor gardeners – and if the conditions get too dry, you may notice the tips of the leaves turning brown, plants looking withered, or puckered, or even losing their leaves. If this is proving a problem, mist your plants daily with a spray bottle, place a tray of water near to the plants, move your plants closer together to create a microenvironment, or purchase a humidifier to boost levels at home.
Heat and sunlight specific to your home will dry out the soil at different rates. The best advice is to feel the soil with your finger. If the plant’s tag says, “Water steadily or evenly,” then water whenever the surface of the soil is dry to the touch. If the tag says, “Water moderately,” allow the top inch or so to dry out between watering. Just make sure that you don’t overwater.
The beauty of indoor gardening is that your plants are an extension of your home styling – and the options for what to grow is limitless. Choose traditional terracotta planters, painted ceramic pots, enamel bowls, large silver watering cans, or any other decorative containers that catch your eye. You can even get creative by planting in quirky containers, like upturned cycle helmets, old boots, or large teacups.
Drainage holes are the main necessity for any container being used for plants. If you can’t or don’t want to put holes in a particular planter, you could fit a smaller container with drainage holes inside the pot in question. This can be a good way to hide the not-so-pretty plastic containers you might buy your plants in.