Indoor Gardening For the Beginner
Indoor gardening originally consisted of only about two or three different plants when it began during the Victorian Era. The people who started indoor gardening probably had the money to purchase hibiscus and palms and would place them in their living rooms or sitting rooms, but mainly the rooms that were used for entertaining. Soon after this era many people did not want to be bothered with living indoor plants, so the tradition was lost.
In the 1970’s indoor gardening was brought back into existence but the houseplants were usually foliage type such as spider plants, ferns, and ivies. Today we have much more of a variety of plants to choose and many of them include some beautiful flowering houseplants. The African violet, begonia, bougainvillea, gardenia, geranium, and orchid are some of the most popular plants we use for indoor gardening. They not only bring in some color to the home but also some fragrant scents as well.
Most of your home and garden centers, garden nurseries, and commercial greenhouses will let you know what type of potting mix to use, what type of light exposure they need and how often you need to water them. Once you have that information you will probably only need a few indoor gardening tips to keep everything going smoothly.
The common houseplants have a lifespan just as we do. If some of your plants seem to be struggling a little and they have been around a long time, it is probably time to replace them with new ones. You do need to be careful if you have unhealthy indoor plants because they will attract insects and disease and pass them on to all your healthy plants.
The potting mix you want to use for your indoor plants should be made up of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. These mixes are soilless mixes; they will absorb moisture very well but will also dry out very quickly. They do not contain nutrients, so supplementing with fertilizer on a consistent basis will be very helpful. Soilless mixes are considered to be sterile so you should not have any problems with diseases or pests.
Humidity and temperature are also an important factor. If the plants you have were in their own natural environment the difference in temperature between day and night is about 10 degrees F. You should supply them the same type of environment inside your home. Indoor garden plants prefer the humidity to be about 50 percent or higher but if the indoor air is any dryer than 35 or 40 percent water will not be able to penetrate through their roots. The humidity in the winter is usually very low so misting your houseplants will help them survive.
When it comes time to watering your indoor garden be sure to soak the root ball until water seeps out the bottom. When this happens you can be sure that the entire root system has gotten plenty of moisture. Over-watering will kill most indoor plants more than anything else; it is best to check the soil first before watering, if you check down 1/2 inch to 1 inch deep and it is dry they will need watering.
Most of your flowering plants and some foliage plants need to be placed about three feet from a south facing window. During the winter months you want to move your plants closer to the window. Most of your houseplants do better with 12 to 16 hours of light every day, during the winter you may need to use grow lights to substitute for the lack of sunlight.
Barbara has tried indoor gardening with many different houseplants and finds it to be very enjoyable. She has more interesting thoughts and ideas regarding gardening and gardening supplies at her website Gardeners Garden Supplies. So you are welcome to come for a visit.
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