Indoor Gardening for Beginners

indoor garden
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An indoor window garden can boost your spirits, freshen the air, and give a beautiful look to your indoor space. With sensibly chosen indoor plants – some fragrant and colorful, others edible and flavorful – you can really bright up your indoor space and gain a lot of joy.

Your windowsill is the perfect place for starting an indoor garden that will sustain your gardener’s soul and warm your heart with perfect seasonings for tasty meals.

Indoor plants are not a burden that will add hours of time to your already busy schedule. They only require regular watering and a few hours of sunlight to grow, which makes them easy to grow even for those not blessed with a green thumb.

It will surely give you a sense of accomplishment when you see your flowers or plants blooming after a few weeks or even months of tender loving care.

Choosing Indoor Plants

There are so many indoor plants you can choose from, including flowers, vines, large potted plants, and herbs. And they don’t have to be contained to the windowsill, either. Read on to get started with your own indoor garden.

Below are some of the plants that can liven up your indoors and are easy to maintain.

African Violets
African Violets

African Violets: These small potted plants are easy to grow and adapt well to the indoors. African violets blossom for about three weeks. They need a lot of sunshine, so keep them on a windowsill, but avoid the heat of the sun or they will wither. These plants also need fertilizer made especially for them. All green house stores keep a supply of it.

Begonias: You will find three kinds of begonias; tuberous, perennial and semperflorens. The most common of the begonias are the semperflorens and come in ever blooming and wax finishes. Begonias are available in red, pink, yellow and white varieties and all have a very attractive yellow center.

Ivy: This variety of indoor climber makes a very attractive indoor plant. Though this plant can survive for quite some time in a dark corner of a room it will soon begin to demand its share of sunlight, so it is best to choose a place near a source of sunlight. Remember to add enough water to your ivy to make the water drip out of the bottom of the pot. Too little water will stunt the plant.

Flowering plants: A good choice of flowering plants that do well even in limited areas of growth, like planter boxes and pots that have been prepped with potting soil are nasturtiums of the compact kinds such as Whirlybird and Copper Sunset.

Some of the other popular flowering plants are Cactus, Coleus, Amaryllis, Geraniums, Paper Whites, Poinsettia and a variety of rubber plants.

Marigolds, Iceland poppies and smaller varieties of sunflowers are other options that are sure to happy up your indoor garden area. These are short, easy to care for and not likely to take over your walls like trailing plant varieties are prone to doing!

herbs

Herbs: The best part about growing herbs in your indoor garden is that they double as plants and food. We use a lot of herbs in our cooking, and it’s so great to be able to pull a couple leaves of basil off our indoor plant to use in dinner.

Popular herbs that grow well inside are:

  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Sage
  • Thyme

Tools & Containers for Indoor Gardening

Whether you’re making a flower garden, hanging garden, herb or bonsai garden, you’re going to need some tools and containers for your plants.

Indoor Gardening Tools

Indoor gardening tools will help make your indoor garden blossom even better.

You can use the same tools you use for outdoor gardening, but oftentimes you’ll need different things. For instance, the shovel, trowel and rake you use outside are way too big for indoor use.

Purchasing a mini indoor gardening kit, like the one below, will set you up with all the tools you need for planting, trimming, and watering your plants, and it’s the most economical way to buy all the things you’ll need.

Other things you might need to care for your plants are soil, fertilizer or feed, grow lights and a watering can.

Herb Garden Kits

Starting an herb garden is super easy with an herb garden starter kit. The kits featured below come with everything you need to get started: reusable pots, seeds, pre-fertilized soil, and markers to help you remember what’s growing in each pot.

Getting started with one of these kits is super easy. They can be put together by the kids, so they feel like it’s their very own garden. These kits also make great gifts.

Potting Containers

Containers are used to grow plants on windowsills or on the balcony of an apartment and are useful when it comes to moving the plants from place to place, be it to optimize sunlight or to decorate.

Container gardening is also useful when you have to move from your home; you will not have to leave your beloved plants behind.

There are many designs, sizes and colors of containers and pots that can be used to grow indoor plants.

Plastic containers are economical and last a lifetime, however, many people like to use hand crafted clay containers for their plants, since they’re very attractive and give a very natural look to the place. Wooden containers are another good choice.

Watch Out For These Indoor Plant Insects

There are a few insects that infect a plant that grows indoors. When the symptoms of these infestations become known you should take immediate action so the infestation doesn’t spread to other plants and lead to complete destruction.

watch out for plant pests

The most common plant pest is the spider mites. These are a very serious problem for plants as they multiply very fast, lead to defoliate and kill the plant.

These mites belong to the family of ticks and spiders. Spider mites are yellow or green in color and cannot be seen easily. To check for presence of spider mites tap the leaf over a piece of white paper and check for very tiny movements on the paper. Remove them with an insecticide spray from your plant store.

Shell Insects appear like a small bump of wax on a stem or leaf. It is usually not possible to view these creatures without magnification, but when their numbers increase they make their presence known.

Shell insects stunt a plants growth and can even kill the plant in time. The only known solution is an insecticide spray.

Mealy Bugs are easily visible without having to magnify the pest. These insects look like they have come out of a sack of flour and have a long waxy protrusion from their tails.

These appear like small clusters of cotton on the plant. Check the under side of the leaves to notice these pests and when you do find them wash them off with water and spray with insecticide for plants. A couple of weeks of treatment and you will be rid of these pests.

Pests not only kill a plant in time, they are also very unsightly. A beautiful plant will become ugly and the whole purpose of decorating the place is defeated by plant pests.

Proper cleaning and regular spraying with insecticide will help prevent any kind of pest infection.

Care For Your Indoor Plants

caring for indoor plants
  • The most important task is keeping indoor plants healthy. You can make it especially easy by choosing plants that adapt easily to an indoor environment and don’t require as much light, heat and water.
  • It’s important to keep in mind that any type of plant needs sunlight and will sooner or later begin to tilt toward the source of light. This will make them grow at an awkward angle, so you will need to rotate the direction so that the plant will grow straight up.
  • Check a local nursery for pre-prepared soil-mixes as these contain the right balance of grub for indoor garden glories.
  • Check for proper drainage at the base of your plant containers or punch holes if these are missing, so the excess moisture escapes and your plants get the necessary warmth too.
  • If planting herb seeds, try out an old home-gardener’s trick of pre-soaking them a couple of hours before planting in pots filled with potting soil; cover with a quarter inch more of soil after randomly scattering the seeds over the base soil.
  • It is not uncommon for plants to grow much slower indoors than they would outdoors. Many plants are known to stop growing or showing sign of development or change from fall to winter.
  • Indoor plants have different needs compared to outdoor plants and this means that they should not be “killed with kindness” either.
  • It is advisable to keep the plants away from a drafty location as this could lead to them drying out quickly.
  • Instead of keeping your plants in direct sunlight, keep them in a place that gets adequate light but not directly.
  • In the winter, the indoor environment gets a lot drier than the summer. This can adversely affects the plant, so you might consider spraying the leaves of the plant twice a week in winter to keep them healthy.
  • Tap water from your home is not great for plants because the chlorine in the water can damage them. If your water is treated with chlorine, it would be best to filter it first.

Final Thoughts

Growing an indoor garden is a great way to liven up your living space and give you something to watch and nurture. It’s also a great way to grow herbs that you can use in the kitchen. Whatever your reasons for starting an indoor garden, we know you’re going to love it.

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