There’s nothing quite like the scent of a fresh, flowering
houseplant to brighten up your day. Whether you choose exotic African
Violets or down to earth begonias, growing houseplants indoors is
a fun, relaxing hobby that has many benefits. Not only are indoor
houseplants aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but they also provide
important environmental services. A houseplant’s ability to
absorb carbon dioxide and turn it into beneficial oxygen is important
for your home’s environment.
Indoor plants also give gardeners joy year-round, especially if
they live in a climate that has a winter season. Or, many once-active
gardeners who can no longer tend to a large outdoor vegetable or
flower bed enjoy growing indoor plants. The ability to garden indoors
can also appease apartment or city dwellers that do not have their
own plots of land, but still want to feel the pride and joy of growing
Yet another reason to garden indoors is to produce your own herbs
and vegetables year round. You don’t have to give up on your
favorite habanero peppers just because fall is right around the corner!
Equipment and Supplies for Indoor Growing
To get started with your own indoor houseplant garden is simple.
Just remember a plant’s basic requirements – light and
nutrients. In most homes, indoor houseplants will need specific light
sources just for them because the ambient light levels in our homes
are not bright enough.
To supply this need, many indoor gardeners use grow lights, which
are fluorescent lights specifically designed for a plant’s
light needs. Some are on the blue light spectrum, which are designed
for seedlings and vegetables. Others are on the red light spectrum,
which help flowering plants grow bigger blooms with denser, richer
colors. Grow-lights can provide all the light a plant needs.
Fluorescent lights are also a very popular choice because they can
get much closer to the plant than an ordinary light without damaging
your plant. The closer the light source, the stronger the light,
and therefore, the more benefit to your plant. Grow lights are a
very beneficial and necessary part of indoor gardening.
Many indoor gardeners like to use a plant stand for their indoor
garden and houseplants. These come in a variety of space-saving sizes
and designs. They’re efficient to use because you can have
all of your plants in one space, which means less walking, less dirt
tracked throughout the house, and less water puddles.
Plant stands often come with wheels so you can move your plant stand
to take advantage of natural sunlight. Plant stands are also effective
for growing your houseplants because they are often designed for
a grow light to fit right into the top of the stand.
The Basics for Growing Beautiful Plants:
• Buy pots that are slightly larger than the root ball of your current
plant; your plant will need room to grow! When you initially pot your plant,
make sure to give it room in the bottom of the pot as well as around the sides.
Don’t forget that plants will grow out of their pots the same way that
children grow out of their clothes. Re-pot your plants as appropriate. Use
potting soil that’s specific to your plants – you don’t want
to use potting soil that’s designed for vegetables if you’re not
actually planting tomatoes!
• Keep your plants in full light for 12-18 hours a day, and
remember to give them some darkness too. Plants are natural creatures,
so give them a light and darkness cycle.
• The ideal temperature in your house, for most houseplants,
should be 65-75’F in the daytime and 60-65°F at night.
Some tropical species can prefer higher temperatures.
• Don’t over water your plants. Some plants like more
water than others, and you can check with your local greenhouse or
university extension office for specifics, if your houseplants don’t
come with this information.
• Some houseplants, like the Iris, Azalea and Daffodil, are
toxic and poisonous to both children and animals like cats and dogs.
Do your homework before purchasing a plant, and if the plant is toxic,
make sure that your children and pets can’t eat, chew or rub
up against the plants.
With the right light source and plant stand, you can easily grow
beautiful plants inside your home – allowing you to enjoy gorgeous
greenery and flowers, even if it is wintery white outside!