Growing plants indoors can be an enjoyable hobby, but it will require some time and commitment, and you will need to know the proper soil, lighting and temperature for the plant you wish to grow. There are also several various ways of growing potted plants.
Before you do anything, you should inspect the area in which you plan to grow your plants. The potted plant should receive natural light, several hours per day. If you have the budget for it, you can also use artificial lighting. There are special indoor lights and lamps that can be used to replace natural sunlight. Temperature is the easiest factor for you to control, but be sure that your home’s temperature is right for the plant.
When growing a potted plant, you should match it with the appropriate container. The bigger the plant, the bigger the pot should be. A big plant in a small pot can become unhealthy. Its roots won’t be able to breathe properly and this can stunt its growth. A small plant in a large pot will usually not look good, but it might grow to fit its pot. Or you can simply grow your plant in a smaller pot and transplant it to a bigger pot when it grows. You can also choose from various styles and sizes. The diameter of the container should be half the height of the plant. Ensure the pot has drainage holes in the bottom, so that the roots will not drown.
The next step is to look for the proper soil or growing medium. Garden soil is usually not suitable, because it doesn’t drain properly. It might also contain insects or fungi that can be harmful to your plant. There are packaged potting soils available on the market, which can hold moisture and at the same time aerate the roots of your plant.
There are a few key factors that can affect the timing of when the plant should be watered. These are sun, rain, wind, heat, and the type of plant you are growing.
Most container plants should be watered regularly, but not to the drowning point. But some desert plants, such as aloe vera, may do better when their soil is allowed to dry out, and is then flooded with large amounts of water. This makes some desert varieties ideal for people who have a hard time remembering to water their plants regularly. The amount of water any plant needs can vary each day.
Potted plants also dry up faster than those growing in the ground. To find out whether a plant needs to be watered, you can stick your finger into the soil. If it is dry, then it needs to be watered.
They also generally require fertilizers every two weeks. When you water a plant, it flushes the nutrients from the growing medium. Use organic fertilizers – especially if there are kids or pets around the area where you keep the pot, if you are growing an edible plant, or if the plant will be used for personal care or medicinal purposes.
As a note, some plants are poisonous to animals or humans. If you have pets or children in your home, ensure you do proper research on a plant before you bring it into an environment where they can access it. (See Pets and Plant Poisoning for more information on this.)
When you grow a plant in or around your home, you should do what you can to protect it from destructive pests. Even if it’s inside the house, insects can get in and destroy your plant. There are several organic pesticides you can use to combat this problem.
Growing container plants – whether inside the home, in a window box, on a patio or balcony, or in an outdoor garden, is a rewarding and worthwhile endeavor. They can provide herbs for teas or natural remedies, edible fruits and vegetables, fragrance, or simply decoration.
As is the case with any gardening project, growing indoor plants does require a bit of study and application of standard practices and proper growing techniques, but this will become easier with practice, and will be well worth the trouble.