What are the Best Tips for Gardening Indoors?

Jessica Ellis

Indoor plants can add beauty and refinement to an indoor space. For those without a yard or gardening spot, indoor plants can create the illusion of an exterior space inside, allowing people to keep up gardening practice even without a garden. Whether growing exotic orchids or keeping an herb garden alive through winter, gardening indoors can be made simple with the application of some basic tips.

Gardening supplies and potted plants.
Gardening supplies and potted plants.

One simple trick that can make gardening indoors a lot easier is to place plants in easily movable containers. For large ferns or indoor trees, put the plant pot on a small wheeled cart or dolly. This will allow plants to be moved to get adequate sunlight. It also allows for easy rotation, which will prevent sun-leaning plants from becoming lopsided. Small, light containers can go a long way toward easy and effective indoor gardening.

There are many small trees that grow well indoors.
There are many small trees that grow well indoors.

Even indoors, plants require fresh air in order to thrive. Open windows whenever possible to keep air circulating and fresh when gardening indoors. If possible, set plants outside for a little time each day, in order to absorb the most air and natural light.

Vegetables require significant natural sunlight and so are not ideal for an indoor garden.
Vegetables require significant natural sunlight and so are not ideal for an indoor garden.

Indoor gardening is similar to outdoor gardening in one major respect: improper watering habits will kill plants extremely fast. Be sure to read all instructions for the proper watering of each plant. In order to prevent over-saturation, keep plants in well-drained containers that prevent excess water from drowning roots. Remember that all plants have different water requirements; consider potting plants with similar needs together in order to simplify watering practices.

Cucumbers grow well outdoors.
Cucumbers grow well outdoors.

When gardening indoors, plants should be kept relatively near windows and doors to receive sunlight. Some experts recommend placing plants outdoors in the morning, and bringing them back in in the afternoon and overnight. Some light needs can also be satisfied by using a grow light, which provides warmth and light similar to sunlight for the plants. Most experts suggest that a grow light is a good accessory but not a total substitute for sunshine. Gardening indoors should typically be centered around light exposure; create window boxes or place a table next to a sunny window for plants to sit on.

Choosing the right plants can make indoor gardening considerably easier. Herbs grow well indoors, as do some vegetables, such as tomatoes and cucumbers. Many tropical plants benefit from the warmer-than-usual temperatures indoors, such as ferns and orchids. Another popular choice are beautiful miniature trees, frequently used to create Japanese bonsai designs through careful trimming and ornamentation.

Sunlight is an important factor for an indoor garden.
Sunlight is an important factor for an indoor garden.

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