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Tips For Indoor Gardening

Blog by | January 10th, 2008

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With the harsh Canadian weather around us to stay for sometime, planting an indoor garden can bring the joy of grading inside and offer a nice contrast  to the white colour outside.

Indoor gardening is a fun activity and it also adds a touch of nature and hominess to your house. Indoor plants can be used to brighten the inside of your house just like the outside. Be sure that your plant gets everything that it needs. Buy plants that require low amounts of light. Give the plants as much light as you can. Water the right amount with room temperature water. Use clean pots for every new plant, and use fertilizers when necessary.

There are many tips and tricks that you should follow when bringing plants into your home. Here are some suggestions about caring for your indoor garden.

Light is the main source of energy to manufacture food and different plants need differing amounts, which are designated as low, medium, high or very high light.

Most varieties of indoor plants do well under normal household temperatures in the range of 25 to 27 degrees celsius during the day and 20 to 23 degrees celsius at night. Most tropical indoor plants will tolerate temperatures below that and can be damaged by ‘chilling injury’ if they are.

One of the most common problems is improper watering. Some plants thrive in drier conditions while other must be kept moist at all times. Too little water can cause wilting and too much water can cause root rot problems. Don’t let the surface of the soil be your guide. Be sure to feel the soil by pushing your finger in an inch or so below the soil’s surface to determine whether or not more water is needed. Another option is investing in a ‘watering meter,’ which can give you an easy and accurate indication of when your plants need watering. Tap water is completely satisfactory for most indoor plants and once a month, plants should be put in the sink and watered thoroughly to leach salts from the soil.

Pots and Containers
Make sure that you have a pot that can adequately allow the water to drain out of it. Also, before putting a plant in a pot you have used for another plant, make sure you clean it out. Just incase some disease that may effect the next plant.

The level of moisture in the air can also effect how a plant grows. Low humidity, in most plants, not all, will cause dry leaves and curling. Increase the humidity of the room with a humidifier, especially during winter when the heat is on and the humidity drops. You could also spray the leaves with water, but do it in the morning, if done overnight the leaves can rot.

Most nurseries sell a variety of soil mixes for indoor gardening and as long as they have good drainage abilities, are aerated and have good water and nutrient holding capacity, they will be very satisfactory. It is not necessary to use specialty mixes for most types of houseplants.

Most houseplants have reduced fertilizer requirements because of their indoor environment and nutritional problems usually result from over fertilization rather than lack of nourishment. In some cases, specialty fertilizers are needed, but they are the exception.

The most responsible thing you can do if you plan on indoor gardening is to first learn which plants are suitable for the indoors or can withstand being indoors most of the time. There are literally hundreds of plant species to choose from that are suitable for your indoor garden.

Here's a few plants you might want to add to your indoor garden:

African violets - These plants have pretty purple flowers and green glossy leaves. They are quite often grown indoors and can add colourful splash to your indoor garden. They like light but don't put them right in the final get scorched. Avoid over watering as this will kill them.

Philodendrons - These are some of the most popular and hardy of all indoor garden plants. They are full of large green leaves and prefer a medium light. It's best to let them dry out a bit between wanderings and you can keep them little dryer in the winter. If the leaves turn brown and you're not watering them enough. They like high humidity but will do okay in most homes. Be sure to wash the leaves off often to remove dust.

Boston Ferns - The Boston Fern is a popular indoor plant which produces a thick bundle of leaves. It requires diffused lighting and will need a grow light in rooms where there is not enough natural light. They can be sensitive to chlorine and tap water so watering regularly with distilled water is best. Boston Ferns can be a bit difficult to grow as they like cool locations with a lot of humidity. Misting your Boston Fern each day can help it be happy and healthy.

Jade Plant - The Jade Plant is a succulent and can tolerate very dry conditions. These plants are extremely tolerant and difficult to kill. So if you want to start an  indoor gardern, consider one of these.

Once you have decided which plant you want, you can choose what kind of container you will need for your indoor plant. Putting plants in pots or other containers adds to their versatility to be transferred from one spot to another. This is the advantage of potting a plant whereas, plant boxes will be heavier to lift and transfer.


Alexandra Rebagliati
MacDonald Realty Kelowna,
592 K.L.O. Road,
Kelowna, BC, V1W 4A7
T: 250.870.2792
F: 250.860.1600