You want to start growing plants indoors, but everything that you touch seems to wither away and die? Start with these indoor gardening tips and your thumb will be green in no time.
Get to Know Your Local Composter
Soil quality is one of the most important things for your houseplants to thrive. Never use the dirt from your yard as it will be too devoid of nutrients and also probably too heavy to promote growth. You’ll want to pick up some potting soil from your local nursery and add compost to it as a fertilizer. But don’t just grab any compost from the shelves!
In one study carried by the consumer watchdog group, it was found that some major brands of compost had germination rates of less than 40%! The best thing you can do (for your houseplants and the environment) is to start composting. If you aren’t ready to start composting at home, then get to know your local composter so you get dibs on all that high-quality compost!
Choose the Right Plants
You can find all sorts of lists online about the “easiest indoor plants to grow.” But it isn’t just about choosing plants which are easy to grow. It is about choosing the right plants for your indoor environment.
Do you have a lot of or little light in your home?
Is it direct sunlight?
What is the temperature of your home throughout the year?
Do you travel a lot?
Are you forgetful about watering?
Use a Moisture Reader
The two most common causes of houseplant death are under-watering and over-watering. Sometimes, it is fairly obvious to tell if you’ve been watering your houseplants incorrectly – such as dried-out leaves being a sign of drought, and mold on flowers being a sign of drowning. However, some plants produce similar symptoms for both drought and drowning. How are you supposed to know whether you’re giving too much or too little water?
One of the best things you can do is buy a plant moisture meter. Just stick the moisture meter into the soil and it will give you a reading. Then check this reading against your plant’s ideal moisture conditions (which you can find online).
Over time, you will learn to read soil moisture levels by touch and other signs. Until then, use the moisture reader to help you out.
Choose Better Pots
Yes, you can make pots for your indoor plants out of plastic bottles and other recycled materials. But that doesn’t mean you should. Some materials have characteristics which can help your houseplants thrive. For example, terracotta pots are porous and will absorb excess water (in case you overwater) and also provide more air for roots. Plastic pots and glazed ceramic pots trap water, and are good for plants which require wet soil and more frequent watering. Here is a good guide to types of plant pots and their pros and cons.
"Terracotta pots are porous & the best for plants. They absorb excess water & give more air to the roots. @groboinc" [Click to Tweet]
Use Technology to Your Advantage
Are you constantly forgetting to water your plants? Or you just can’t get the right light conditions in your home? It may be time to upgrade your indoor gardening efforts with the help of technology.
The Grobo One Hydroponic Grow Box is a great option. It is an all-in-one system which includes adjustable-height grow lights and an automatic watering system based on moisture readings of the soil. It is even app-controlled, so you can do your gardening through your smartphone. Learn more about Grobo here.