Gardening saw a spike in popularity during the pandemic when people stayed at home following health protocols. It became an outlet for stress relief, an enjoyable hobby, and even a food source amid the limited movement afforded by the situation.
Today, people continue to enjoy gardening thanks to its numerous benefits. Studies show that growing plants can improve blood pressure, reduce stress, and improve the quality of breathable air.
In terms of mental health, it can boost attention span and increase productivity. In addition to their health benefits, plants also brighten and improve the aesthetic of your home.
Gardening can be done virtually anywhere, even in the comfort of your own home. In this article, discover six simple steps to start your very own indoor garden.
Step 1: Map the Area
For indoor gardening, space can limit the number and type of plants suitable for growth. Thus, it’s crucial to map out the area to maximize the available space. Focus on the vertical space to grow more plants in a small area. Use hanging planters, plant stands, or shelves to stack plants.
Step 2: Select the Right Plants
After identifying potential plant positions in your home, it’s time to select the right plants to bring in. Consider the plants that best suit the environment in your home since these plants have the best chance of thriving.
Remember to take your lifestyle into account! Busy people may do well with growing plants that require low maintenance, such as snake plants or succulents.
Additionally, consider the benefits you wish to gain from your indoor plants. Certain plants, such as herbs and flowering plants, can exude a fresh fragrance in your home and ward off pests.
Indoor gardening offers diverse possibilities. While green leafy and root vegetables are commonly grown inside, mushrooms, too, can flourish in such environments. Typically, shiitake mushrooms grow on logs and totems outdoors, but they’re adaptable enough to be cultivated indoors. You can also nurture white button mushrooms in the same setting.
Step 3: Provide Sufficient Lighting
Light is an essential consideration when taking care of plants. Light allows plants to create energy from carbon dioxide and water. Without sufficient lighting, a plant may wilt and die.
The type of light can be natural or artificial. For natural lighting, sunlight is your best friend. The positioning of your plants can have a significant impact on the light they absorb.
Place plants near windows where sunlight streams in. If that’s not enough, install grow lights to supplement the light they receive. LED and incandescent bulbs are excellent options for grow lights.
However, plants can also suffer from excessive light. Too much exposure to sunlight can discolor plant leaves and kill them, especially if not hydrated well, so protect plants during the hot summer months.
Step 4: Supply Enough Water
Another factor in the health of plants is the water content of the soil. Similar to light, plants need water to generate energy. Water helps transport nutrients and minerals from the ground to the different parts of the plant. Thus, proper hydration significantly contributes to their health.
Research on the recommended watering frequency for each plant since water requirement varies. For example, succulents need watering only when the soil is dry, which can take two to four weeks, depending on the season. On the other hand, some plants, such as the umbrella plant, grow better in damp soil, so water them more frequently.
Step 5: Manage Temperature
Temperature can affect plant growth by influencing the cell activity of plants. Warmer temperatures can speed up their development, while cooler temperatures slow it down.
Maintain indoor temperatures at the ideal range for plants, which is 70-80 ℉ during the day. Keep plants away from hot or cold sources, such as heaters or air conditioning units, to protect them from sudden temperature changes.
Step 6: Look Out for Pests
Indoor plants are susceptible to pests. To prevent a pest infestation, inspect indoor plants regularly. First, check for discolorations, bugs, or any signs of mold and fungal infections.
If a plant exhibits symptoms of an infestation, immediately isolate that plant to prevent infecting the surrounding plants. Next, apply appropriate treatment to the plant and ensure the complete eradication of the pest or disease before returning it to its proper place.
Consistency is Key
Taking care of plants is a continuous commitment, so consistently monitor and provide for their needs. To keep track of plant maintenance activities, incorporate them into your daily schedule.
Post a calendar detailing the what and when of the activities and set up reminders. When done right, gardening can bring balance and wellness into your home.