So you want to grow an indoor garden? Great decision!
Indoor Gardening isn’t rocket science, but it can feel like it sometimes. Everyone knows that having an indoor garden is great for your health but how do you get started?
It’s not as daunting as you may think. In this article, we’ll discuss some key things to consider before you start. We’ll also look at an alternative that doesn’t involve getting your hands dirty!
5 things to consider when starting your indoor gardening journey
Do you remember the story of Goldilocks? She tried eating porridge that wasn’t the right temperature. She sat in a chair that was too big. She tried sleeping in beds that were too hard or too soft.
Until she found something that was ‘just right’, she couldn’t get any satisfaction.
Similarly, you won’t enjoy the best growing experience unless you choose plants that are compatible with your living space. When plants are compatible with your home, they’re more likely to have healthy root systems. Plants that are not stressed by their environment tend to grow better.
1. Consider the lighting in your home
Consider the lighting in your home - how much natural sunlight do you get all year round? Lighting conditions can vary greatly throughout the seasons.
Every plant needs light for photosynthesis. This is the plant’s way of converting light, water and oxygen into carbohydrates (aka. energy). Before buying a plant, it’s important to research how much light it's going to need.
If your plant likes direct sunlight, they’ll need roughly 6 hours of sun each day. It’s best to place such plants on a windowsill.
If your plant prefers moderate sunlight, it needs approximately 4 hours of direct sun each day. It’s best to keep these plants several feet away from your window.
If you don’t have enough natural light in your home, you may want to consider supplemental lighting (for instance, LED grow lights).
2. Consider room temperature
As a general rule of thumb, house plants grow best between temperatures of 60 - 75°F (15 - 24°). Some might appreciate slightly higher temperatures and some prefer it slightly cooler. Be sure to check the specific temperature guidance for your plant!
3. Consider how tall your plants will grow
Before investing in a houseplant, consider the potential size it can grow to. This will help you decide where to put it in your home. Most indoor plants already come in containers, so you won’t have to plant them in soil. Some plants will naturally outgrow their containers so you’ll need to replant them.
Replanting means you’ll need to find a larger pot that has more room for the plant to grow. The new pot should also contain fresh soil. New soil naturally contains more nutrients. In the majority of cases, repotting only needs to be done every 2 years at most.
When it comes to repotting seedlings, in most cases they’ll need to be transplanted, separated and given fresh soil full of nutrients so they can thrive.
Wait for the first true leaves to emerge and then plant them in a new soil with suitable nutrients for the species.
Try to use pots that have drainage holes. These holes enable excess water to flow out of pots after watering. This helps to prevent plant roots from rotting.
Though you can keep plants in pots without drainage holes, it's not a good idea if the pot tends to collect water and is very heavy.
4. Know when to water your plants
Watering is straightforward, right? Yes, that’s true, although different plants have different watering needs. It’s important to be aware of these before you bring them home.
It’s worth checking your houseplants at least once a week to see if they’re thirsty. Stick your finger one inch deep into the soil. If the soil is dry, it’s time to water the plant. If it’s still damp, check back in 1-2 days.
If it’s a larger pot and you already know your plant’s needs, try lifting it gently. If the pot is too light, it may need some water. If it’s still heavy, it may not need watering just yet.
Indoor gardens require less water during colder months of the year when there’s also less light available.
Depending on the species, some need to be watered from the bottom. Other plants prefer being watered from the top.
For bigger pots, it would make sense to fill a large bucket with water and soak the whole pot in the bucket until air bubbles stop emerging. Then you’ll know your plant is fully watered, not just the surface of it.
Using this method, many plants can go for longer without watering. This is because the soil needs to dry / solidify between watering times so the roots get enough air and stimulation to grow.
5. Don’t forget to fertilize your plants
In addition to light, plants need several nutrients to thrive. In an outdoor garden, plants have access to rain and sun which nourishes soil. When it comes to indoor growing, nutrients from the potting soil get used up over time. This is why it’s important to fertilize your plants.
It's important to research the needs of your plants. Some of them will require more fertilizer (or a different type of full plant food) than others.The 2 best types of plant food for indoor plants are liquid fertilizers and slow-release fertilizers.
Liquid fertilizers are diluted in water and you deliver them through a watering can. They give your plants a regular supply of nutrients, however you need to remember to do it on a regular basis.
Slow-release fertilizers come in ‘time-release’ capsules. Nutrients will gradually seep into the soil. In some cases, one application can last up to nine months. It’s less hassle than liquid fertilizers but at the same time more costly.
If you’ve recently transplanted your houseplant, check the description of the substrate. Most ready made substrates already have plant nutrients inside them that will last for a certain period of time.
Avoid over-fertilizing. Sometimes, less is more. The symptoms of nutrient deficiencies are somewhat similar to over feeding your plant. If you're unsure how to feed your plant, there's no shame in consulting an expert.
The stress-free alternative: self-growing indoor gardens
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Every indoor gardening journey is super exciting and we’ve covered what you need to know before you start.
We have to admit, though, many of the points we’ve talked about demand a lot of attention. For instance, you need to remember to water and fertilize your plants and check the lighting.
If you’re looking for a solution that’s more ‘set it and forget it’, then a Click & Grow indoor smart garden could be just what you need.
What is a Click & Grow smart garden?
A smart garden is an attractive, easy-to-maintain way to grow fresh, healthy plants. If you don't have a green thumb or are not into gardening, you can still enjoy the benefits of growing indoors. Click & Grow smart gardens are fully automated, providing plants with light and water around the clock.
Our growing systems are also known as ‘indoor herb gardens’ as many indoor gardeners like to use them for growing fresh herbs.
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What are the benefits of using a Click & Grow smart garden?
- Compact, energy efficient and space efficient - perfect for homes with limited space.
- Seed pods are ‘pre-gardened’. Just insert a plant pod into the smart garden, add water and watch your plants grow.
- The Click & Grow mobile app will help you keep track of your plants. It also provides all the information you need for growing any plant in our collection.
- Each plant pod contains a growth medium called ‘Smart Soil’. Smart Soil already contains nutrients and it distributes them evenly throughout the plant over time.
- The garden’s LED grow lights provide plants with the perfect amount of light to thrive.
- Unique water float system tells you when to water the garden.
- Grow herbs, salad greens, fruits or decorative plants for home, office and school.
- Access to fresh food any time of the year.
- Larger models (such as the Click & Grow 25) allow you to grow enough greens in rotation for a single family.
- Helps you cut back on food waste by only growing as much or as little as you need.
- Can be used as an educational resource for teaching family and friends about plant growth.
- Hassle-free subscription.
- Become part of a worldwide community of passionate indoor gardeners
To learn more about Click & Grow Smart Gardens, check out these blog posts:
Read how our technology is more efficient than hydroponic growing:
Read what others are saying about Click & Grow Smart Gardens:
- Click and Grow Review: America’s Test Kitchen reveals the BEST indoor garden!
- Click & Grow Review: Does The Smart Indoor Garden Work?
- Indoor Herb Garden: Best Benefits & Reasons to Grow
So, if you're not already growing an indoor garden, why not start today? It’s one of the healthiest, most rewarding hobbies you can ever take up. As Aristotle once said, ‘In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.’ Enjoy yourself and don’t be afraid to experiment.