We all know about the style power of potted plants and most of us are also aware that plants help cleanse household air and reduce pollutants. But have you gone so far as to research how to keep your home’s indoor air clean and clear during winter via an indoor garden?
We have, and now is as good a time as any to share with you how to set up (and maintain) a perfect (and easy) little indoor winter garden…
Whether your indoor garden is a greenhouse or just a windowsill, you can opt for any size possible. Keep in mind that flooring is important seeing as there’ll certainly be the odd spill and splatter, so choose wisely.
homify hint: Make your indoor gardening easier by growing groups of plants together that are similar in their need of light, water, humidity, etc.
Your indoor garden plants will still require decent lighting in order to photosynthesise. And many winter suns simply aren’t adequate, which is why so many indoor gardeners opt for grow lights to treat their indoor pretties to about 15 hours of light a day. Position your light so that it doesn’t burn your plants’ leaves and keep an eye on its colour: if it’s lighter than usual and/or the leaves are very small, your plant may require more light.
An indoor temperature between 18-24°C are regarded as perfect for many plants, but what about adjusting your space’s humidity? Since winter air is drier, your home’s central heating won’t help. Rather:
• Mist your plants daily (except for hairy-leaved ones which can build up water and rot)
• Huddle your plants together to create a microenvironment that boosts humidity
• Invest in a proper humidifier.
Don’t sneak in ordinary garden soil, as it may be hiding weeds and insects out to damage your indoor plants. Shop around for the perfect mix of soil and compost that can hold moisture and nutrients while remaining loose and draining well.
Before you move your plants back out (and vice versa), they must be acclimated. To start getting them ready for the warmer weather outdoors, place them in a shady area outside for about 3 – 4 hours daily for 7 – 10 days.
Gradually, increase their outdoor time by 1 – 2 hours until they are ready to be planted outside by days 7 – 10.
Potted plants can dry out quicker than their soil-planted counterparts. To avoid this, only use room-temperature water and avoid overwatering (signs of this include wilting stems, discolouration, stunted growth, and lower leaves dropping).
To see if you’re under-watering your indoor plants, look for any signs of wilting, dry soil, or brown leaves. And remember to treat your plants to some extra nutrients from a plant feed, seeing as most found in compost are easily swallowed up by the plants.
• Herbs (basil, sage, lavender, rosemary, dill, and oregano are regarded as the easiest edibles for indoor gardening. For mint, stick to bright rooms with lots of sunshine and temperatures of at least 15°C).
• Greens (lettuce, spinach, kale, etc.). It’s recommended to grow these as baby greens instead of all the way to maturity.
• Cherry tomatoes.
• Chilli peppers.
• Citrus (while oranges and grapefruit are tricky to ripen indoors, lemons and limes are much easier).
• Baby ginger.
• Sprouts and Microgreens (which are just sprouts with their first leaves).
• African Violet (with consistently moist soil, your flower can grow up to 20 cm in height).
• Christmas Cactus (commit to keeping yours at a temperature between 21 and 27°C, and in reasonably dry soil).
• Flowering Maple.
Want to design your own kitchen island? We might have some handy pointers…