Bringing a plant into your home is one of lifes greatest and simplest pleasures. But their beauty is not the only reason to bring them inside, there’s plenty of other reason too. But first, let’s cover the basics.
So, what are indoor plants? Indoor plants are plants that are grown and kept inside the house or in closed spaces like offices. These plants are kept indoors for their beauty and to improve the air circulation in the home. Other benefits include helping keep the living area fresh and adding a natural touch to the house.
When considering the idea of keeping indoor plants and be a successful indoor gardener, there are a few simple things to consider. Some of these things include the size of the room, the room temperature, and the humidity. As these things will all affect the growth of your plants. Also, the plants will need to be looked after and tended to, so you need to consider the time you can dedicate to them before bringing the plants in your home.
Where To Start?
The first step to keeping indoor plants is selecting a variety of plants to keep in your house and which room you intend on keeping them in. This all depends on your preference as there are many varieties of indoor plants to choose from.
If you are new to indoor plants and you have no idea where to start, the best thing is to select hardy plants that do not need a lot of care. Unless you’re feeling a little adventurous then you could try and grow your own herbs.
Choose succulent plants such as cactus or aloe vera. Other than proper lighting, these plants need very little attention, and they will give you the time to adjust your routine.
African violets are another great option if you prefer flowering plants. Although they require little more care, these plants are available in many colors. African violets can grow in natural or artificial light. Once you plant them, it is not recommended to keep moving them.
Philodendrons are the other types that you can consider keeping. They have both large and small leaves, depending on your preference. The Philodendrons can be hung or placed in corners where there is no direct sunlight.
The final indoor plant variety to consider are the shamrocks. Shamrock plants are the easiest to look after. They only need a spot where they can enjoy the sun and regular watering. That’s all!
How To Grow Indoor Plants
Apart from the above plant varieties, there are also a few outdoor plants that can be planted and placed inside the house. Some of the plants that grow in your backyard can make excellent houseplants.
To grow these plants indoors, begin by planting them in containers. Ensure that you use good, loose, potting soil so that the plants will grow easily. Also, the soil that you use for your plants needs to be well balanced, with the pH levels slightly acidic.
During the early days of planting, leave the plants outside so that they can get established in the containers.
The best time to take the plants inside the house is during the fall before it starts to snow. While inside the house, some of the plants may become dormant or grow slower. This is because the environment in the house is very much different from the outside environment.
To avoid killing some of these outdoor plants, you will need to give proper care and attention to them. The things which you need to keep in check are temperature, humidity, water, and the nutrients in the soil.
For better results with the plants, use porous containers like clay pots. These containers allow air moisture to pass through them. You can also use plastic containers but punch holes through them so that excess moisture can escape to the environment. When you notice roots creeping out of the containers, it means that you should get a bigger container for the plant.
Indoor plants do well with temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees during the day and lower temperatures of 60 degrees during the night.
Most of the indoor plants do not need a lot of sunlight because they are adapted to staying in darker environments. For these plants, you do not need to worry about the light. If, however, you plant outdoor plants in the house, these plants will need a lot of sunlight.
It’s more ideal if you keep them near windows where there is sufficient light during the day. If you do not have enough windows for sunshine, you can use garden glow lights. These act as artificial sunlight and they are placed 6 inches above the plant.
In regards to watering, keep the soil moist and never wet. It is advisable to water the plants until the water drains at the bottom. This helps to remove excess fertilizer in the soil. Once you water the plants, leave them until the soil is completely dry before you can water them again.
So you’re probably wondering, what is assimilation and why is it so important? Assimilation refers to the adaptation of a plant to a new environment. This is very important, especially when moving outdoor plants to the indoor setting when buying new plants.
Assimilation takes place when the plants are being grown in the nursery. They are exposed to the environment in which they will adapt to the rest of their lives.
For indoor plants, they are placed in nurseries with low amounts of light and low temperature. As the plant grows, it adapts itself to that environment. When it comes to relocating to the house, the plant is already used to that type of environment.
Assimilated plants cost more than the non-assimilated ones, but the money is worth it. This is because the plants are better suited to the home environment. When you buy non-assimilated plants, place them in bright areas for three weeks to help them adapt into the new environment. Then move them to the final location. This ensures a smooth transition and should prevent the death of a new plant.
Caring For Your Indoor Plants
Caring for indoor plants can be an easy task, but they can suffer if you do not have the time to give these plants proper care and attention.
Indoor plants tend to grow slower than the outside plants because of the environmental constraints. These plants are affected by both environmental and climatic changes. Climate change affects the temperature and the humidity of the plant environment. It is, therefore, important that the temperature of the room is consistent and maintained as close to the optimum temperature as possible for the plant to thrive.
During winter, when the humidity is low, it is essential to ensure that the plants are watered regularly. The water used for plants can also affect the life of the plants. Ensure that the water used for watering does not have chlorine or other purifying chemicals. These chemicals are suitable for human consumption, but they might kill the plants.
Every time you water your plants, nutrients are drained out of the soil. Unlike outdoor plants, indoor plants do not have any other external source of nutrients. It is, therefore, vital that you fertilize them regularly to replenish the amount of nutrients in the soil. Organic fertilizers tend to be the best to use.
Using fertilizers once in a month will ensure that your plants have sufficient nutrients, whether they are growing or flowering. You can withhold the fertilizer during the winter because the plants do not need much of it this time. This is because the plants are usually dormant during this time.
Pruning and Grooming
Use the natural cycle of the plants to identify when you should be pruning and grooming. However, if you want to maintain a specific size and the plants are growing rapidly, prune frequently and lightly to remove the shoot tips when they are small. Light pruning increases the branching on the stem resulting in a fuller and stockier plant.
Tips For Preventing Pests/Diseases
Some of the issues which arise from having plants around are pests. Most of the plants which are kept indoors are prone to parasites and fungi. Unfortunately, relocating the plants does not reduce the chances of these plants being attacked by pests. Controlling these pests is vital for the plants’ health.
Regular inspection and cleaning of the plants is the best way to keep the pests at bay. Using chemicals such as Clorox in water ensures that the fungi infestation is countered. Clorox is useful because it does not harm the plant.
When buying the plants, ensure that you check for pests. If you bring an infected plant in your house, the parasites could end up spreading to the other plants. Most pests are easy to drive out without using chemicals. However, you may encounter severe infestation, which might require insecticide spray on the plants to get rid of the pests. There are sprays formulated for indoor plants, and they only take a few days to drive the pests away.
Benefits of Indoor Plants
Apart from brightening the appearance of a room and attracting the eyes, indoor flowers have many other benefits. The most significant benefit of indoor plants is that they can help clean the air in a room. There are many pollutants in the environment of a modern-day house.
Research conducted by NASA revealed that plants are capable of clearing 87 percent of toxins present in a room within 24 hours. From the study, it was recommended that the 1800 square foot house should have a minimum of 10 plants.
There are many plants which clean the air, check them out here.
Plants also help to improve the well being of people. Plants help to calm people down and relax them according to a study conducted by Bruno Cortis, M.D. plants have also been proved to increase resistance to diseases by people and reduce cough, fatigue and other cold-related diseases by 30 percent. This is because they increase the level of humidity in the house and reduce the level of dust.
Office setups are now adopting the art of keeping indoor plants because they improve the well being of the workers and increase their morale. A manufacturing company integrated the indoor plants in their environment such that no employee would be 4 feet away fro the plants. The management of the company observed that employee creativity and productivity increased when the plants were around.
Plants help in mental health in addition to physical health. Caring for a living thing can help someone who is lonely or depressed have a purpose in life. For the people who live in places where pets are not allowed, plants are a suitable alternative. The plants provide very good therapy for the person who takes care of them because they are involved in regular watering, fertilizing, and pruning of the plant when needed.
People globally are discovering that having indoor plants and growing them is a satisfying and rewarding hobby. Since the homes we live in these days are warmer and brighter, there are fewer chances of the plants suffering from dramatic changes in the environment and climate. This has dramatically improved the culture of indoor plant growing.