Posted By: Michelle Kuehler /
It is far too cold outside for most plants to survive and everyone knows of the many health benefits of having living plants in your home: fresher air, fresher vegetables and herbs and fresher decor. Plants can lift your mood and better your health but indoor gardens or hydroponic gardens can get pretty pricey and with wallets thin from holiday shopping, everyone could use a break in this department.
An important principle of gardening is to do your planning ahead of time. Choose plants that do not require full sun, otherwise you will need to buy a grow lamp which can cost a pretty penny and if you don’t have a green thumb, there are many house plants that you just can’t kill. Hardy plants include the peace lilly, ponytail palm and golden pothos. Try lemongrass, mint and chives for your indoor herb garden and try tomatoes and peppers for fresh indoor veggies.
A common problem in indoor gardening is overwatering and over fertilizing, especially in herbs, which can cause root rot or stunted, wilted or even dead plants. If you have a tendency to love your plants to death, try putting packing peanuts, from your online shopping, at the bottom of your container. Treat your plants to a healthy dose of a light fish emulsion fertilizer, like that in Grow Big 521, two to three times during the winter.
Other common problems in indoor plants are pests and dull plants. Because there is no winter cold to kill off eggs, a large number of hungry insects can camp on your plants. Don’t spend money on insecticides which can be harmful to your family and pets. Just fill a spray bottle with luke-warm soapy water and spritz the leaves of the infected plant, making sure to reach the underside of the leaves where the eggs usually hide out. The soap should kill the eggs without harming your plant. Dull plants are commonly the cause of plants not being able to breathe. It may sound funny but you should dust your plants whenever they start to look dull or dusty. Stomas are tiny pores on the leaves and stem which allow the plant to breath. When dust cumulates it clogs these pores and blocks the leaves from allowing in the maximum amount of sunlight. Simply use a wet cloth to help your plants look more vibrant.
Trendy containers and pots are in and can cost a bundle but why not go green and save green by recycling old buckets, teapots, baskets or scrap wood. Buckets are great for larger plants or small trees and can be painted to match the decor. Use an old teapot for smaller plants or line a left over holiday gift basket with plastic. You can also easily make a simple wooden container with some scrap wood and nails which looks eclectic and earthy.