Guide to Growing Plants Indoors
Much of nature’s beauty has been replaced by urban sprawl, billboards, and indoor activities. Today, the majority of people stay indoors as much as 90% of their lives! Indoor plants are one way to incorporate a sense of nature’s scenery into our current lifestyles. Indoor plants make us feel great, freshen the air, and provide a hobby activity and member of the family can become involved.
Indoor plants help remove carbon dioxide from the air, just as we breathe in oxygen. Plants exhale oxygen, just as humans exhale carbon dioxide. As you can see, we need to live together. Leaves of indoor plants trap pollution, and particles. Even chemicals which you’ve heard called “out-gassing” from plastics and other materials are trapped by interior plants in offices and houses.
Growth Factors for Indoor Plants
It’s easy to garden indoors. You just need to know how the environment inside is different than outdoors and compensate through smart cultivation practices. These include light, temperature, humidity, nutrition, soil, and water.
Light: Light becomes plant nutrition. Photographers measure light with technical tools but the gardener can measure light well enough with how much shade is present during parts of the day. Low light, medium light, brightly lit and direct sun areas are generally enough light description for all but the most sensitive plants to thrive. To qualify as direct sun, there should four hours of sunshine or more directly on the plants in that area.
Light changes with time of year, reflections, window dressings, roof overhangs so check periodically. Pick plants based on the labeled light requirements and your home lighting. If you need to place a plant that needs a lot of light in a lower light area, supplements with artificial lighting made especially for lighting plants with rays in the full spectrum of the sun. Longer light periods can make up for lower light levels but too much light can be as harmful, too, causing yellow or bleached-looking leaves which soon die.
Temperature: The temperature inside your home makes a difference whether plants thrive. Humans like 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit. Most plants interior plants like 58-86 degrees F. Combining light with temperature, your plants breathe and create nutrition via photosynthesis.
Low light causes too little nutrition to build and high temperature may fight absorption. Too much or too little or a wrong combination can result in plant failure. Adjust light and temperature, using a guideline between 50 degrees F and 90 F. Chances are if you are comfy, so are your plants.
Humidity: Moisture in the air is called humidity and it should be no less than 20% to above 50%. Greenhouses maintain 50+% humidity and often plants relocated enter a 20% humidity – or less – environment.
Of course, they suffer; they come from the rain forest! Keep humidity high with moisture sources like pans of water located near plants or use of a humidifier.
Water: Watering is nearly an art; too much drowns roots while too little stunts growth. Combined with light, temperature, and humidity, water keeps plants healthy depending on what type, size, growing medium, light, and container is involved. The native conditions for a species can range from arid cacti to truly water-loving plants.
Overwatering can cause salt build up around soil and container edges damaging roots and stunting growth but a good drenching to wash salt accumulated is needed periodically. Drainage is crucial for indoor plant health; discard water drained from soil into container saucer or tray.
To determine when to water, poke your finger into the soil along the edge of the container about one-inch. If it feels at that depth, don’t want. If it feels dry, it’s time to water. You can buy techie devices which check for you if you want.
Some species of plants, the Corn Plant or Ti Cane and others, can suffer if their water is high in fluorine or chlorine. Just draw water and it let stand for a few days and water along the outside edge of these plant’s pots. Fluorine damage can include leaf scorching.
Nutrition: All nutrition which doesn’t come from the contents of the soil are provided with fertilizer. So often gardeners use too much and this forms the salts mentioned above. It can burn the roots and become a crust-like collection on the edge of the container. Find out if your plant species need heavy or light feeding, consider how much light it gets and how much growing medium is in the container.