GROWING PLANTS INDOOR
The first thing you need to understand to be a successful indoor gardener is the conditions growing plants need to remain healthy such as ample light, correct temperature, sufficient humidity level, and the right plant care.
Plants Are Individual
Plants are individual so each indoor plant has unique needs to light, humidity, and temperature. The best way to choose a plant for your house is first to decide the location perfectly.
Questions that you might need to prepare the answers before growing plants indoor:
Would a house plant enhance this particular spot?
How much light is available?
What is the average temperature?
How much humidity is present?
Light is The Limiting Factor
Plants require light to grow but, not every plant needs the same amount of light daily. Blooming plants usually need more light than foliage plants. Some plants require direct sunlight; others prefer filtered or low light conditions. Plants placed in limited light should be watered less. It is not wise to put low light condition plants in a place where they receive direct sunlight cause it'll certainly burn the leaves.
Types of available light
When you grow plants indoor, the source of direct sun coming from the windows :
- An east facing window allows morning sun and generally cooler afternoon temperature.
- A west facing window permits afternoon sun with warmer temperature.
- A south facing window exposure offers sun and warm temperature most of the day (this is the brightest exposure).
- A north facing window gives bright light with no sun.
Bright light can be found in the interior portions of a sunny room or from light reflected from light-colored walls.
Filtered or Diffused Light is light coming through a lightweight curtain over window or glazed window. Overhang/patio roofs also block or filter light.
Low light usually refers to dark parts in room interior, dark corner, or areas without windows.
How to Water Properly
“How much water?” is usually the first thing that comes to people’s mind when they buy plants. When you ask this question usually the answer is “Not too much, yet not too little”; “As much as it needs.”; “It depends.”
Most plants die from improper watering practice than from any other cause. The best way to avoid overwatering is to know each plants water requirements cause every plants require different amount of water to grow.
And what time do plants need to be watered ? Normally, watering is done in the morning.
If your water tastes like metal, use bottled water. Some catch rainwater and use it to water their plants.
Factors that affect watering practice
In the rainy season when days are cloudy, house plants generally need less water than during the dry season. In this condition you should extend your watering period. For example : if you usually water the plants once a week, you will probably have to water it longer than a week.
The containers you used to hold your plants will affect the amount of water needed and how often you water it. Types of containers :
- Red clay pots are porous, absorbing moisture and permitting good air circulation. Plants in clay pot require more water than plants in other containers. You should check the moisture level more frequently to avoid dryness.
- Glazed ceramic pots are non-porous so soil tends to stay wet longer than in clay pot. Gardeners love using this container cause they stay moisturize longer. You need to pay attention when watering plant in glazed ceramic since overwatering can be a real problem with this type of pots.
- Plastic pots have the properties as glazed ceramic pots. Treat plants in plastic pots like those in ceramic pots.
- Pots without drainage hole. Once a plant is watered in this type of pot, moisture remains in the soil until it is utilized or evaporated. Plants in this type of pot should receive less water than those in containers with drain holes. A good rule of thumb is to add water equal to one fourth of the volume of the container. Watch them closely for sign of over watering.
3. Plants differences. Plants with large total leave surface such as ferns need more water than sparsely foliaged plants. Plants with soft lush foliage need more water than those with waxy, leathery, or succulent leaves.
How do you know your plants need water?
There are many ways to recognize when your plants need water. Try different methods of testing moisture level and then use the one you find most effective.
1.Drooping foliage. Drooping or wilted foliage on a house plant usually indicates it needs water fast! Water a wilted plant thoroughly; then wait. After several hours the plants should resume to its normal appearance. House plants usually survive from wilting once or twice, but not indefinitely.
2. The touch test. Feel the soil surface with your finger. If the soil is dry to a depth of 2 cm to 3 cm, add water. If it is still moist, keep checking the plant periodically, as often as daily.
3. The weight test. Some people judge a potted plant’s water needs by the weight of the pot. This is the rule-of-thumb; the lighter the pot, the less moisture content of the pot. To effectively use the method you have to get a feel of the weight of the pot before and after it is watered.
A good way to water
When it is time to water, make sure you water it thoroughly which means you keep adding water until you see it draining out from the bottom. It is best to put the plants where the drainage water would not mess the surface.
Some plants like cactus and succulents like to stay dry longer before they get another dose of water. Others like a more constant moisture such as ferns, you have to know the water requirement of the plants you keep.