A Quick and Easy Guide to the Perfect Indoor Garden
We guarantee you’ll be surprised by how big a difference just a few splashes of green can make to the time you spend at home. The scientific benefits for both body and mind of keeping plants around are well-documented. They can make us feel happier, improve the air quality of our home, and give us the deep personal satisfaction that only comes from them not immediately dying, seemingly inexplicably.
In some areas, the weather can kill dreams of a beautiful year-round garden. If your state has hot summers and harsh winters, keeping your outdoor space nice year-round may be prohibitively difficult and expensive, if not outright impossible. Gardens also aren’t the nicest places to sit and relax when it’s raining, or snowing, or the wind is howling at 80 kph (even if you do have an Equinox louvered roof) and some people, specifically those who live in cities, simply don’t have any garden space to speak of. However, that doesn’t mean that living a life surrounded by the beauty of nature is off-limits. You just need to think creatively and bring the outdoors inside your home. We’ll show you how.
Consider your space.
True indoor gardening is much more than just placing a few potted plants around and trying to remember to water them regularly. You need to think carefully about a more curated plant selection, how your plants will work in your house or apartment, and if you’d like to go with a theme that matches your existing decor. You want the indoor and outdoor elements of the room to work perfectly in harmony, not compete with each other for space and attention.
You also need to consider placing your indoor garden in an area where there’s sufficient natural light, and where you can easily access it to maintain and water the plants. This may involve rearranging or rethinking the furniture that’s already in the room, but it’s worth it to make sure your indoor garden can thrive. Plants that don’t have enough natural light won’t last long.
Individual plants need sufficient space to grow and thrive. Smushing a ton of them together because you like the way it looks may lead to your plants struggling and competing for space. Think about being in a lift with too many people and how claustrophobic and stifling it feels. If you wouldn’t enjoy it, don’t subject your plants to that kind of environment.
You also want to make sure that your plants have space to grow in an area where their growth won’t negatively impact other things, like being within reaching distance of the family pet or a small child. If you’re planning to incorporate trailing plants, or plants that will grow particularly large, you need to make sure they have space to trail that won’t impact on your furniture.
Even if you have very limited floor, windowsill, and tabletop space in your apartment, you can still have tons of plants around the place. Use your walls and ceilings to hold hanging plants, which will add that all-important greenery without taking up limited space that might be best used for something else. Just make sure that your hooks and pots are strong enough to take the weight of the plant they’ll hold, and that you use pots that are designed to hold water. You don’t want water dripping onto your sofa or floors!
If you want to go all-in, but have limited space, you could also use an indoor trellis and climbing plants to create an entire wall or screen of greenery and blooms that will make a serious style statement, and ensure you always have something to talk about at dinner parties!
Choosing your plants
Once you’ve determined the space your plants will live in, you need to think about the combinations of plants that you want to include. Not all plants are good bedfellows. Some will harm the growth of others if placed too close together, some will simply grow so fast that others have no space, and some are poisonous to cats and dogs. Some need more light and water than others and will do better when placed near others with similar needs. Do your research and be sure to group your plants cohesively and in a way that allows them all to thrive.
All these considerations may sound restrictive, but they could also be an opportunity to be creative. Try grouping smaller plants together for more visual interest than a single large plant, or suspend plants from the ceiling in cool macramé holders. You could even pop a small tree in a funky pot! You can also mix up the texture, shape, and leaf color of your plants to create fun and interesting sections for your garden. Almost like a miniature art installation in their own right!
Your lifestyle is also important when choosing plants. If you’re unlikely to be able to devote much time to caring for them, don’t buy anything that requires regular watering or maintenance. Instead, choose low-maintenance but high-impact plants like cacti and succulents that require almost no looking-after and will stay green and beautiful. They’re also unlikely to need any pruning or cutting back. Opting for cacti or succulents also allows you to try out one of indoor gardening’s hottest trends – the terrarium. These self-contained glass enclosures look cool and keep those spiny plants safely away from your fingers!
If you must buy thirsty plants, but know you can’t take care of them, try self-watering pots that will keep the soil well-moistened even between waterings.
If you do have the time and inclination, you can add even more to your indoor garden by including herbs, salad greens, and even a few vegetables if your kitchen windowsill has space. If you’d love to ‘grow your own’ but don’t have the desire to maintain them, you can use an urban cultivation unit. These are self-lighting, self-watering, and have built-in temperature regulators to keep your plants happy and thriving even while you’re away. They’re also self-contained and mess-free!