Indoor Garden Designs for All
Article By | Uma Campbell, The Money Pit
Having a garden can be a great source of pride and fun, but when the weather turns chilly or if your home simply doesn’t allow space for a garden, its not always possible. The good news is that there’s always a way to have an indoor garden!
An indoor garden can provide you with the same benefits of an outdoor garden and improve your homes aesthetics and air quality all at the same time, whether you are looking to grow a few herbs or a full array of plants, flowers or even vegetables.
But just like an outdoor garden, an indoor container garden takes work to set up and maintain. There are five main things to consider when making an indoor garden: light, water, temperature, air, and design. Each of these elements are vital to the success of an indoor garden, and this guide will walk you through each one.
Plants need light to photosynthesize and will simply not survive without proper lighting. All plants need light to grow leaves, let alone flowers or fruit, and even placing plants near a window may not provide enough light during darker months.
The solution to this problem is to add a light specifically designed to help plants grow, aptly called a grow light. Grow lights are different that the lights you use to provide illumination in your home. Because plants’ photoreceptors absorb specific wavelengths of light produced by the sun, you need to replicate these wavelengths with grow lights which produce the same wavelength as the sun.
There are a few different types of grow lights, and it can be confusing to decide which light is best. Incandescent lamps are cheap, basic lights, but they are not ideal for an indoor garden. Fluorescent lights are inexpensive and are ideal for plants that don’t require a lot of light, such as herbs. Compact fluorescent lights are bright, efficient lights that are suitable for all plants. They also produce less heat than other options, meaning they can be placed closer to plants. High intensity discharge lights are very bright and are considered top of the line but come with a high price tag.
Watering Your Indoor Garden
Every type of plant has unique watering needs. A plant that naturally grows in a desert will need far less water than a plant naturally found in a swamp. As a general rule, plants grown in containers require more frequent watering, but be careful; too much water can kill a plant as easily as underwatering. To prevent overwatering, use plant containers with holes in the bottom so excess water can drain.
Thankfully, most homes are already a good temperature for most plants. Temperatures between 65°F and 75°F are suitable, though a variance of 10°F will likely be fine. A plant that is too warm will be small, weak, and limp. While a plant that is too cold will have yellow leaves that quickly fall off. Be on the lookout for these warning signs and adjust the temperature of the garden accordingly.
Good Air Flow
As a part of photosynthesis, plants produce oxygen and filter out unpleasant gasses from their surroundings. This process cleans the air in your home, a nice benefit of an indoor garden. For this process to happen, plants need air circulating around their leaves while keeping the leaves moist.
For the best growing conditions, place plants in a room with good airflow or supply a fan. To increase the humidity in order to keep the leaves moist, mist plants daily, and keep plants grouped together. The room will become slightly more humid than the rest of your house, and the plants will be happy.
While your indoor garden needs to be functional, you should also like how it looks. You can create a theme for your garden room by matching the room design with the plants. Think about what types of plants grow in similar environments. Mediterranean plants will thrive in the same climate but adding a desert plant will alter that environment and you won’t be able to sustain. Also consider the colors of various plants.
Find the perfect shade of paint that complements or contrasts the colors of your plants. A color wheel, which you can find at any art store, is a helpful tool to easily identify complementary and contrasting colors. For example, blue walls contrast with orange and yellow but pair well with lavender and silver. By coordinating the colors of your chosen plants and the colors in the garden room, you can create a beautiful visually cohesive space filled with all the freshness nature has to offer.
An indoor garden is a perfect solution if an outdoor garden is not in the cards for you. By focusing on these 5 areas, your indoor garden can thrive and provide enjoyment for years to come.
Editor’s Note: Tom Kraeutler hosts the nationally syndicated radio show “The Money Pit”, carried right here on (station) (day/time). Listeners are invited to ask home improvement questions at anytime by calling the show’s 24-hour toll-free hotline at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Questions will be responded to in their next regularly scheduled broadcast. For more great home improvement tips, guides and advice, visit the show’s web site at www.moneypit.com.
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