Whether it’s the winter blues or the sweltering summer you’re looking to escape, creating your own indoor garden oasis is the year-round way to reap the mental and physical benefits of getting in touch with nature, all the while flexing your aspiring (or well-seasoned) green thumb.
The Benefits of Indoor Gardening
Connecting with nature and surrounding yourself with beautiful blooms and greenery can be calming. According to a study conducted by the Journal of Preventive Medicine, growing plants improves mood, lowers anxiety, and increases wellness. If that doesn’t have you sold on the idea of bringing life to your indoor space, houseplants such as ferns or flowering varieties, are nature’s very own air purifier, taking in carbon dioxide and expelling clean oxygen, making the air fresher in your home.
Before you put a stake in the ground (or rather, in the house), there are a few things you’ll want to consider that will determine what type of indoor garden you’ll have. These factors include:
Take a look around your home and determine where you’d like to start your new indoor garden. From a sunny windowsill to an empty bookshelf, your garden can take as little or as much space as you’re willing to give it. When considering the location, pick an area that the inevitable drops of falling water won’t damage, and make sure your plants are safely placed away from walkways, are situated on stable surfaces, and will be easy to reach without the strain of bending or the hazard of climbing.
If your space is limited, make the most of it and defy the laws of gravity by using hanging baskets to create a vertical garden, allowing plants such as ferns, more light without sacrificing floor space.
In selecting the location for your indoor garden, scope out whether your plants will get full, partial, or little sunlight as this will help you choose the appropriate plants. Some plants, like Snake and Spider plants, can thrive in low light, while some, such as the Fiddle-Leaf Fig and Gardenia, require hours of direct light to grow strong.
If you’re comfortable in the temperature of your home, it’s likely your plants will be as well. Most plants will grow in the temperature range of 18-26°C (65-80°F); plants that are too hot will wither, and plants that are too cold will have yellow dropping leaves.
Once you’ve chosen a location for your indoor garden, it’s time to equip yourself with a few basic tools and some low-maintenance plants that don’t require daily care or an elaborate setup to grow.
The tools required for creating an indoor garden are simple: a small handheld shovel for planting, pruning shears, potting soil, a watering can, planters, gardening gloves, plants, and in some instances, seeds or bulbs.
Once you’ve picked the location for your indoor garden, and determined the amount of available sunlight, it’s time to get your garden going. While there are countless options, some of the suggested plants for specific conditions include:
Full Sunlight (windows facing south or west)
Aloe Vera, Jade, Jasmine, Gardenia, Fiddle-Leaf Fig, Fresh Herbs such as mint, basil, and rosemary
Partial Sunlight (bright room with indirect light)
Spider Plant, Snake Plant, African Violet
Philodendron, Ferns, Peace Lily, Pothos (aka Devil’s Ivy)
Succulents & Cacti
Talk about low maintenance! Succulents and cactus gardens are the ideal indoor plants, able to thrive in almost any environment – these hardy plants can survive in the harshest of conditions (read: the desert), so with a little water, and a dose of sunshine, they’re good to go. In addition to being extremely easy to care for, these interesting plants can be displayed in imaginative ways, such as in terrariums. Painting the planting pots is another great way to get your creative juices flowing; all you need is some acrylic paint, a brush, and a terracotta pot.
The most common cause of death for indoor plants: overwatering. Use your finger to feel the soil – if it’s still wet, your watering is done for now. It’s not how often you water, but rather how much you’re watering. Too much and you risk drowning the plant; water needs to drain to avoid the growth of mold.
Whether your indoor garden is simple (a single cactus) or a bit more extensive (a whole indoor herb garden!), surrounding yourself with nature’s green beauties can deliver the unexpected benefits of helping with stress, depression, and loneliness. What are you waiting for? You’re ready to dig in!
To discover the delicious meals that you can sprinkle your homegrown herbs on, check out the fantastic and flavourful options from Heart to Home Meals here.