If gardening is your favorite pastime, winter is likely not your favorite season, at least not if you live in a climate that has cold winters. Cold, snow and wind usually mean that not much will grow outside during wintertime. However, just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a little bit of gardening, albeit inside your home instead of out in the garden.
While inside gardening isn’t quite the same as being outside working in your garden while enjoying the sun, it can still provide some gardening fun that helps you get through winter and may even provide you some nice herbs or even vegetables to use in your winter cooking.
In order to grow, plants need a few things. To grow plants inside your home you need: ample space, water, the right temperature, light, air and nutrients.
Growing plants indoors you’ll likely want to use pots so you can easily move the plants around for cleaning or when you need the space they occupy for other reasons. Of course, if you want to dedicate an entire room inside your house for growing plants, you could just put the soil on a plastic sheet on the floor, though this probably not a very good idea.
When going out to buy pots, you need to make sure that they are big enough for the roots of the plants that you are putting in them to fit. Therefore you should know what kinds of plants you will be growing before you get pots. The bigger the plant, the bigger the pot will need to be.
Because it (hopefully) doesn’t rain inside your home you will need to water your indoor plants regularly. The amount of water your plants need depends on the type of plant. Generally, if the soil feels dry then you should water your plant. Water it until water starts dripping out the drainage hole on the bottom of your pot. Too much water can also kill a plant, so don’t overdo it.
The temperatures your plants need to thrive will differ depending on the type of plant. Do your research on the plants you want to grow and put plants that need the same temperatures together in the same room. For obvious reasons you’ll want to get plants that need the same sort of temperatures that you like to live in during winter, unless you are putting your plants in a room that you don’t normally spend much time in.
Plants need clean air to thrive. For your own as well as your plants’ health you’ll want to keep the air in your home clean. Indoor plants will actually help keep the air cleaner, filtering out a number of air pollutants (depending on the type of plant).
It can be tricky to provide enough light for your plants to survive indoors. Since natural light is best for plants to grow you should try to put your plants near a window so they get exposure to natural light. Another option is using grow lights. Don’t put these lights too close though because they may burn your plants. On average plants need about 14 hours of light per day.
Plants need nutrients to grow, of which the most important ones are Potassium, Nitrogen and Phosphorous. Add some fertilizer containing the right nutrients to the soil you are using in your pots.
Zane Schwarzlose is a writer at Colley and Colley, LLP, a personal injury law firm in Austin, Texas. Zane is afraid of having plants in his office.