So, You Want to Grow an Indoor Garden...A Guide to Getting Started

So, You Want to Grow an Indoor Garden...A Guide to Getting Started

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Caroline Biggs
Aug 1, 2017

A well-kept indoor garden is a gift that keeps on giving. Not only can a good group of houseplants improve your mood and your home's air quality, they make a stylish addition to just about any space. To help make your indoor gardening endeavors a whole lot easier, we've rounded up some practical products and expert tips to channel your inner green thumb. From grow lights to terrariums - including some advice from a pro - here's how to turn your home into a greenhouse, in no time.

Planters

  1. Hanging planters: Whether you opt for a macramé or metallic version, hanging planters are an awesome way to suspend your plant babies wherever you want—and in direct light if necessary—without taking up any floor space.
  2. Sub-irrigated planters: Perfect for plant owners that have trouble remembering to water regularly, sub-irrigated planters feature an internal water reservoir (and in some instances a water-level indicator) that allows your greenery to drink H20 whenever they're dehydrated.
  3. Plant stands: A planter trend that perseveres for a reason, plants stands are a design-savvy way to house your plants in style—and can fit in just about any nook and cranny of your home (assuming they have access to light if necessary).
  4. Terrariums: Looking for a cool way to display all of your succulents, cacti, and air plants? Glass terrariums come in all shapes and sizes and look incredibly artful when setup.
  5. Window boxes: Window boxes work wonderfully for small plants—think: succulents, air plants and select herbs—that require some direct light but don't require too much space.

Grow Lights and Bulbs

  1. LED Grow Light Bulb: Complete with both red and blue lights to target chlorophyll absorption, this LED grow light bulb is a great way to accelerate plant and flower growth when you're lacking sunlight indoors.
  2. Adjustable LED Lamp: An adjustable LED lamp with both red and blue (for healthy blooms and leaves) can work wonders for tabletop plants that don't have adequate access to natural light.
  3. Agro Plant Light: Specially designed for indoor plants, this blue-tinted plant light promotes plant leaf growth and can be used for track and recessed lighting.

Soil

  1. Premium All-Purpose Potting Soil: Although it's best to tailor your potting soil to your particular houseplant's needs, a professional-grade all-purpose potting soil—designed with a mix of minerals to buffer soil pH balances—usually does the trick.
  2. Perlite Soil: For decades, pros have sworn by Perlite soil—which uses small volcanic mineral balls to increase airflow and drainage—to promote the growth of indoor (and outdoor) plants.
  3. Gardener's Supply Self-watering Potting Mix: Specially formulated for self-watering, sub-irrigated planters, this lightweight potting soil wicks moisture to the roots so plants stay healthy and hydrated.

Accessories

  1. Watering globe: If you find yourself forgetting to water, pick up a clever watering globe to buy some time between watering.
  2. Neem oil spray: Treat outbreaks of spider mites, mealy bugs, or thrips—common plant pests during humid seasons—with an organic neem oil spray.
  3. Watering can: Invest in a cute watering can (that you won't mind showing off) and you'll never forget to water your plants again.
  4. Tools: Whether you buy each piece separately or as a complete kit, a solid set of essential gardening tools (i.e. pruning shears, spade shovels and snips) makes caring for your houseplants a breeze.

Rebecca Bullene of Greenery NYC shares her foolproof indoor gardening tips for channeling your inner green thumb:

1. Pick the right plant for your place: "The number one thing you can do to ensure success with your indoor garden is to assess your environmental conditions and choose plants that do well in the space you have. If you haven't had much success with plants, try some of the easy ones first like Ponytail Palm, ZZ and Sansevieria."

2. Know your light: "Once you know what kind of light your plant needs, you can test your available light to ensure you have a match. Light Meter App is a great tool for testing your available light for any area you might want to put plants."

3. Be consistent with water: "The key to happy plants is consistency. If you have trouble remembering to water, think about putting your plants in a sub-irrigated planter, which has an indicator that tells you when it's time to refill, and a water reservoir that lets the plants drink when they need to (and means less frequent refills)."

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