bring the spring indoors

9 May

as spring is slowly making appearances, I have started brainstorming what to plant in the garden this year.  I have also decided that I am going to bring the spring indoors.  I’m now looking into what the do’s and don’ts are of putting together an indoor garden.  This is what I found…

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Dos

  • Do use distilled water. Watering plants with cold tap water not only can shock them, but also can harm them with mineral deposits and unhealthy pH levels. Opt instead for room temperature distilled water when serving thirsty plants.
  • Do keep air flowing around plants.
  • Do use natural pesticides. use natural pesticides such as dish soap, alcohol, and hot peppers.
  • Do keep plant labels. The small, informational paper stakes that come with plants at the time of purchase can come in handy should you need to fertilize or adjust light and temperature settings.
  • Do make sure indoor plants are pet-friendly.  A simple test you can do yourself is to snap a leaf off a plant and rub a bit of sap on your skin. If the area becomes red and irritated, leave that plant and its sap at the nursery for another pet-free home.

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Don’ts

  • Don’t over-water. The number one enemy of household plants is over-watering.  Don’t automatically water your plants on a set schedule; rather, water them when soil is no longer moist, and then, water them only until soil is moist. Never water to the point of draining.
  • Don’t over-fertilize. A good quality, loose soil should contain enough nutrients to keep plants healthy for at least 10 to 12 weeks. Should you opt to fertilize, especially regarding herbs, make sure to use natural fertilizers or those safe for human consumption.
  • Don’t neglect humidity levels. Interior air in your home can be dry. You’ll know your plants lacking enough humidity when they become brown at the tips.
  • Don’t leave your plants in the dark. Indoor plants still need light, and when they aren’t getting enough, they’ll appear pale and have spindly, rather than full, growth.
  • Don’t overexpose plants. Exposing plants directly to both heat and drafts will speed up their drying processes and essentially be the same as leaving outdoor plants unprotected against the elements.
  • Don’t ignore pests. Prevent houseplant pests before they even reach your home by checking plants over thoroughly at your nursery or garden center. Household plants are typically susceptible to spider mites, aphids, and other tiny nuisances, but these little guys can quickly turn into big problems when they spread to neighboring plants.
  • Don’t let a plant overgrow its home. Plants’ roots become a jumbled mass when they’ve overgrown a pot; leaving plants in pots too long with this kind of root overlapping will eventually restrict the plant’s further growth and health. When a plant becomes too large for its container, re-pot it.

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Enjoy creating your indoor garden as spring is quickly arriving!

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