Indoor gardening is a beautiful idea. Gone is the thought process wherein people would only consider gardening an outdoor activity. While, yes, conventionally that is the whole idea; however, we as a race have gone beyond that conception and have brought our plants indoors.
However, because most plants do in fact thrive outdoors, indoor gardening can bring a few issues. Let’s tackle that. Here are a few problems and tips you should know and expect when taking part in indoor gardening.
Some pets can pose a threat to your plants. Animals, cats, in particular, can get attracted to leafy greens. It wouldn’t be a great sight to behold coming home to torn, eaten, or desecrated garden. Apart from this being a danger to your well-toiled greens, it can be life-threatening to your pets as well if the leaf is poisonous to them.
One way to deter them is by putting up distractions. For cats, try putting up a scratching post. One where they can spend all their time clawing and rubbing their paws and body on. For other pets, putting up a small “playpen” of sorts or even grass would suffice.
The most common household pet, the dog, can also be a danger to your vegetable patch or whatever else. Best way to keep them away is to spray your plants with a pungent scent. Apple bitter or the scent of white vinegar would suffice. You could also try to spray red pepper flakes and powdered mustard. After the first time your pooch makes the mistake of tasting them, they will know to stay away from the plants from then on.
Other than that, you could install a make-shift fence of sorts or even a gate. Those should work. However, the good thing about having both plants and pooches indoors is that there are plants, like the chrysanthemum, which are natural flea repellents. Although you could also just go with the tried and tested, old-school way and use baking soda to get rid of fleas, those are just the options.
Lack of sunlight
It’s basic knowledge that plants need sunlight. And what do we install roofs for? To keep precisely that away. So, what do we do now? Do we just stop and give up on this endeavour? Of course not. Let’s enumerate a few things that are good to know and what we can do to mitigate this problem.
Some plants just cannot thrive in an indoor setting, and then there are those that seem to be made for exactly that purpose. If you’ve ever had an indoor plant die on you, try not to blame yourself too much. It was probably just a case of bad selection.
The keywords here are “drought-resistant.” When choosing or searching for plants to put up inside your home, specifically look for plants that are drought-resistant. These are plants that can even withstand desert-like conditions. These will be ideal for your home. You’d be surprised how many futuristic houses decorate their homes with these plants. Let’s name a few.
- California Sagebrush
- Russian Sage
- Pampas Grass
- Purpletop Vervain
- Limonium Sinuatum
- French Lavander
- White Gaura
- Strawberry Tree
- Fernleaf Lavander
- Parry’s Agave
The first thing to do is to know your plant. Specifically, how much sunlight does it require to keep living? As we all know, there is such a thing as over-feeding plants. They don’t just grow fat and happy. Over-exposure to sunlight will make them wither and die. The same goes for over-watering them. They can drown.
When you have determined how much sunlight that particular plant needs, the next thing to do is to find an area in the house that sunlight penetrates through and place your plant in that location for the duration it needs sunlight. Again, take it to an unexposed area if it has already received the amount it needs.
Infections and Bacteria
Indoor gardens need to be healthy and free of infections and bacteria. To do so, you have to know what these are and how to get rid of them right away. If you suspect an infection, there are some organic solutions and fungicides that will help you solve this problem.
Remedies found in your kitchen:
1. Corn spray and garlic
Chop up garlic’s outer covering, clematis leaves, and corn leaves. Then put them together in a blender with water. Separate the liquid for it to be used as your spray.
Sprinkle cinnamon over the seedlings and the soil around it. It will kill the fungi.
In a gallon of water, place one teaspoon of diluted vinegar, like apple cider vinegar, to treat fungal infection.
4. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen Peroxide, which can typically be found in medical kits, can also be used to spray on leaves to avoid fungal infections and bacterial infections as well. Because it can harm seedlings, avoid spraying it on them. You can rest assured it will not harm the plants itself, though.
5. Milk Spray
Create a solvent mixture which comprises one-half spare milk and one-half water. The water is just to dilute the milk. Use this to spray on vegetable plants, like squash and tomatoes.and use it to water your plants. This is to prevent “blossom-end rot.”
An indoor garden needs some moisture in order to live. However, be wary of appliances that dry out the air inside the house. These are appliances like air conditioners or heaters. These can kill the plants slowly.
To solve this problem, you simply have to water the plants every day; especially the leaves. However, the idea is to moisturize, rather than to really feed them with water. So a sprinkle will do. Also, one solution is to use a humidifier to add moisture to the plants.
In our millennia, there hasn’t been (if any) indoor gardening issue that isn’t solvable. Your greatest enemy might just be location, availability of plants, or the capability of taking care of the plants. Time constraints and being away for a long time, like a vacation trip, would be the common hindrances of taking proper care for your houseplants.
Everything else is solvable by merely knowing the needs of your plants and acting on them consistently.