Gardening, in general, has been topping the list of hobbies since forever, yet to understand the needs of houseplants could starkly vary from mainstream gardening and hence, needs some extra care. The indoor environment differs from the outdoors in all aspects, and this causes a change in the growth habits of your houseplants. The entire process of adaptation to the climate indoors requires some major and minor considerations to facilitate healthy development in the plants.
Moreover, the needs of a houseplant differ from season to season, and it is essential for the gardener to suit these. For, instance, summers can be humid and hot while winters are dry-cold, making it vital for the gardener to improvise and adapt according to what their plants might need. And lastly, you need to excel in your choice of plants to make your indoor garden a success.
Water less but not too little
The primary step to growing a garden or even just one plant is watering it, and as easy as it looks like, watering a plant can be a game changer. More often than not, you would be instigated to water your plant, even when it isn’t necessary. This would end up in, resulting in an increased rate of perspiration and cause a rise in the level of humidity in the room. On occasions where the perspiration rate can’t match the level of hydration in the plant, the extra water could block all air spaces around roots and choke them.
So, before you water your plants, ensure that you’ve checked the soil for the presence of moisture. The most fitting way to assess this is to utilize your fingers to feel the ground if they are not visibly hydrated. Moreover, resting a houseplant pot in a saucer is not a great idea as this too would clog the roots with overhydration. Therefore, ensure that you occasionally drain the entire pot bottom up into a sink to free the plants of extra water.
Unlike summers, which are high in temperatures and automatically boost metabolism in plants due to an increased rate of sweat, winters make the plants dormant. This is why the fertilizer needs of the plants face a downward graph in winters, as they don’t need much artificial boost to their growth in the cold season.
Let the light in and keep it tidy
For obvious reasons, it becomes crucial to adjust to the low light availability indoors, and the gardener needs to be careful about cutting down the factors that affect entering of light. Dust on the leaves is a significant obstruction in the way and needs to be cleaned using a soft, clean rag or you can also keep the entire plant in the shower. Keep windows clean so as to allow sunlight and ensure that you move your plant around with the changing course of Sun.
The gardener also needs to keep in consideration to not place the plants too close to any heating or cooling devices such as heaters or refrigerators or even near an open window which is prone to wind currents. However, if you’re gardening on a larger scale, you can opt for an indoor grow tent as an alternative that assist you in creating an optimal environment. This also ensures even distribution of sunlight and heat to avoid the formation of hot spots.
Remove old growth and prepare for spring
Indoor plants are prone to becoming leggy over time, especially during the winter months with most of the metabolism going dormant. However, it might be time that you prune old growth to encourage new buds. Around the onset of spring, when the plants start growing new buds and leaves, they require more fertilizing than other times of the year. Moreover, you also need to ensure that your plant is adequately hydrated which is best done by a water spray.
Refresh the soil
Unlike outdoor plants, houseplants are entirely dependent on the potting soil that they’re provided with. There is almost no chance of natural replenishment of minerals inside these. Moreover, there are times when the plant roots outgrow the pot, which results in suffocation before the roots breakthrough.
To ensure that any of your garden plant doesn’t go through this struggle, you need to refresh the soil once in a while. You can shift the entire root ball in a well fertilized set after pruning the roots a little, in case of outgrown roots. And in case there is still space in the current pot, you can suffice by just changing the surrounding soil.