Houseplants for Beginners: 5 Basics for Gardening Indoors
I’m going to share with you pro tips about how to cultivate your own home garden.
Let’s talk about the ultimate basic thing that you would need to grow a plant, soil. Structurally speaking, there are three kinds of soil. Clay, soil, silty soil, and sandy soil. The first and foremost thing you should do is step out and inspect the soil that you have access to that’s in your garden or just outdoors. In preparing the ideal soil for any kind of plant that I grow indoors or outdoors, I use equal amount of cocoapeat. This would help retain water for longer, allowing good drainage at the same time. Garden soil, which will act as a solid matrix for the roots to grow. If you don’t have access to garden soil, it’s okay. You can just use cocoapeat and compost. Compost will provide the necessary nutrition for the plants to grow. Use the three of them in equal amount and mix them thoroughly. You can use this potting mix for growing any kind of plant, from veggies to indoor plants.
One thing plants are very sensitive to is watering. When watering plants, you should be using a watering can. Why do you need a watering can? One thing you will notice that is common between both of them, is that the nozzle, it has a long neck. What this does is essentially reduce the water pressure. When you’re watering your plants, especially the young ones that have delicate stems, if the water is from a great height, the pressure is too much, it can damage that stem. But if you do not have access to a watering can, an alternate that you can use is a PET bottle. Make a couple of holes on the cap and you’re good to go.
One of the most basic thing that anybody needs to start a garden is of course a pot, which will help you contain the soil so that you can grow plants in them. Whenever you go out to buy a pot, you will often see people say, this is a six inch pot or this is an eight inch pot. It is essentially referring to the depth. And the diameter, which is the mouth of the pot comes out to be in proportion with the depth of the pot. Now, of course you can use a normal pot, but you can also get creative. For example, if you want to use a coffee mug, you can use it to grow plants. Just ensure that you make at least one drainage hole for the water to escape. If there’s no drainage hole, the plant will start to die because the roots will start rotting. Now, there are other kinds of pots also available in the market. For example, a metal pot. The one that I highly recommend is a terracotta pot. For two reasons. The terracotta pot help maintain the temperature for the soil better. And secondly, it also helps in a better growth of the plant.
If you’re a complete beginner, and you don’t want to invest much in the pot, you can actually grow your food even in containers like these that you use for takeaway food.
The last thing that you need for your plants, and I hope it’s not getting intimidating. I promise it’s the last thing, is a fertilizer. What do you call a fertilizer? Anything that gives nutrition to your plant is a fertilizer. What I highly recommend is homemade compost. You can also buy compost from outside. Another kind of fertilizer that people actually use for the farmlands is urea. I don’t really recommend it for home gardeners. Compost or seaweed solution is good enough for you, but if you want, you can also use urea. It works like steroids. If you add this to your plants, you would see a very good growth in them. But it is chemically made and for home garden you don’t really need that. The other kind of fertilizer that you can have, especially if you’re growing flowers, is fish bone meal. So it is actually steamed fish bone, which has been crushed and grinded into a powder form. If you do not have any ethical issues with it, you can use them in your plants. It works like magic for having more flowers on your blooming plants.
All that you have to do now is to spot a node. Now, what is a node? Node is that junction from which you’ll see another leaf coming out. So this is, let’s say the main stem. You’ll see the leaf is coming out, make a cut underneath. This method works for most indoor plants or house plants. Now put this in water. For any cutting to grow in water, all that you need is two to three healthy leaves. Two to three leaves will be enough for the plant to survive. And you put it in water. In about seven to 10 days, from this junction, the node, you will see new roots coming out. Once you start seeing about an inch long root, you stick it into the soil. And in about a month you will have a green and luscious pothos growing out of it.
Now, those are the 5 Basics for Gardening Indoors. Gardening can be quite confusing and hard for beginners. Knowing these basics can help you in your journey to gardening indoors and outdoors. Use these tools wisely, and happy gardening!