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Caring For Indoor Houseplants

Updated on March 27, 2016

Indoor Gardening

There are a lot of reasons why you may want to make an indoor garden. It could be a nice way to beautify the house, or maybe you live in an apartment building and you don't have anywhere outside to make a garden. Someone who is drawn to gardening but on the other hand is over sensitive to sun exposure may find gardening indoors a solution.

There are really two scenarios of "Indoor Gardens". One is to make a garden in containers in one of your rooms, like your living room. Another scenario is where a person has a huge room outdoors but enclosed in glass, not common amongst the middle class like me, but it can be gorgeous if you have it.

In this lens I will write about the first scenario, about having plants or veggies growing in containers in your house.

Enjoy, and please leave a comment if you see fit.

Top Indoor Gardening Plants for Beginners

Indoor gardening can be fun, as long as you choose the right plants to begin with. Certain species need little care and are capable of thriving in any conditions. Choosing the right plants is a prerequisite for the success of your indoor gardening efforts.

Many indoor gardening beginners give up because they managed to “kill” the plants that they started taking care of. Certain species are very picky and delicate. They need highly specific conditions and growing such plants will be a challenge even for experienced individuals. On the other hand, some plant species cannot be “killed,” even if you have never tried indoor gardening before.

Spider Plant

Spider plant is a beautiful option for beginners. The plant looks attractive and it is also easy to take care of. Chlorophytum comosum is a flowering perennial species that has beautiful striped leaves. The flowers bloom in clusters, making the plant even more attractive.

The spider plant can be grown in any kind of container or pot. As time passes, the plant will reproduce through plantlets, which can be put in separate pots. The spider plant can grow in any light and temperature conditions. You can water the spider plant infrequently and it will still be capable of surviving and growing.

Dragon Tree

Dracanea or dragon tree is an African species that can be grown in all parts of the world. There are more than 40 varieties of the dragon tree and all of them look equally attractive.

Several dragon tree plants can be grown in the same container. The plant can survive at all temperatures and it should be watered rather infrequently. The availability of sunlight is the only requirement for the proper indoor growing of the dragon tree.

Dragon tree has abundant foliage, which determines its attractiveness. To control the height of the plant, you should remove the new foliage that appears in the middle parts. This is it!

Cacti

Cacti are plants used to high temperature and the lack of water. As such, all cactus species are perfect for beginners in the indoor gardening niche.

Cacti need shallow pots and several hours of sunshine per day. The shallow pot allows for the easy drainage of excess water because the cactus does not like damp soil. Adding some sand and gravel to the soil mix is a great way to ensure good drainage, as well.

Watering the cactus about once per month will be sufficient, so there is no need to worry about keeping a specific schedule. Fertilization once or twice each year will provide the cactus with sufficient nutrients.

Devil’s Ivy

Devil’s ivy or pothos is yet another excellent plant selection for beginning indoor gardeners. The plant propagates easily and it can grow without much water or fertilization. At the same time, the luscious green leaves will contribute to the peaceful and beautiful atmosphere in your home.

The devil’s ivy should be watered only when the top layer of soil appears to be rather dry. Good drainage is a prerequisite for the proper growth of pothos.

For best results, put the devil’s ivy in a hanging pot. This is the positioning it likes the most. The hanging vines can trail up walls, poles or frames. Keep in mind that devil’s ivy is a poisonous plant and you should be careful if you have pets.

Related Resources from Amazon

Here are choice books available in Amazon that I think will help you in developing your indoor garden. Enjoy!

Other Indoor Gardening Resources from Around the Web

Here I list for you other sites about indoor gardening that I think that will interest you and that you will gain from.

Proper Care for Flowering Houseplants

P6110017-My indoor amaryllis longs to be in the grâ¦âgailf548 (Flickr.com)
P6110017-My indoor amaryllis longs to be in the grâ¦âgailf548 (Flickr.com)

[Photo Credit: P6110017-My indoor amaryllis longs to be in the gr…-gailf548 (Flickr.com)]

Flowering houseplants have special requirements and you need to learn the proper care techniques for such species.

A blooming plant can add a lot of color and aesthetical appeal to your house's interior. Still, such plants demand special attention. Interested in perfecting your indoor gardening skills? Here are several essential tips for the proper growing, watering and fertilization of indoor flowers.

Choosing the Right Indoor Flowers

Always choose a plant that corresponds to your gardening experience and that will be capable of surviving in your home. Think carefully about temperature, sunlight and watering requirements before making a purchase.

Flowering plants that are native to your country or the area that you live in will typically demand little care. Tropical and exotic species, for example, will probably demand daily attention, proper fertilization and pruning. Such species are a challenge and they are suitable for people having more indoor gardening experience.

Proper Potting

Most flowering plants come with information about proper potting and care. Once you have purchased the plants, you will have to choose the right pots.

Some flowering plants thrive in shallow pots that provide good drainage. Others prefer damper soil, thus a deeper pot would be the better selection. If you are uncertain about the best pot, ask the garden store consultant for more information about the plant's watering preferences and soil needs.

The material that the pot is made of is another important factor to examine. Plastic is a material that can easily degrade due to exposure to direct sunlight. Terracotta and clay pots are much more beautiful but large amounts of water can quickly damage the surface.

Light and Water

Each indoor flower has specific light and water requirements. A number of plants demand placement right next to a window or a source of natural light. Other flowers can survive in a shaded area. Think about the available space and pick species accordingly.

The same rule applies to watering your flowering plants. Several species need very little water. Some of these flowers include African violet, flowering cacti, lilies, streptocarpus and Christmas cactus.

No matter what water requirements the flowering indoor plants have, do your best to keep the soil from getting soggy. Proper drainage is going to keep the roots healthy and safe, even if the flower has high watering requirements.

Fertilizer

Flowering plants need the right nutrients to grow and to bloom.

A basic rule of thumb states that plants need nutrients when they are most active. Each flower has a specific season that it registers most growth in and this is the time when it should be fertilized. You should refrain from fertilizing plants that are currently in bloom. The fertilizer can divert resources away from the flowers and into the leaves.

Slow release fertilizers are a great option for flowering plants because they will release nutrients over a relatively long period of time.

The labels of fertilizers for house plants usually contain three numbers. The first one indicates the nitrogen content, the second one is for phosphorus and the third one is for potassium. Phosphorus is the nutrient that promotes flowering and keeps the roots of the plant healthy. Nitrogen is essential for the growth of leaves and potassium keeps the stems strong.

Indoor Plants Video

I chose this particular video first of all because it is well done quality-wise, and she shows fundamentals necessary for the beginner.

Indoor Gardening Poll

Have You Ever Grown Plants Indoors From Scratch? (Please tell us which ones).

See results

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    • profile image

      Amos_Soliz 4 years ago

      would be so great to have some nice and colorful flowers, but i just dont have time to take care of them.

    • profile image

      Dominick16 4 years ago

      Thumbs up for great share.

    • profile image

      tiofa1981 4 years ago

      Always a pleasure to learn something new when it comes to plants and gardening. :)

    • profile image

      Clarence54 4 years ago

      How important is the selection of a pot for indoor gardening?

    • profile image

      JacobCoward 4 years ago

      I would like to have indoor garden, but somehow i just dont have any luck with plants... they all die so soon :(

    • profile image

      Paul82 4 years ago

      What would you suggest as great flowering plant for absolute beginners?

    • profile image

      EricWeis 4 years ago

      Thank you for these great tips, but my appartment is just too small for anything like this.

    • profile image

      Jesse47 4 years ago

      How about re-potting, you don't talk a lot about that?

    • profile image

      Lucille_Dinkins 4 years ago

      Housplants are great way to bring some colors and life to our home, but people dont like having extra work at their home and they rather choose fake plants or some other decors.

    • profile image

      Benedick_Adkins 4 years ago

      Growing my own salad in kitchen... just amazing :)

    • profile image

      Lynda64 4 years ago

      Is it true that talking to our plants really helps, or that is just a myth???

    • profile image

      Darlene92 4 years ago

      Can you describe the basics of trimming indoor plants?

    • profile image

      RobynBergstrom74 4 years ago

      How do I choose the best plants for the conditions in my home?

    • profile image

      SilviaCarver101 4 years ago

      Can you name some other great plants for indoor gardening beginners?

    • profile image

      HelenaZeller149 4 years ago

      hmmm... im not sure im the right person for housplants because more i read this, more scientific it sounds to me :D

    • profile image

      Barrie48 4 years ago

      Are there any flowering plants that are resistent to cold weather?

    • profile image

      digre1979 4 years ago

      What are the best ways of encouraging my cacti to flower?

    • bobtopsoil lm profile image
      Author

      bobtopsoil lm 4 years ago

      @JasonCraddock: Hi Jason,

      Thanks for the visit, and thanks for the comment, and best of luck everything that you do.

      Bob

    • bobtopsoil lm profile image
      Author

      bobtopsoil lm 4 years ago

      @IrmaCerda138: Hi Irma,

      I agree with every word. There's nothing like working in the garden to mellow out from the drudgery of a stressful job. Many say the same thing about exercise. :)

      Bob

    • bobtopsoil lm profile image
      Author

      bobtopsoil lm 4 years ago

      @Jeffrey_Mcdowell: Hi Jeffrey,

      There are chemical and organic fertilizers on the market. Chemical fertilizers are rich in the essential phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium. Organic fertilizers are 100 percent safe and they will improve soil structure, apart from helping plants grow. Chemical fertilizers, however, are more easily available. The decision depends on your lifestyle.

      All the best,

      Bob

    • bobtopsoil lm profile image
      Author

      bobtopsoil lm 4 years ago

      @GaryCohen: Many people are interested in growing their own fresh herbs in pots. Some herbs are easier to grow than others. Some of the best plants for your indoor herb garden include chives, mint, lemongrass, oregano, thyme and rosemary. Herbs can grow exceptionally well indoors but take a look at the light and water requirements, in order to provide your plants with optimal conditions.

    • profile image

      JasonCraddock 4 years ago

      I have a bunch of different cactus plants and i just love them. The best part about them is that they dont need much attention, and since im traveling a lot that suits me just right.

    • profile image

      IrmaCerda138 4 years ago

      Gardening is something that helps me with my work related stress, and i just cant imagine how everything would be without my beautiful garden.

    • profile image

      Jeffrey_Mcdowell 4 years ago

      What kinds of fertilizers should I use?

    • bobtopsoil lm profile image
      Author

      bobtopsoil lm 4 years ago

      @JacklynBumgarner: Hi Jacklyn,

      Thanks for the visit, and thanks for the question. There are fertilizers designed for application once per month, that's what we usually use. Follow the dosage recommendations listed on the bottle. Typically, one teaspoon or tablespoon of the product will have to be diluted in water for optimal results.

      Good luck,

      Bob

    • profile image

      Hugo_Coe 4 years ago

      Spider Plant is really great for beginners, but having just one of those is not something that would make my home interesting... that is my oppinion.

    • bobtopsoil lm profile image
      Author

      bobtopsoil lm 4 years ago

      @Hugo_Coe: Hi Hugo,

      Thanks for the visit, and thanks for the comment. I'm not going to argue with you, it's certainly a matter of taste, but if I'm not mistaken, the spider plant is quite popular.

      All the best,

      Bob

    • bobtopsoil lm profile image
      Author

      bobtopsoil lm 4 years ago

      @WalterGregg77: Hi Walter,

      Thanks for the question. Pests can attack indoor plants and you will most often have to deal with aphids. Aphids are incredibly mobile sucking insects that can establish colonies. Insecticidal products are the easiest way of doing indoor gardening pest control. Alternatively, you can buy natural oils and other organic products that will chase the pests away.

      Hope this helps,

      Bob

    • bobtopsoil lm profile image
      Author

      bobtopsoil lm 4 years ago

      @VirgilSierra: Thanks, Virgil, for the positive feedback, Bob

    • profile image

      GaryCohen 4 years ago

      Is it difficult to grow herbs indoors?

    • profile image

      JacklynBumgarner 4 years ago

      When is it best to fertilize indoor plants?

    • profile image

      WalterGregg77 4 years ago

      Are indoor plants susceptible to pests? What can be done about it?

    • profile image

      VirgilSierra 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing these great tips with us.