Selecting plants for the indoor container garden

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What makes an indoor container garden successful? Enjoyment for the family, healthy plants and ease of care are my top concerns. By now if you have started to set up an indoor growing area you have picked out planters and selected an area in the home with proper lighting.

Your next steps should be, selecting plants.

Know your plants that you are planning to grow. Is your indoor garden herbs, edibles, flowers or a mix? If you select a picky high maintenance plant you will need special lighting and may want to grow this plant in a separate area or individual planter.

If you are growing plants with the same needs, these plants can grow in one planter. This applies to lighting and watering needs. Cacti need less water and benefit from setting on a pebble tray and herbs seem to fall in the middle when it comes to a watering schedule.

Water-loving plant (like a fern) need to be grouped together and I usually make sure they are in a higher humidly area. Watering requirements should be the same for all the plants in a single pot.

Watering, and usually overwatering, seems to be the biggest problem when growing plants indoors. Too much water leads to insect and soil diseases, so watch you new plants and if your are in doubt, go sparingly on the water.

Also, keep in mind how much sunlight your plants require. Pots heat up quickly and lose water when they are in direct sunlight so try to make sure they are in shade at least part of the day.

If you have sun-loving plants use a lighter colored pot to keep the heat of the pot down. I often use terra cotta pots for direct sunlight plants and use a pebble tray to keep moisture and humidity high for the plant.

One other way to keep moisture in the soil is to mulch the soil in the planter. You can use well-rotted compost or pebbles.

Make your indoor garden more successful with hardy plants. There are many plants that require less light and water. You may want to select these for low light areas. And many plants are disease resistant. Check the plant growing tags or talk with the garden clerk for advice.

There are many good indoor gardening books available and places online to look for gardening plant advice. The best advice I can give you for a successful garden indoors to know you plants and to keep you garden area tidy.

Watering tip: Always water from below. This prevents soil diseases. Also let the pot properly drain. after watering. Never let it sit in water.

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Denise

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