15 December 2012

Giving your Indoor Plants Enough Light

The three things that all plants need to survive are food, water, and dirt.  The food for
plants is created when enough light is provided.  The water and dirt part of the equation
are pretty straight forward as long as you follow the recommended care instructions and
don’t forget to water your plants. 


But how do you ensure that your indoor plants are getting enough light? 
Finding the right location in your home may require some trial and error before you find
the perfect spot.

Before deciding on what type of plants you will have in your house, look into the light
requirements.  The four categories that describe the different light requirement for plants
are low, medium, high, and very high.  If you have a sunroom or skylights in your home
and can position your plants in or under them you can purchase plants that need high or
very high light exposure.  Be aware that some plants can get too much sun, in which case
the light that comes in from a regular window should suffice.

There are options you can utilize if you want a certain type of plant and know that your
house is not going to provide it enough light.  You can purchase specially designed grow
bulbs to supplement the amount of light the plant is getting.  Be aware of the light
requirements for your plants when choosing this lighting method.  Although plants
require a lot of light to grow there is such a thing as too much light too.  The exact ratio
for your plant may differ but a good guideline to follow is 14 hours of sunlight to 10
hours of darkness.

Your plants will let you know if they are getting too much or not enough light (either
they will begin to look dry or will become limp).  Try different locations in your home to
find the best place for them.

cheers
Bobby

13 December 2012

Natural Way to Deal with Pests on Indoor Plants

It is inevitable that insects or another infestation will make its way to your plants at one
point or another.  If you are dealing with pests in your indoor garden you may want to
find a natural way to eliminate them especially if you have young children or pets in your
home.  There are ways to do this and most of them require ingredients that you can get at
the grocery store.


When you find insects or another disease that is making your plant sick.  Isolate the plant
immediately to prevent the problem spreading to the other plants inside your house. 
Depending on the type of problem the solution will be different.

If your plants are being eaten by spider mites, you can eliminate the problem by making a
solution of buttermilk and water.  Put the solution into a spray bottle, put the plant in the
bathtub and give a thorough once over.  A mix of 50-50 is recommended, if this is too
thick to use with the spray bottle, add more water for a thinner consistency.

You may be able to control aphids with a thorough washing of the plant leaves with
water.  Another recommendation is to kill a couple of the aphids and leave them in the
bottom of the pot.  They then emit an odor that lets the other aphids know that danger is
near and they abandon the plant.  If this method is used, do it outside so they can find
another home that is not inside yours.

The natural and organic methods available for the wide variety of problems your plant
can encounter are too numerous to list.  These are the two most common pests, but with
some research there is a natural solution to many more different insects or diseases that
can affect a plant’s health.


Next "Giving your Indoor Plants Enough Light"

cheers
Bobby


11 December 2012

The Best Pots for Indoor Gardening

You have researched the benefits of having an indoor garden and found the best plant for
you home now what do you put it in?  From terra cotta pots to decorative ceramic ones,
there are many choices available and in various sizes.  Not only do you want to choose a
pot that looks good in your home but you want one that is the best size for your plant too.


You want to look at the long-term growth expected in the plant you have chosen and use
that information to pick an appropriately sized container.  If you pick a pot that is too
small your full-grown plant the roots will not have enough room to grow and the plant
will be come “root bound”.  This is a rectifiable condition with re-potting, but it can put
the plant through unnecessary stress and creates more work for you.  Your plant may look
unbalanced at first in a container that is out of proportion but you will be glad you
thought ahead as the plants continues to grow.

The container you choose needs a form of drainage too.  The most common method of
drainage is one or more holes in the bottom of the pot to let excess water drain out.  If
you have chosen a pot that does not have these holes there you still have two options to
provide drainage.  You can put your plant in a smaller pot with drainage holes and then
place the smaller pot inside the larger one with no holes.  Or place an inch or two of
gravel in the bottom of the container before you put in the soil.  The gravel will allow the
excess water to run through the soil and into the rocks instead of staying in the soil and
water-logging the plant. 

Next "Natural Way to Deal with Pests on Indoor Plants"

cheers
Bobby

09 December 2012

Aloe Vera and other Beneficial Houseplants

Many families have grown up with an aloe vera plant in the kitchen.  This succulent plant
is great for indoor gardening as it is hardy and easy to care for.  Moreover, they are great
for skin care and minor cuts and burns that can happen in the kitchen while cooking.
 
To
use as a first aid item, cut a portion of one of the leaves and squeeze the inner gel onto the
hurt area.  With repeated use, the aloe vera will aid in healing and sooth the pain.

In addition to the aloe vera plant there are other helpful plants that are good to have
around the house.  An herb garden is a convenient way to add flavor and natural
ingredients to many dishes.  From fresh dill in a homemade tzatziki sauce to chives
mixed in with cream cheese for a delicious bagel. 

Many herbs can be dried and used for loose leaf teas not only a relaxing beverage, some
herbs are known for their medicinal qualities too.  Some herbs that can be used as tea
leaves or as part of a mixture are peppermint and ginger.

There are many edible plants that you can grow indoors to aid in digestion.  They can be
broken of the plant as needed or some may need some preparation first. 

*    Anise is a popular and widely used for aiding in digestion and easing colic in
infants. 
*    Coriander in addition to helping with digestion it is also a tasty addition to salsa.
*    Fennel oil is used to ease upset stomachs too.  It is also used for increasing the
amount of breast milk produced in mothers.

This is just a brief look at some of the other uses for houseplants.  It is recommended to
research your plants before ingesting any to ensure they are safe.


Next "The Best Pots for Indoor Gardening"

cheers
Bobby

07 December 2012

A Terrarium as an Indoor Garden

There is a solution for you if you love the look of plants indoors but don’t have the time
or a green thumb to take care of them.  A terrarium is a self-contained plant habitat. 
Once you have set-up the terrarium and closed the lid (on the jar or other container you
have chosen) the plants inside create their own eco-system – all you have to do is enjoy
it.


The choices for terrarium containers are only limited by your imagination.  Traditionally
a smaller aquarium is used with a lid but a glass jar or other container will work nicely
too.  Plastic will work as well, just make sure that it is a clear plastic or you won’t be able
to admire your handiwork once it is completed.  Whatever size or material you choose for
your terrarium the most important factor is that it does not leak.  You need the water and
moisture to stay inside for it to work and you don’t want a mess inside your house.

The plants that you choose should all thrive in similar conditions and grow well in a
humid environment.  Popular plants to put into a terrarium are carnivorous (Venus Fly
Trap, sundew, or pitch plant) or rain forest plants (chamaedorea palms, small ferns or
fittonia). 

Terrariums are a low-maintenance indoor garden.  They need indirect sunlight (not too
bright) and no water is needed after the initial water is added.  The heat from inside the
terrarium evaporates the water and then it condenses on the lid falling back down to the
plants.  This process will continue keeping your plants alive.  If there is too much water
present, you may need to vent the terrarium (with a vented lid or opening the top a small
amount) just be sure to keep an eye on the soil’s moisture level (not too wet or dry).

Next "Aloe Vera and other Beneficial Houseplants"

05 December 2012

Why You Should Start an Indoor Garden

The esthetic appeal of having plants inside your house is the reason the majority of
people decide to start gardening indoors.  Whether you have researched and planned on
them or not, there are additional benefits that are derived when a green space is created
inside you house.
 

The d├ęcor aspect of inside greenery is a given, plants add to and beautify space – indoors
and outdoors.  The different plants choices available include various colors, sizes, shapes,
flowering vs. non-flowering and this is just the tip of the plant life ice berg. 

Just as trees and plants are crucial to our air quality outside, plants can provide the same
service for you inside your home.  By taking in carbon dioxide from our breathing, plants
flourish.  If you smoke inside your home, plants can help clean the air of the excess
carbon dioxide.  Besides the exchange of oxygen for carbon dioxide, plants will purify
the air from other unhealthy elements such as air-bound mold particles.  This makes them
a natural air filter for your home.

It is well known that gardening is a relaxing past-time.  Having an indoor garden will
give you the benefit of this relaxation year round when it is too cold outside to garden.  If
you live in an apartment, an outdoor garden may not be possible.  Gardening inside is
only limited by the amount of space you want to dedicate to it in your home.  Beautifying
your living space and caring for living plants makes owning an indoor garden a peaceful
endeavor.

Another benefit of indoor gardening is you can decide how much time you have or want
to dedicate to caring for the plants.  If you want a plant that has to be watered less go for
a cactus or if you want the challenge of coaxing a flowering tree to blossom buy a
camellia.

Next "A Terrarium as an Indoor Garden"
cheers
Bobby