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Indoor Gardening Tips

December 28, 2012
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Indoor Gardening requires the same essential growing elements as outside, with just a few twists.

Potting Mix

Since soil from outside is not sterile and should never be used indoors, most bagged potting mixes work well. Make sure it contains two important ingredients listed on the bag: perlite and organic matter like peat moss.

Containers

The size of the container needs to be proportionate to the size of the plant. If you put a small plant in a large container, gravitational force will pull most water down to the deeper areas of the soil where roots are not present to absorb it.

Watering

The most common mistake is keeping the potting mix constantly wet. You must balance watering with the water uptake of the plant, so only add water when the soil feels dry to the touch. Tap water may contain traces of fluoride that are harmless to humans but can be toxic to plants, so let water sit out for 24 hours so it can dissolve and be much safer to use.

Light

One of the most difficult elements to control indoors is light. Generally a bright south facing window works best because it gets the most direct sunlight then a north facing window.

Temperature

Most indoor plants must stay in temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees. Cooler temperatures for a few hours can severely damage some plants. Do not expose them to extreme temperature changes from heaters, air conditioners, appliances, or drafts from outside doors and windows.

Recommended plants to grow indoors:

Christmas Cactus Schlumbergera bridgesii

Corn Plant Dracaena fragrans

Croton Codiaeum variegatum

Jade Plant Crassula argentea

Norfolk Island Pine Araucaria heterophylla

Parlor Palm Chamaedorea elegans

Philodendron Philodendron scandens

Spider Plant Chlorophytum comosum

Snake Plant Sansevieria trifasciata

Tiger Aloe Aloe variegata

Umbrella Tree Brassaia arboricola

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