Summer’s here, and it’s the season when most plants are ready to grow and flower. Get ready to soak up the sun, even if you’re chilling indoors this summer. From selecting the coolest plants to keeping them happy and healthy, we’ve got you covered with tips that are as refreshing as an ice-cold smoothie! Here are 10 things you should keep in mind when growing an indoor garden this summer.
1. Pick the Right Plants
Choosing the right plants is an essential step in starting your garden. Whether outdoors or indoors, you want to make sure that your growing location is conducive to plant growth. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when choosing your plants.
Consider Light Requirements
Check your indoor space’s sunlight levels. Certain plants, like certain flowers, can handle low light and do well with indirect sunlight. But for flowering plants and veggies, they crave some serious sunshine. Put them by a south-facing window or use grow lights to give them the intensity they need.
Check Space Availability
Got limited space? Go compact! Opt for petite plants or container-friendly varieties for your indoor garden. They pack a punch without taking up much room.
Have room to spare? Dream big! Think larger plants or create a dedicated indoor garden area. You could even set up a mini greenhouse to unleash your green-thumb prowess.
Remember, your home’s space is your canvas for indoor gardening success. Embrace it, and let your plants thrive, no matter the size! You can also utilize multiple spaces for different plants. A kitchen counter is great for a small herb garden, while a living room has more room for larger plants.
Look out for dwarf or mini plants. These are similar to the full-sized ones, but are often bred to grow smaller and work well indoors.
Note Temperature Tolerance
Each plant has its own temperature preferences. While most indoor plants are fine with typical room temperatures ranging from 65 to 75 F, some, especially tropical varieties, prefer it a bit warmer. Make sure to match the temperature in your indoor garden to the specific needs of your chosen plants for optimal growth.
Evaluate Maintenance Requirements
Consider your time and effort commitment for indoor gardening. Different plants have varying needs for watering, pruning, and fertilization. Select plants that match your schedule and gardening skills to guarantee successful growth.
Pick Out Personal Preferences
Pick plants that match your personal preferences for your summer garden. Love cooking with fresh herbs? Interested in blooming flowers for a touch of beauty? Craving homegrown tomatoes or peppers? Go for plants that align with your goals and make your indoor gardening a delightful experience.
2. Provide the Adequate Amount of Sunlight
Each plant has its own light preferences. Do some digging into the lighting needs of your green buddies to guarantee they get the perfect amount and quality of sunshine.
Research Sunlight Requirements
Plants need sunlight, but the amount varies. Most need six to eight hours of direct light each day. Some low-light plants can handle less, while fruit and herb plants want more.
Choose the Right Location
Position your indoor garden strategically near a sun-kissed window. Opt for south-facing windows for maximum daylight, while east or west-facing ones offer a moderate glow. Keep in mind that north-facing windows receive the least direct sunlight.
Assess Light Levels
Each spot by the window has its own glow power, so keep an eye out. Watch your plants closely throughout the day for any red flags like stretching, wimpy growth, or sad-looking pale leaves. Remember, not all light is created equal.
Supplement with Grow Lights
Enhance your indoor garden’s glow with a little help from artificial grow lights. When natural light falls short, LED grow lights are the answer. They emit the perfect spectrum of light that plants adore. Just remember to position those lights within reach, following the manufacturer’s guidance, to ensure your green babies bask in the right amount of brightness.
3. Monitor Temperature and Humidity
Maintaining the perfect temperature for your indoor garden during summer is key. Fluctuations in temperature can be triggered by the sun, AC, or ventilation. To ensure your plants thrive, find them a cozy spot with moderate temperatures, steering clear of sweltering heat or chilly drafts.
Keep Plants at Optimal Temperature Range
Keep your indoor plants cool and cozy by maintaining temperatures between 65 to 75 F. Remember, different plants may have specific preferences, so check their needs.
If your place gets toasty, shield your plants from scorching sunlight and keep them away from heating sources. Likewise, when using air conditioning or fans, make sure the chilly breeze doesn’t directly hit your green pals to avoid temperature shocks.
Grow Indoor Plants at the Right Humidity Levels
During summer, indoor environments can get dry due to increased air conditioning or ventilation. Many plants, especially the tropical types, prefer higher humidity levels. Aim to keep the humidity range between 40 to 60 percent for most houseplants.
To boost humidity, mist your plants’ leaves with water using a spray bottle. You can also place a tray filled with pebbles and water near your plants to increase moisture in the air as the water evaporates. Grouping plants together can also create a microclimate with slightly higher humidity.
However, if you live in a humid area or have excessive moisture indoors, ensure that your plants have proper airflow and aren’t overcrowded. This prevents fungal diseases like powdery mildew or root rot from developing.
4. Water Properly
Watering is as important as it is for indoor plants as outdoor ones. By observing and adjusting your watering routine based on the specific requirements of your indoor plants, you can help ensure their health and vitality throughout the summer season.
Monitor Soil Moisture
Regularly check soil moisture by inserting your finger an inch deep. If it’s dry, water your plants. But if it feels slightly damp or moist, hold off on watering.
Water Deeply and Thoroughly
When it’s time to water, give your plants a good, deep drink. Water until you see it flowing out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pots. This way, the whole root system gets soaked and properly hydrated.
Don’t let plants sit in stagnant water, as it suffocates the roots. Remember to drain excess water from saucers or trays beneath your pots after watering to keep those roots happy and thriving.
Consider the Plant’s Watering Needs
Each plant is unique, so it’s crucial to grasp its specific moisture requirements in your indoor garden. Some like to dry out a bit between watering, while others prefer consistently moist soil. Research your plants’ watering preferences and adapt accordingly.
Adjust Watering Frequency
In summer, soaring temps and quick evaporation mean thirsty plants! Stay on top of watering as the soil tends to dry out faster. Remember, it’s not about a rigid schedule, but rather tuning in to what each plant craves. Keep a watchful eye and quench their thirst accordingly.
5. Use Well-Draining Soil
Nailing the perfect soil is key to indoor summer gardening success. Opt for well-draining soil to set the stage for your indoor plants’ flourishing journey, keeping them robust and beaming with health.
Purchase High-Quality Potting Mix
Seek out potting mixes tailor-made for indoor or container gardening. These blends are expertly crafted to strike the ideal balance: excellent drainage to keep roots happy while ensuring plants have the moisture they crave.
Avoid Garden Soil
Skip the garden soil as it’s heavy, compacted, and can harbor pests, diseases, and pesky weed seeds. Instead, go for soilless mixes. Look for peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, or coconut coir. They’re drainage champs and perfect for your indoor oasis.
Choose Appropriate Containers
Select containers with drainage holes at the bottom to allow excess water to escape. If your favorite decorative container doesn’t have drainage holes, use it as an outer pot and place a plastic or ceramic saucer inside to catch excess water.
6. Fertilize Regularly
Don’t let your indoor garden go hungry this summer. Giving your green babies the right amount of fertilizer can make all the difference in their growth and development.
Choose the Suitable Types of Fertilizers
There are various types of fertilizers available, including liquid fertilizers, slow-release pellets, and organic options like compost or worm castings. Choose a fertilizer that suits your plant’s needs and follow the instructions on the packaging for the correct application rates.
Consider Organic Alternatives
Embrace the power of compost, worm castings, and compost teas. These natural wonders deliver a steady supply of nutrients, enriching your plants and nurturing the very essence of your soil.
Proper fertilization is key, but beware of going overboard. Excessive fertilizing spells trouble: nutrient imbalances, fertilizer burn, and stunted flowering or fruiting. Stick to recommended doses and steer clear of fertilizing when your plants are in dormancy.
7. Prune and Trim
Keep your indoor green friends looking fresh and healthy this summer with some pruning and trimming. It’s crucial to personalize your approach to match the needs of each plant.
Maintain Plant Hygiene
As your plants grow, some leaves may naturally turn yellow or die off, creating a potential breeding ground for pests and diseases. To keep your plants healthy, inspect them regularly and carefully remove any dead or yellowing leaves using clean scissors or pruning shears.
If you notice signs of disease or damage, such as fungal spots, brown patches, or insect infestations, take action quickly. Trim away the affected parts to prevent the spread of disease or infestation and disinfect your pruning tools between cuts to avoid spreading pathogens.
Encourage Branching and Flowering
Pruning can stimulate new growth and encourage plants to produce more branches, which often leads to more flowers or fruits. Pinching back the tips of certain plants, such as basil or mint, can promote bushier growth and prevent them from becoming leggy.
Pruning is an essential part of plant care and will often lead to more growth. Take care to never prune back more than 2/3 of a plant to ensure it has the strength to regrow.
Prune for Air Circulation
Optimal air circulation is key to keeping your plants happy and healthy. Don’t let dense foliage cramp their style! Trim away excess leaves or thin out overcrowded areas to enhance airflow. This simple act helps fend off unwelcome guests like mold, mildew, and pesky diseases.
8. Control and Prevent Pests
Controlling pests is an important aspect of indoor gardening, as pests can quickly damage or even kill your plants if left unchecked. Here are some ways to do that.
Inspect Plants Regularly
Make it a habit to inspect your plants regularly for signs of pests. Look for visible insects, webs, discolored leaves, or any other signs of damage. Early detection allows for prompt intervention and prevents pests from spreading.
Identify the Pests and Apply Organic Pest Controls
Identifying pests is crucial to choose the right control methods. You can check out gardening books or our links for some pro tips on identifying pests. Once identified, you can now treat them.
Organic pest control methods are a fantastic way to minimize chemical exposure and keep pests at bay. Some go-to options for organic pest control include neem oil, insecticidal soap, diatomaceous earth, and garlic-based sprays. These methods are generally safe for your plants and the environment, as long as you use them as directed.
Quarantine New Plants
When introducing new plants to your indoor garden, it’s wise to quarantine them for a few weeks. This helps prevent the introduction of pests to your existing plants. Monitor the quarantined plants closely during this period to ensure they’re pest-free before integrating them with the rest of your indoor garden.
9. Provide Good Air Circulation
Optimal air circulation is a must-have for your indoor garden, ensuring a thriving haven for your beloved plants. Strike a balance by providing a gentle breeze without subjecting them to turbulent gusts or overzealous airflow. This approach safeguards against stress or harm. By keeping the foliage dry and discouraging moisture-related troubles, proper air circulation acts as your shield against pesky fungal invasions.
Place a small oscillating fan near your indoor garden to create gentle air movement. Position the fan so that it doesn’t directly blow on the plants, as strong gusts of wind can damage delicate leaves. The goal is to create a gentle breeze.
Open Windows or Doors
If the weather allows, open windows or doors in the vicinity of your indoor garden to let fresh air in. This can help exchange stagnant air with fresh outdoor air and promote better circulation.
Use Exhaust Fans
If your indoor garden is located in a room with poor ventilation, consider using exhaust fans to remove stale air and bring in fresh air from other areas of your home.
10. Be Mindful of Any Pollination Needs
Some indoor plants lack natural pollinators indoors, like bees or wind, which are essential for fruit or vegetable development. While not all indoor plants require hand pollination, certain ones, such as tomatoes or peppers, do.
If this is the case, then you’ll need to pollinate them by hand. By manually transferring pollen, you guarantee a fruitful outcome for your indoor garden. So, when it comes to these plants, a little human touch goes a long way in ensuring a bountiful harvest.
The Perfect Indoor Summer Garden
Keeping indoor plants healthy and thriving during the summer doesn’t have to be difficult. Now that our secret’s out, you too can easily cultivate your green babies inside your home!