Plants are far from needy creatures. Give them a bit of compost to nibble on, some UV rays for sunbathing, and some distilled water for drinking, and you’ve got yourself the necessary components for fruitful indoor gardening.
But as low-maintenance as perennials, herbs and produce may be, we humans seem to be perpetual examples of Murphy’s Law with our gardens – anything that can go wrong, will inevitably go wrong. From decaying stems to hydration-starved soils, even some of the most seasoned gardeners get the unfortunate stamp of ice-veined “plant murderer” if they’re not diligent in their upkeep.
However, not all plant deaths are caused by proverbial crop catastrophes. More often than not, it’s the smaller mistakes that are burdening our indoor gardening beds, most of which are glitches that can easily be avoided.
Here are five significant indoor gardening mistakes that might be murdering your marigolds and morning glories in cold blood.
Gardening is virtually synonymous with proper lighting. Without rays, you can all but count on a squashed indoor gardening venture – even for the least finicky of plants.
But you’d be surprised how often adequate lighting is overlooked. Herbs, produce and perennials need anywhere from five to six hours of steady sunlight a day, although they could certainly do with more. Always ensure you’re placing your containers or beds in locations where sun will be continually streaming, and avoid planting in perpetually drizzly, dark months.
Of course, you’ll need to do your research on the specific seeds you’re planting to ensure they’ll receive as much sunlight as they require. For example, hibiscus shrubs and snapdragons tend to be sunlight-lovers, while jasmine errs on the shadier side.
2.Improper Draining Technique
Although indoor gardening plants will do their best to soak up all the nutrients you supply them with, as with any other organism, overdosing will almost always produce terrible results.
Never grow plants in containers that don’t have holes in the bottom, and try to ensure the soil isn’t too packed down, as squished soils will harbor too much H20.
3.Dehydrating (or Drowning)
Granted, while plant watering doesn’t require a neuroscience degree, it can still be an area of confusion for a great deal of novice gardeners. How much hydration is too much?
Watering requires an extremely delicate approach. Herbs are susceptible to drowning in many gardens, as they enjoy a much dryer climate than produce or flowers. However, there’s really no palpable amount that plants need to be watered, as the process tends to align on a “need” basis only.
So how can you be sure your plant is thirsty? Try this simple trick: stick your finger roughly four or five inches into the soil, and take note of the moisture. If your finger is soaked, do your best to alleviate your poor plant’s misery. If it’s dry as a bone, give it a little more loving.
Avoid chlorinated tap water as well, as it can dry out your soil in a snap.
Just as improper watering tends to put a damper – quite literally – on your indoor gardening ventures, supplying your plants with putrid materials to munch on will provide just as dire of an issue.
After you’ve honed in on what kinds of plants you’re aiming to grow in your garden, do your best to learn the types of soil suit them best. Are they accustomed to a pH-specific mix, or more of a generic mulch? Be careful in your choices – bad soil can lead to toxic, diseased plants very quickly.
5.Not Enough Spacing
Inadequate spacing presents another problem that novice cultivators tend to overlook when mapping out their indoor gardening plots. Many herbs tend to favor ample room to extend their growing leaves, while some plants are content with staying put.
And what’s more, the kinds of plants you place next to one another will directly affect growth rates. For instance, petite oleanders, when surrounded by alyssum, can yield a stronger growth. Of course, if you’re unsure of your plant’s need for spacing, it’s always safe to err on the wider side.
The key to proper indoor gardening, in almost all cases, is thorough research. Although you might cite negligence for your helpless plant’s cold blooded murder, there are a series of simple, easily-attainable steps that can combat your indoor gardening woes.