Apartment gardening for beginners
We might not all be lucky enough to have a garden, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the fun of it. No access to a garden space? You can still create an indoor, apartment garden!
You can create the most beautiful indoor garden in your home. All it takes is a couple of containers, some seeds or seedlings, potting soil, and love!
How to Grow Plants in Apartments
Most plants can be grown just about anywhere, as long as their basic needs are met. A lot of varieties can be quite forgiving when it comes to their care. Here are the key things you need to grow a successful and flourishing apartment garden.
Consider Sun Exposure
Different plants have different sun exposure requirements. Most will grow well in bright, indirect sunlight, while others prefer at least 6 hours of full sun per day. This can be tricky because some apartments get fewer hours of sun during the day. There are workarounds, though! Grow lights can be purchased as an alternative to natural sunlight, or you can keep plants that have less intense sunlight requirements. Those that prefer filtered light to shaded locations are perfect for this.
Use The Right Soil
An integral part of plant care is the soil. That’s where it gets the air, water, and nutrients it needs. Apartment gardening requires your plants to be potted. This means that you will need to supply them with well-draining potting soil, not regular garden soil. Potting soil does not compact in the pot. It’s lightweight, fluffy, and allows for sufficient air circulation around the roots.
Create A Watering Routine
Most potted plants require regular watering, and keeping them near a water supply can make watering easy. If you have a large collection, watering it with a watering can may get tedious. If your setup allows it, consider a hose that attaches to your sink faucet. It’ll allow for quick and easy watering. Then, it can be disconnected and coiled for easy storage.
Keep Humidity in Mind
Although a lot of indoor plants are happy with average room humidity levels, some may be a bit more demanding. Keep a spray bottle nearby for easy, fine-spray misting, or place your higher humidity-loving species together on a pebble tray for increased humidity.
Think about Wind Protection
Wind is a big concern for plants, especially if you have them on a rooftop or near an open window with high traffic. Strong winds can tear through delicate leaves or blow over light or even top-heavy pots. To protect your plants from being damaged by the wind, provide them with a wind block. Or ensure your containers are heavy and wide enough so that they may anchor your plants.
Consider the Weight
The last thing to consider when gardening in an apartment is the weight of your plant containers. Your plant’s containers filled with soil are heavy, and when you water them, they get even heavier. If you have a couple of houseplants collected on a shelf, it is important to ensure that the shelf is sturdy and can manage the weight of your houseplants. If you have a window box, it is best to secure it onto the windowsill so that it is extra safe and sturdy.
Plant Choices That Are Ideal for Apartments
Apartment gardening does not totally limit your plant selection. You can’t have a full-blown pumpkin patch, but you can plant salad greens, for example. Here is a list of possible outdoor and indoor plants you could grow in your apartment:
- Herbs such as mint, lavender, thyme, parsley, and basil
- Salad greens such as arugula, spinach, and lettuce
- Chili peppers or sweet peppers
- Meyer lemons or other types of dwarf citrus trees
- Succulents or cacti
- Aloe Vera
- Peace Lilies and Snake plants (to name a few)
Garden Care in Apartments
As with gardening outdoors, plants that are grown indoors need to be catered to and cared for.
- Learn Their Watering Needs
Watering is one of the most important care aspects. Without water, your plants will dehydrate, dry out, and eventually die. You should check soil moisture daily. Although some indoor plants may not need daily watering, others might. Typically, once the top layer of the soil has dried out, it is time to water it again.
- Don’t Forget about Feeding Needs
Depending on your plants' individual growing requirements, they may need to be fed regularly, especially during their growing season. A general-purpose fertilizer works wonders.
- Learn Which Problems Your Plants Are Susceptible to
Unfortunately, where there are plants, there will be pests. Houseplants are most commonly affected by ‘low-level’ pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids. An application of an insecticide, when necessary, should clear up any pest problems. Diseases are also a possible problem that comes with the territory. With proper care, your green friends should not experience any severe issues with disease.
Gardening can be done just about anywhere. Those that are willing to put in the love and care will be rewarded with the fruits of their labor, regardless of whether they have a large open garden or a small apartment shelf for their green-leaved friends.
The Best Place to Grow Plants in Your Apartment
A universal room that will make your garden thrive and flourish doesn’t exist, unfortunately. To decide on the place where your plants will be living, it’s necessary to understand what conditions you need to provide for them so they feel great. Consider their care requirements like sun exposure, humidity levels, and temperature before choosing a room that meets those needs. For instance, your cacti, succulents, or tomatoes will do well in the sunniest or hottest area of your apartment, yet tropical houseplants, like orchids, prefer humid conditions and won’t mind living in the bathroom. Remember that they all need light to grow, so placing your green-leaved friends in completely dark rooms without any light sources won’t be beneficial – even for the most tolerant and hard-to-kill species.