Useful supplies needed for your indoor gardening
Indoor gardening can be made more accessible if your plant care kit contains a few handy gardening supplies from this list. Some of them may be familiar to you, while others may be pretty surprising. In this article, we've collected our favorite gardening supplies for indoor plant care sans the stress.
Gravel or Pebbles
If you live somewhere particularly dry or have houseplants in need of high levels of humidity, you can create a water tray with pebbles or gravel. Place the tray beneath a plant, so the water can be 'wicked' and thereby drawn up into the container. The result is much like a small, natural humidifier for your indoor garden.
For a water tray, it's an absolute necessity to have gravel or pebbles. Why? Because, while these will soak up some water and create more humidity, they will also provide a protective barrier. It can be extremely detrimental to put a plant pot directly into the water, because it can create the optimal conditions for dangerous fungal diseases, like root rot.
Pots of Different Sizes
When it comes to indoor gardening supplies, pots are key. It's hard to find a better plant-holding container. The size of the pot depends on the size of the plant you want to plant in it.
Plants should be cozy, with just a bit of room to grow. If a pot is too large, it will contain too much water, which will ultimately result in root rot. When moving a plant up a pot size, you'll want to go up about an inch to an inch and a half – no more.
On the other hand, a too-small pot will stunt a plant's growth and cause it to become 'root-bound.' To avoid this, you may want to have a few graduation pots ready!
One of the most important gardening supplies when it comes to growing houseplants successfully is potting soil. This is used to create the ideal rooting environment and to provide plants with life-sustaining nutrients. The top potting soil ingredients used are store-bought or a custom mix of two or more of the following: perlite, peat moss, vermiculite, and sand. Succulents and cacti do best with a store-bought succulent or cacti mix. They contain less peat, more sand, and are better-draining. No matter the soil you use, it should be more or less well-draining. This is because soil that is allowed to soak can lead to root rot and other deadly fungal diseases.
Generally, you do not want to use outdoor gardening soil for indoor plants, as it tends to be heavier (not ideal for pots you want to move around), and it contains too much fertilizer (as outdoor plants lose some to rain, sprinklers, etc.).
As you may know, fertilizer is one of the most important gardening supplies which is used to help plants grow and flower, both in indoor and outdoor gardens. Without it, some species will begin to suffer. Others require little to no fertilizer. Look for fertilizers specific to your types of plants. Flowers require fertilizer with higher levels of phosphorus than non-flowering plants do, for example. You can also find store-bought cacti or succulent fertilizer. Sometimes, for certain houseplants, diluting the fertilizer from the recommended amount is called for.
A few plant trays are definitely essential gardening supplies for starting an indoor garden because you will need something to put the seeds in and keep them safe. Even if you are not planning to plant any seeds, plant trays may be helpful with other purposes and serve as humidity trays, drainage saucers, or even containers for miniature green friends. The range of trays is really huge: they come in different sizes, shapes, and materials, so you'll definitely find the perfect one for your needs.
But a great thing is that you can DIY plant trays by repurposing the household items that you would usually put in the garbage bin, such as cardboard egg cartons, yogurt cups, toilet paper tubes, or paper coffee cups.
Neem oil is a powerful organic substance produced by the neem tree that will help you control insects and diseases in your indoor garden. Neem oil has been used as a garden insecticide for many years because it contains a component called Azadirachtin that effectively works against mites, insects, and fungal diseases that damage your green friends. Moreover, it is an excellent alternative to synthetic insecticides as neem oil is non-toxic and safe to people, birds, and pets when used.
How do you use neem oil? If you notice any signs of infestation, spray it on the plant's foliage every week in the morning or evening. It's important to be careful - too much neem oil applied in the middle of the day can lead to burned leaves if the plant is sitting in a location with bright, direct sunlight.
Plant labels aren’t exactly essential gardening supplies, but they’re very handy! They can help you guess "who is who" if, for example, you are going to plant different seeds in one container or if you have similar-looking species growing next to each other. You can even print your own "branded" labels so that they reflect your personality and become a part of your interior design. If you are a first-time plant parent, it will definitely be useful not only to mark the plant type, but also include some essential care tips for your green baby (like watering frequency or sunlight requirements). Ready-made or DIYed, plant labels are worth being a part of your indoor gardening experience because they make it less confusing and much easier.
Heat mats for plants are gardening supplies that are made out of a plastic sheet with heating elements inserted in it. They help keep the soil at a steady temperature, which is especially important during cold nights. A heat mat beneath your plants may prevent poor growth and root shock if your indoor temperatures fluctuate or if your plants are sitting in a cold spot. Heat mats are also used to accelerate seed germination because warm soil encourages faster root growth.
A turkey baster, also known as bulb baster, is usually used as a kitchen tool for cooking. It can also be a great addition to your gardening supplies kit, especially if you tend to overwater your plants and don't know how to deal with excess water sitting on the surface of the soil. A turkey baster is a real game-changer that will help you quickly fix the problem and save your green friend from overwatering. How does this magic happen? If your plant has too much water sitting on the soil's surface and not being absorbed, use the turkey baster to siphon as much of the liquid as you can.
Foldable Repotting Mat
Transplanting plants indoors is a messy process, and having a repotting mat in your gardening supplies kit makes sense if you want this gardening chore to be much easier and want to avoid a painful clean-up afterwards. Repotting mats come in different sizes and colors, are easy to use and store, and are made of waterproof material, which means your floor or other surfaces will be protected. After transplanting is done, just throw out the excess soil from the mat, wipe it with water, and fold it up.