How to grow plants indoors in the winter
Gardening can be a rewarding hobby for many people. However, growing plants can be a bit of a challenge in the winter due to the negative effects that cold has on most plants. Despite the adverse conditions brought by winter weather, it’s possible to exercise your green thumb during the chilling months both indoors and outdoors. For those gardeners who wish to brave the winter onslaught with their plants indoors, there are a few things to consider before beginning the endeavor.
Choosing your plants
The first things necessary for indoor gardening are, of course, plants. Those who have plants growing outside that you can move inside already have step one covered. On the other hand, if you don’t have any plants yet or would like more, there’s an assortment of plants that do well in the winter months. Amaryllis is a good choice for indoor gardening, since it can handle cooler temperatures once it gets started growing. The cyclamen flower is also worth considering, since it thrives in cool weather and its bloom lasts for a long time. The Metis miniature hybrid variety of cyclamen are suitable for warmer households due to their resilience to various temperatures.
Bringing plants indoors
After you have your plants together and ready to move inside, put them in areas suitable to their specific needs. If some can stand or thrive in less light than others, place them accordingly. However, in the transition from outside to inside, be careful to prevent shock to plants by gradually reducing their exposure to sunlight. The amount of sunlight outside is almost invariably higher than most indoor areas, so it’s important to ease your plants into their winter abodes.
Caring for plants indoors
Once inside, it’s vital to maintain suitable conditions for plants to flourish. The needs of each plant are different, but some general guidelines can help to keep most green and growing. It’s essential to provide plants with the proper amount of water. Since plants usually don’t require as much water in the winter months, it’s imperative not to over-water them once they’re indoors. To avoid giving plants too much water, only water them when the top inch or so of soil begins to dry.
Likewise, over-fertilization can be a danger due to the lower light conditions that affect most indoor locations. Salts can build in the soil from the use of too much fertilizer and cause damage to plant roots. To mitigate this problem, leach off some of the salts by placing your plants in a large sink or bathtub and pouring a solution of water and Epsom salts over the plants in small increments. The solution can be made by mixing 1 teaspoon of Epsom salts into 1 gallon of water.
Lastly, atmospheric conditions must be maintained to ensure healthy growth of plants indoors. Again, the needs of each plant can vary, so take care to plan accordingly. A good bit of humidity is necessary for many plants to grow, such as Rex begonias and ferns. To keep a space at a humidity level suitable for moisture-loving plants, use room humidifiers to control the amount of water in the air.
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