Even if you live in an apartment or condo without any outdoor space, you can still grow herbs indoors.
The ideal setting for an indoor herb garden is the kitchen.
And don’t give up on gardening just because it’s getting cold. Get your green-thumb fix by growing these fruits and vegetables inside.
Things to know for growing your plants indoors
All plants need these 7 essential things to grow properly: room to grow, the right temperature, light, water, air, nutrients, and some time.
Room to grow
All plants like to have room to grow. The above ground portions of the plant need space so leaves can expand and carry out the job of making food. Roots also need room to grow. Plants growing in small spaces will have their roots crowded, and that results in smaller amounts of growth.
Most plants like temperatures that most humans like. Some may like warmer temperatures while others may prefer cooler temperatures for best growth. It is always good to know where plants come from so you can make them feel at home. Most plants like to have cooler temperatures at night and don’t like to be in a drafty spot.
Plants grown indoors like bright light. Windows facing the south or west have the best light. Try to place the plants close to the window to take advantage of all the light. The further away from the window, the darker it becomes. A plant will tell you when it isn’t getting enough light, because its stems will be thin and it will lean toward the light. If you don’t have a bright window, try using grow lights. Remember to have the light about six inches above the plants and leave it on for 14-16 hours each day.
Water is important in the plant’s ability to make and move nutrients. Without water or with too much water, a plant dies. For this reason, watering is an important part of plant care.
Most plants like to be watered when the soil is slightly dry to the touch. When watering, moisten the soil by using enough water so that it starts to come out of the hole in the bottom of the container. (This is why it is important to use containers with drainage holes.)
How often you water depends on a lot of things. Plant size, time of the year, and type of plant are a few. Your best guide, though, is to feel the soil. If you stick your finger one inch into the soil and it is dry, then water your plant.
Plants use carbon dioxide in the air and return oxygen. Smoke, gases, and other air pollutants can damage plants.
Most of the nutrients that a plant needs are dissolved in water and then taken up by the plant through its roots. Fertilizers will help to keep the soil supplied with nutrients a plant needs.
Don’t apply too much too often. Fertilizer won’t solve all of your plant problems, so make sure your plants have good light, good soil, and good drainage. The three most important nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Nitrogen is used for above ground growth.
This is what gives plants a dark green color. Phosphorous helps plant cell division. It aids in flower and seed production and in the development of a strong root system. Potassium helps fight off disease and provides for strong stems.
Nitrogen: It is one of the “big three” plant nutrients. This one is used in large amounts by plants. Nitrogen helps plants make lots of leaves and is important in helping plants get their green color. N is the chemical symbol for Nitrogen.
Phosphorous: It is one of the “big three” plant nutrients. It helps plants to make more or larger flowers and to build a strong root system. Its chemical symbol is P.
Potassium: It is also one of the “big three” plant nutrients. Potassium helps plants to fight off diseases. Its chemical symbol is K.
It takes time to grow and care for plants. Some plants require more time to grow than others. Getting plants to flower or fruit at a certain time can be challenging. Plants that normally grow outdoors need a certain number of days to flower or fruit. You can time plants to flower or fruit on a certain date. This is a good lesson in both plant science and math.
Luckily, several foods can be grown indoors as well, even in the dead of a frosty winter.
Here are our 7 favorite ones: