How to Grow Indoor Plants: A Beginner’s Basic Guideline
Last Updated on May 28, 2022 by Gary Stephen
Growing plants outdoor is a no-brainer. This is their natural habitat thus it is bound to thrive with or without human intervention. The sun, the soil, the rainwater, and more are nature’s gift to Earth. Such elements create the perfect environment for any living thing, including plants. On the other hand, growing them in an indoor setting is a whole different story. So, how to grow indoor plants?
An enclosed shelter cannot provide it with sunlight and the natural air breeze to name a few. And so, we humans must actively take part to provide things otherwise lacking in this kind of environment.
In this article, we will teach you everything you need to about the basics of growing plants in an indoor setup. Understanding these key factors will help you grow plants with much ease, confidence, and success. Moreover, we also took the liberty to recommend to you the best products you can use for indoor gardening.
5 Ways to Grow Indoor Plants
1. Lighting to Grow Indoor Plants
Lighting is an essential component to plant growth. The energy it provides enables the plant to undergo its normal metabolic processes. It allows the plant to make its own food and as well as store energy for future uses. There are two ways to provide lighting to your plants indoors: through window placement and by using grow lamps.
Window Sills are the most accessible way for sunlight to penetrate inside your space. The positioning of the window also determines how much sunlight you are likely to receive. So, you have to consider its actual requirements when looking for a spot near the windows.
The south-facing window has the brightest sun all day. Meanwhile, the north-facing window receives the weakest light intensity. For most indoor houseplants, though, the east-facing window is the best choice. This gives you lots of less intense morning sunshine. Thus, perfect for growing plants with low to medium light requirements.
Nevertheless, there are also instances where exposure to windowsill may not be enough. Or, simply not an option. In such a case, the use of artificial lighting or grow lights is your best alternative.
Grow lamps are a specialized type of bulbs that are designed to emit light waves that can support plant growth. It comes in varying intensities, color temperatures, wattages, bulb types, and others. Thus, this is not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. You have to find the right fit for your plant’s lighting requirements.
Our top picks for indoor grow lamps:
Vogek Adjustable Gooseneck Full-Spectrum Grow Lamp
Mosthink Full Spectrum LED Light Strips
Phlizon Cree Cob Full Spectrum LED Grow Light
Sunico Full Spectrum Grow Lamp with Tripod Stand
2. Growing Medium
The growing medium simply refers to the type of potting soil you use. Each variety of plant has its own preferred soil conditions depending on its needs. Nevertheless, most growers opt to use soilless mixtures for their indoor plants.
Soilless potting mixes do not contain actual soil or dirt. Instead, it uses different kinds of organic, inorganic, and synthetic substrates. These components are combined in varying ratios to provide physical support to your plants. Furthermore, it also promotes good drainage, aeration, and also serves as a reservoir for nutrients.
With the correct combo and ratio, the soil-less potting mix can give you the perfect soil substitute. The ideal environment it creates encourages the production of higher yield. Moreover, it is also least likely to harbor pests and even weeds.
Our top picks for common soil substrates:
Burpee Natural Fine Grade Horticultural Vermiculite
Prococo Compressed Coco Peat Block
3. Watering to Grow Indoor Plants
Every type of crop calls for varying amounts of moisture. Plants grown indoors basically rely on the hands of their growers. Without proper control, it can easily lead to over or underwatering. Thus, it is important to understand the specific water requirements of your plants.
For beginners, it would be a lot of help to get a soil moisture meter. This garden tool will determine the moisture level within the potting soil. Thus, you will know exactly when to or not to water your indoor plants.
Our top picks for soil moisture meters:
PentaBeauty Soil Moisture Meter
Ecowitt Soil Moisture Sensor Meter
Reotemp Garden & Compost Moisture Meter
Generally, most plants only need fertilization when it is at its active growing phase. This takes place during summer up to the springtime. The extra boost of nutrition is needed to fuel vigorous growth and development. Most indoor houseplants would get by using balanced all-purpose plant food.
When giving fertilizers, it is a must to follow the recommended dosage and frequency of the product’s manufacturer. In as much as possible, dilute the plant food accordingly to minimize the risk of burning your plant.
By wintertime, most types of plants go into some sort of hibernation. During this period, its growth tends to slow down thus requiring lesser nutrients as well. That said, you should taper off giving plant foods too to prevent over fertilization.
Our top picks for all-purpose plant foods:
Schultz All Purpose Water Soluble Plant Food
JR Peters Jack’s Classic All Purpose Water Soluble Plant Food
Grow More General Purpose Fertilizer
5. Temperature & Humidity to Grow Indoor Plants
Plants have their own temperature and humidity requirements too. Some varieties sit well in a hot and humid environment. While others like to be on the cooler or dryer side. But generally, a range between 70°F to 75°F is the most optimum temperature for most plants. As for the humidity, most types of houseplants thrive between 40% to 60% moisture level.
There are several devices you can use to help regulate the temperature within your grow room. To keep it cool, you can use your usual air conditioner. On the contrary, you can use your central heaters to give the room more warmth if that’s what your plants need. On a different note, you can use a humidifier and dehumidifier devices to help you balance the relative humidity within the grow space.
For accurate monitoring, it is always a good idea for growers to install an indoor thermometer and hygrometer. This will help you measure the levels and at the same time, keep track of the changes. That way you will know how to adjust the temperature and humidity accordingly.
Our top picks for indoor room thermometers and hygrometers:
Govee Digital Indoor Thermometer & Hygrometer
Oria Indoor Thermometer with Digital Hygrometer
AcuRite Indoor Thermometer with Digital Hygrometer
Wrapping Up about How to Grow Indoor Plants
Growing plants indoors do place some challenges for growers. Each type has its own specific needs and may react differently to certain situations. Let our tips here be your guide when trying to grow your plants in indoor settings. Nevertheless, the best way still to learn it is to experience it yourself.