Indoors or out, gardening is a hobby beloved by millions, for many good reasons. For one, there’s the soul satisfying aspect of nurturing plants and watching them grow bigger, leafier, and/or lovelier every day. Gardening is also a relaxing activity that lessens the stress and anxiety of over-stimulated lives.
Indoor gardening supplies primarily relate to three topics: houseplants, herbs, and growing seedlings to plant outdoors. Because of this, the tools and materials necessary for indoor gardening are fewer and simpler than those for outdoor gardening.
Here are some indoor gardening supplies you may want to obtain for each of the three main areas.
Houseplants: the most obvious indoor gardening supply for houseplants is the container. Decorative pots exist in every size, color and material imaginable. Once you purchase your houseplants, you’ll need to repot them in larger, more attractive containers than the typical cheap plastic ones they come in. The rule of thumb is to go up one pot size; for example, if the current pot is 6″, you should repot your houseplant into an 8″ container.
If you plan on having many houseplants, consider shopping for all the pots at one time, to coordinate the look. There’s certainly nothing wrong with having a hodgepodge of containers, but it is more aesthetically pleasing when they’re of similar materials and colors.
You’ll need to buy drip trays to protect your floors from water damage, or purchase containers that feature a leak-proof design. One I love is from the Gardener’s Supply Company. It has a clear glass outer pot you fill with water, which gradually soaks through the porous clay inner pot. So you not only needn’t worry about water leakage, but you can see at a glance when it’s time to re-water your houseplant. Ingenious!
Soil that’s specially formulated for houseplants is an essential indoor gardening supply. Why can’t you just dig up some dirt from outdoors? Because houseplants need the right mix of nutrients, density, and aeration to thrive, and dirt from the garden just doesn’t cut it.
For small houseplants, cuttings or starting seeds indoors, a convenient and eco-friendly alternative to bulky bags of soil is the small soil-less wafers comprised of peat, nutrients and water-absorbing polymers. Besides the fun of pouring warm water over the little pellets and watching them expand up to 14 times its original size, these pellets take up much less space in your indoor gardening supplies cabinet.
Fertilizer is another indispensable product for indoor gardeners. Some plants such as African violets and orchids perform better with special plant food formulated just for them. Most others will do well with an all-purpose plant food. When in doubt, read the label.
Decorative stakes, colorful globes, ceramic fairies, mushrooms and other fun ornaments are not essential indoor gardening supplies but they do lend whimsy and personalization to your houseplant collection.
Anyone who loves to cook should experiment with growing an indoor herb garden. Basil, parsley, rosemary, chives and cilantro are just a few of the herbs that happily grow indoors in a sunny window. You can plant them singly in small pots or together in terrarium-style containers. Alternatively, the cutting-edge AeroGarden from Gardener’s Supply Company includes its own grow light and soil-less growing system that’s virtually foolproof.
For growing seedlings indoors, consider purchasing a seed sprouting tray (or two); these have interconnected plastic pots (ranging in size from 12 up to 48) and a plastic dome lid that keeps moisture in. If you plan on starting lots of plants from seeds, three other indoor gardening supplies that are worthwhile to purchase are grow lights, heating mats and watering mats. These will ensure greater seed sprouting success as well as more vigorous growth for your fragile seedlings.
With just a few basic indoor gardening supplies, it’s possible for everyone from beginners to green-thumb experts to enjoy the rewards of this popular hobby.