This guest post is written by Rob of http://iotagarden.com.au/
Do you have plants in your home? Indoor plants make a home feel homier, healthier, and happier. That much is true. But are you doing your container gardening right? Here we’ll teach you how to get started on indoor planting using plant pots and planters.
Benefits of Indoor Plants
Before we delve deeper into how to grow indoor plants, let’s take a look at some of the known benefits of growing plants indoors.
Clean Air; Breathe Easy
People and plants are natural partners. People exhale carbon dioxide which plants need for photosynthesis; the plant then produces oxygen which people need. Adding plants to your living space increases oxygen levels so you can breathe easier.
If you want more humidity in a room, bring in a plant. Aside from increased oxygen levels, plants also release water vapor which increases humidity. Notably, humidity reduces the odds of you getting respiratory diseases.
Plants help purify the air. Plants have been known to remove up to 87% of volatile organic compounds in the air such as formaldehyde usually found in rugs, cigarette smoke, vinyl and grocery bags and benzene which is usually found in books, magazines and newspapers.
Improved Health and General Well-being
A study at Kansas State University has shown that surgery patients put in a room with a plant recover much faster, show lower heart rate, require less pain medication, and experience less fatigue. Also, having plants in the workplace reduces fatigue, headaches, and other respiratory ailments.
Plants Will Make You Happy
Whether you like gardening or not is irrelevant. Numerous studies have noted that plants improve self-esteem, improve your mood and disposition, reduce stress and anxiety, and will keep you calm, relaxed and optimistic.
Choosing What Plants to Get
What plants to get will depend mainly on your personal preference but generally, indoor plants should not require a lot of sunlight. Should you want a plant that requires more sunlight, you should be prepared to bring them out every now and then so they get the sunlight that they need.
If you like cooking, then growing some herbs in pots might be a good idea for you. Having some fresh basil and thyme at arm’s reach will make for some really great dishes. If you don’t want to water a lot, it would be best to get some succulents as those will require very little maintenance. You only need to water them once a week or once every 10 days.
If you’re looking for certain benefits. Here’s a handy guide. For increased air purification, you can go with spider plant, dragon tree, philodendron, gerbera daisy and snake plant. If you’re wary of toxins in the air you can go with gerbera daisies (which remove benzene and trichloroethylene), dragon tree (which removes formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, and xylene), English ivy (which removes benzene), philodendron (which removes formaldehyde) and snake plant (which removes formaldehyde and nitrogen oxide). If you want to humidify, go with Boston ferns. Peace lilies, on the other hand, remove mold from the air.
Choosing the Type of Container
By now, you probably already have an idea on what kind of plants you want to have. In this section, we’ll look at the type of plant containers you can choose from.
Terra cotta is your standard clay pot. They’re cheap and look better as they age. Terra cotta pots are good at retaining moisture. The downside however is that it is not very durable. A few hits and bumps can result in a broken pot and quite possibly a mess in your living room.
Granite is expensive but it looks great. It is shiny, elegant, and good at retaining moisture. It is also very durable. Granite can complement any existing interior design. There are two shades to granite. You can either go with lightly-speckled elegant black or shiny white.
Slate looks good with its natural patterns with varying shades of red, green and yellow. Slate containers are perfect for rustic home interiors and are also quite durable.
Fiberglass pots are lightweight so they’re going to be easy to move around as you please. Fiberglass is shiny and is suitable for modern home interiors.
Lightweight concrete is, well… lightweight. It should be easy to move just like fiberglass and is appropriate for classic interiors.
You don’t necessarily have to buy plant pots as you can make make-shift plant containers out of anything if you just use your imagination.
How to Start Planting in a Container
Now starts the actual planting. First, you have to identify whether or not you’re going to seal the drain holes in your pots. If you’re not going to have them sealed, you should consider placing your pots over trays so any excess water wouldn’t spill on your floor, your table, or wherever you’re placing your pot.
Ideally, before planting you should know the requirements of the plant that you’re planting like what kind of soil it needs, how much water or sunlight it needs, the acidity level of the soil, etc. You can consult with your local nursery or look at the tag which came with the plant when you bought them. That should contain some instructions on how to care for the plant.
When that’s settled, put a layer of stone or pebbles at the bottom of the pot followed by a layer of mulch. After that put in the potting mix ideally with slow release fertilizer so you don’t starve the plants. While regular garden soil would work, it is not ideal since it can contain some plant diseases. Potting mix is clean and free from any stuff that could lead to plant diseases.
Now that you’re geared up for indoor container planting, what kind of plants are you thinking of having?