If you’re lucky enough to have large openings, you’ll have a wide variety of options when it comes to plants. And even if you do not have a balcony, there are plenty of ways you can have an indoor garden.
Before you venture out, learn the six foundations of apartment gardening.
Light is required for your plants, but be aware that ten feet away from a window, that same light will be nine times less beneficial than right in front of it. And then, your plant will struggle to grow. Pale, long and soft growths. Stems will head towards the light. It’s not a good sign.
Still be careful about direct sunlight as a lot of plants also dislike this.
Water is as important near roots as in the air. Many apartments have heating systems where humidity will drop below 55%. That is not enough for some plants. You may need to spray water or prepare water reserves that can evaporate.
Be wary of excess water. They are usually as harmful as lack of water. Water your plants only when the soil is really dry a few inches deep. It’s better that plants need water than drown in it.
Good water is one at room temperature and low in calcium. Avoid wetting flowers and leaves, especially if the plant is exposed to the sun. Aerate the water for 12 hours.
Plants breathe through their leaves. They need to be cleaned. Tepid water is essential for heavy foliage. Some enjoy polishes, others not so much. In any case, avoid milk, beer and other risky stuff.
A good portion of bugs will be located under leaves (in the shade). Don’t forget to treat against them where they might hide.
Dust mites do not like water. To avoid or limit an invasion of mites, increase the humidity by showering the leaves twice a day for 8 days. It is effective, but it is by no means a full treatment that will destroy them.
If you apartment is really dry, you can try a few things:
Spraying water on your plants, except those with downy foliage.
A saucer filled with water, with wedges or expanded clay (for drainage).
Peat or vermiculite, burying it in the base of your pots.
Grouping plants in large containers that create a more humid microclimate.
For extreme situation, you can always place them in your bathroom or kitchen.
When spraying plants, if possible, put them on your balcony or in your garage (if it’s the same temperature as your apartment). If you’re treating them inside, be careful with your furniture. Once sprayed, keep them away from direct sunlight for several hours. Spraying them correctly should simply produce a light coating on your plants, but no drops. If you’re using a professional sprayer, try maintain a distance of at least 15 inches (40 cms).
Don’t choose any soil. It’s the foundation for your plants’ life. All soils are not made equal. A good one will avoid asphyxiating roots and good water retention.
Careful with any garden soil. To avoid important bugs or diseases, avoid getting soil from your garden (even if it looks good). Pick good soil adapted to your plant.