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Simple Instructions Care for Lucky Bamboo

Apart from adding a fresh note to your interiors, a lucky bamboo plant is also believed to bring good luck. Here are some tips for growing them at home.

Even though it is known across the globe as lucky bamboo, this plant is not a true bamboo. In fact, it is a species of the genus Dracaena, and its scientific name is Dracaena sanderiana (also known as Dracaena braunii). This plant is native to some parts of Africa and Asia, and is mostly found in the rainforests of these regions. Propagation is through stem cuttings, that can be grown in water or soil. Lucky bamboos can thrive in almost all indoor conditions, and require less maintenance.

Lucky Bamboo Care Tips

Even though this plant is considered non-messy, it does not mean that you can ignore it totally. A little bit of care regarding its location, light conditions, water, and nutrient requirements, is unavoidable.

  • Always buy a healthy plant. The leaves should be green and fresh, and the plant should not have any bad odor. A healthy plant will have reddish roots, and healthy green shoots.
  • You can grow a lucky bamboo plant in water or in soil. Choose a container, that is at least two inches taller than the plant. Place pebbles or other decorative stones at the bottom, so that the roots get some support to grow. Add some water to the container, but make sure that the water level is just below the upper layer of stones.
  • If you want to grow the plant in soil, use a potting mix that contains equal parts of sand, peat moss, and soil. This medium ensures good drainage.
  • Keep the plant away from direct sunlight, and AC or heater vents. Extreme hot or cold condition is not good for lucky bamboo plants. It is better to place them in locations with lots of indirect sunlight. The ideal temperature range for this plant is between 65 to 70°F.
  • Filtered water is preferred for this plant, especially for those, which are grown in water. You may use distilled or drinking water too. However, tap water may contain chemicals, that may harm the plant.
  • In case, you are growing this plant in water, make sure to change the water every week. Wash the plant and stones too.
  • If the plant is grown in soil, watering should be done at regular intervals. The soil must always be maintained in a slightly moist condition.
  • If you find your lucky bamboo plant leaves getting yellow, it could be due to too much direct sunlight. Even the chemicals in tap water may cause the condition.
  • Though this plant does not require feeding, you may use a diluted plant food occasionally.

Hope the above said tips help you in growing these plants in your home, and bring you lots of good luck.

List of the Best Indoor Plants

Some of the best indoor plants include those which grow well in low light, warm temperature conditions, and are easy to be taken care of. The list of houseplants includes philodendrons, ferns, poinsettias, mother-in-law’s tongue, peace lilies, and snapdragons among others.

Indoor gardening is a concept for apartment dwellers who do not have spare land for outdoor gardens. And believe me, it is as interesting as growing a flower garden in the yard. All you need is basic plant care tips and a good choice of plant varieties. For those who are prone to allergy conditions, or have children or pets at home, selecting indoor plants might be a little difficult for the fear of the plants’ toxicity. This Buzzle article helps you make the right choice.

Maintaining houseplants is beneficial in several ways like adding a cozy feel to your room, serving as an attractive addition to the decor, and purifying indoor air. There are certain ornamental plant varieties that can adapt to an indoor environment.

Philodendrons
One of the best indoor plants, philodendron is available in different types, which differ in their foliage shape. They require less light and temperatures ranging from 15 to 18 degrees C. They can be propagated through stem cuttings. They are easy to care for and are common as indoor and ornamental plants. However, remember that these leafy plants are poisonous and care should be taken while handling them.

Poinsettias
Poinsettias are among the most sought-after houseplants. They are good indoor plants to grow at home and in office. You can find poinsettia plants of white, pink, orange, red, speckled, and many other varieties. The bracts are showy and colorful, while the blooms are yellow-colored and inconspicuous. Contrary to popular belief, poinsettias are not poisonous to humans. Eating the leaves of these plants may lead to nausea and vomiting and skin contact with its white sap may cause a mild rash. But this happens in case of an individual who is sensitive or allergic to the plant. ASPCA enlists poinsettias among plants toxic to cats and dogs.

Ferns
If you have less time to nurture your indoor plants, ornamental fern varieties are for you. Taking care of these plants is easy and they require less maintenance. In case you are allergic to pollens, place these plants at ground level. This will help in reducing dispersal of spores and spreading of the same in the house.

Peace Lilies
Included in the best flowering plants for indoor gardening, peace lilies are most preferred by hobbyists. They require a warm temperature, high humidity levels and shade conditions for optimal growth. The flowers are white and their shape is almost similar to that of anthurium. The foliage is bright green and large, thus adding to the aesthetic value of the room, even in the non-blooming season.

Moth Orchid
Another excellent flowering plant variety for indoor plantation is the moth orchid. Categorized in the genus, Phalaenopsis, this orchid is found in various colors. The care is easy and it blooms for about three months. For maximum bloom production, place your moth orchid near a window or door where it can receive filtered sunlight.

Snapdragons
For gardening enthusiasts having asthma or other allergy problems, snapdragons are a good choice. In this plant variety, the pollens (that may cause respiratory problems and allergies) are enclosed within the flower itself. Pinching off some of the stamens is a good tip for a longer shelf life of the flowers.

Lady Palm
Lady palm is a must-have ornamental plant for indoor gardening. The most spectacular part with this small palm tree is its fan-shaped leaves. It is slow-growing and long-lasting, thus serving as an ideal houseplant for busy hobbyists. What’s more, the lady palm can adapt to a wide range of soil conditions, temperatures, and humidity levels.

Epipremnum aureum
It refers to a species of flowering plants. One of the common names of this plant is golden pothos. It is an evergreen vine that can grow to a height of 20 m. When cultivated as a houseplant, it can attain a height of 2 m. Juvenile leaves are about 20 cm long, which on maturity can grow up to 100 cm. The leaves grow densely, giving the plant as attractive look. It is a popular houseplant, especially in the temperate regions. It can remove air pollutants like formaldehyde and benzene. ASPCA enlists it among plants toxic to dogs and cats.

Mother-in-law’s Tongue
This cultivar is also included in the list of best indoor plants that clean air. The name is coined with reference to the sharp tip of its leaves. It grows well even when exposed to low light conditions for an extended period. Also, this plant requires less watering. During summer, watering once a month is sufficient for its healthy growth.

Other houseplants include begonias, bromeliads, zebra plant, cactus, ficus, and ponytail palm. While placing the indoor plants in your house, arrange them based on their height, foliage shape, flower color, and flowering season, and give your home interiors a unique touch.

Indoor Bamboo Plant

One of the most popular cures in Feng Shui since the 90s, the lucky bamboo plant demands a lot of care and attention. These indoor plants are really difficult to maintain as they have a high tendency to wither quickly.

The lucky bamboo plant is a member of the Dracaena family and is well-known for its durability and resemblance to the bamboo plant. It is used more than just as an ornamental indoor plant. It is believed in Feng Shui that this plant can bring luck, prosperity and fortune. This makes it a widely preferred indoor plant to be placed in offices and homes. However, to make its chi more effective, it must be received as a gift rather than being bought yourself.

More About The Plant
Unlike what the name suggests, the lucky bamboo is not a bamboo at all. It is, in fact, a resilient member of the lily family that grows in the dark and tropical forests of Africa and Southeast Asia. But, the ones that are used to decorate indoors are imported from countries like China and Taiwan where they are professionally cultivated by botanists.

Beautiful lucky bamboo plant that has curled stems and may even have elaborate detailing in its design to increase its ornamental value, making it more expensive. This plant can survive in water alone as well as can be planted in soil. In the latter case, do ensure that the soil is kept damp at all times. This, however, does not imply that you make the holder a mud pool.

Why is this plant considered lucky?

Lucky bamboo plant has been associated with the eastern practice of feng shui for a long time now. It is believed to be an ideal example of the thriving water and wood element. Sometimes, a red ribbon is also added to fire the positive flow of energy or chi into the room. The plant is believed to spread tranquilizing vibes in its environment.

What do the different numbers of lucky bamboo stalks mean?

Did you know that according to ancient Chinese tradition, the number of stalks in your bamboo plant is associated with attracting a multitude of good fortuity in your life.

2 stalks: Luck in love
3 stalks: Happiness, success and longevity
5 stalks: Wealth
6 stalks: Peace, harmony
7 stalks: Good health
8 stalks: Prosperity
9 stalks: Good fortune
10 stalks: Totality
21 stalks: Blessings

Please note that a lucky bamboo with 4 stalks must be avoided at all costs since it is believed in Feng Shui that it attracts misfortune, to be more precise, death.

What steps should I take to care for my lucky bamboo plant?

  • If yellow stalk starts appearing on your plant, it must be completely removed to prevent damage to healthy green stalks. This also applies to dark, decaying roots and yellow leaves.
  • Water is one of the things that the plant requires to grow well. Do not use chlorinated water. Else, they will not survive.
  • To ensure that the water you use is devoid of chemicals, run tap water into a container and allow it to sit out uncovered for about 24 hours to allow the chemicals to disperse.
  • Change the water at least once every week.
  • If you have an aquarium at home, put the bamboo in it. The plant thrives on the microscopic organisms found in this water.
  • Light is another factor that contributes to the rate of growth, production of chlorophyll and overall development of the lucky bamboo. As this plant grows in the dense shade under the thick rainforest canopy of the equatorial Africa, excessive or direct sunlight would be too strong for it.
  • Place the bamboo in a room that receives no natural light. Ensure that you change its position every 3 to 4 days so it receives a sufficient amount of sunlight.
  • The lucky bamboo also requires nutrients for growth. Add a few drops of aquarium plant food to the water you use while refilling the container of 1/10th of the recommended strength of a standard plant food. This is to be done every two months or longer as feeding it too much may backfire.
  • If bacterial growth goes out of control and the plant seems to wither rapidly, add 1 to 2 drops of an antibacterial solution to the water. Do NOT exceed this quantity.
    Also, pebbles and stones and other ornaments placed in the pot/vase plant must be kept clean.
    Keep away from the reach of children and pets. If ingested, lucky bamboo leaves can be mildly toxic.
  • Do not place the plant near artificial sources of air temperature regulators like air conditioners and heaters.
  • This plant persists best at room temperature. It absolutely cannot endure hot/cold weather.

Although the lucky bamboo plant can survive for a long time, it needs appropriate care in order to thrive in a healthy manner for it to attract good chi. A healthy lucky bamboo plant has spotless white roots with thick, luscious green leaves and has firm stems. If it emits foul odor, the plant is definitely not in good case. This plant can only thrive in a clean environment that is devoid of bacterial growth and algae.

Care And Maintenance of Indoor Plants

Growing houseplants or indoor plants is one of the most rewarding tasks that one can take up as a hobby. Besides creating a pleasant and warm environment in a house, indoor plants can give fresh air by cutting down the level of indoor air pollution. Placed beside a window or on a table, houseplants can add that long-cherished elegant and natural look to a house, that can be a treat to the eyes of the beholder.

But growing houseplants demands a lot of care and attention. Most of the indoor plants are native to the tropical regions, and so they prefer a humid environment and indirect sunlight. However, there are exceptions. For example, succulent plants require a dry climate to grow, while gardenia thrives on bright sunlight. So, it is important to understand the specific needs of the different plants, in order to create an environment that can resemble their natural habitat.

Maintenance of Indoor Plants

Good plant care begins with the selection of a place that can provide the ideal environment for its growth. Also important is to provide the right amount of water and light, and maintain the appropriate levels of temperature and humidity, in order to ensure the healthy growth of plants.

Light
Light is one of the most important growth factors for any plant. As most of the indoor plants are native to the tropical areas, they grow well in indirect sunlight. Such plants can be placed close to a window with sheer curtains, so that they can receive enough filtered sunlight.

If you place them further away from the window, they will not receive adequate sunlight. However, you can take the help of artificial light sources for plants placed in dark rooms. For plants like gardenia, you have to choose a location that receives bright sunlight. If you observe growth only in one direction, then be sure to rotate the position of the plant at regular intervals. This would encourage more uniform growth.

Watering
One of the most common mistakes observed in indoor gardening is the tendency to overwater the houseplants, in an attempt to promote their rapid growth. But, this often causes the roots to rot. At the same time, under-watering can also cause the leaves to turn yellow and fall prematurely. The best way is to check the soil carefully before watering the plant. If the soil is still damp, then wait for another day or two, till the top soil dries out. But, if the soil is dry, then water the plant sufficiently. It is better to use well-drained soil so that it does not hold a large amount of water for a long time.

If the soil is heavy, then you can add some sand and perlite to make a good soil mixture. Otherwise, you can make a soil mixture by combining two parts of organic matter (like peat moss) with one part each of perlite and sand. Also, make sure that the container or pot used for growing the plant has the appropriate drainage system or drainage holes at the base, so that the excess water can flow out of it. For watering the plants, you can use rainwater or tap water. If you want to use tap water, then let the water sit for the whole night. The chlorine present in tap water can be harmful for your houseplants.

Humidity
Maintaining the appropriate level of humidity is also important. Tropical plants usually require a high level of humidity, as compared to other houseplants. So, you can place the plants close to each other, so that they can utilize the water or moisture evaporating from each other. You can also mist the leaves at regular intervals to provide them with adequate moisture.

Temperature
The ideal range of temperature for growing houseplants is 60 to 75°F. Most of the indoor plants can tolerate slight fluctuations in the temperature. But excessive temperature fluctuations can inhibit their growth. Therefore, they need to be protected from cold drafts, as well as from excessive heat. They should not be placed near warm appliances. Most of the houseplants usually prefer a night temperature that is slightly lower than the day temperature.

Winter Care
The growers of houseplants can face a different set of problems during winter. It is the dormant period for most of the plants, for which they limit their new growths and enter a resting period. During this dormant phase, it is important to reduce the frequency of watering, and protect the plants from cold air. So, be sure to place them away from doors.

In winter, the humidity level drops significantly. A humidifier can however, easily resolve this issue. The winter is usually not the ideal time for fertilization. As far as lighting conditions are concerned, this period is characterized by only 8 hours of sunlight a day. So, it is very important to place the indoor plants in those areas, which receive adequate sunlight. For example, a window facing the west or south can be ideal for keeping an indoor plant during this period.

Apart from these, one should also prune the plants from time to time to remove the diseased and damaged branches and leaves, and also to maintain the desired shape. It is important to understand that each plant is unique, and hence has different requirements. So, before growing any indoor plant, do some research to learn more about its specific needs.

Benefits of Indoor Plants

The lifestyle of the urban people is slowly taking them away from enjoying the greenery and nature. Moreover, deforestation too is increasing at a fast pace. Since most of the daily time is spent indoors, there is a possibility of the development of ‘Sick Building Syndrome’, a syndrome developed as a result of spending large amounts of time in a closed environment.

The level of air pollution in the environment has risen in the past few years. Poisonous gases and particulate matter that are emitted from the vehicles, factories, and other sources, that result in various diseases.

The indoor environment emits chemicals that are equally dangerous when compared to the external pollutants. The furniture, paints, adhesives, carpets, insulation, building material used in the house and many such items emit the volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). Indoor plants absorb these chemicals and helps to purify the air.

Indoor Plants Benefits
There are many benefits of indoor plants. The mere presence of plants in our surroundings bring a feeling of refreshment. Plants are not just decorative items used to stuff the vacant space. The most important benefit of indoor plants is their ability to absorb carbon dioxide. In return they emit oxygen and help in cleansing the air. They also absorb harmful chemicals and toxins. The experiments conducted to test the absorption capacity of indoor plants have yielded excellent results.

Employees
Plants are also known to have destressing effects on the mind. The green color that the plants possess relaxes the mind. Placing plants in offices have resulted in the rise in productivity of employees working in a firm. According to the studies conducted, the offices having enough plants in the premises have resulted a drop in absenteeism. It also showed an enhancement in the creativity of employees and reduction of minor health problems like fatigue, headaches, etc.

Children
Other than the destressing effects of indoor plants, they hold many more benefits. Children can learn about different species of plants if planted indoors. Spending time in the vicinity of plants not only gives results in mental satisfaction, but also helps in learning many things. It is possible to give indoor gardening lessons to children by means of indoor plants.

Planting trees in premises of schools is also a good practice. It generates a calming effect and helps in soothing the mind. The Royal College of Agriculture located in Cirencester, United Kingdom, had conducted an experiment to monitor the behavior of children in the presence of plants. The restlessness and other behavioral symptoms among children in rooms having plants, were reduced by 70%.

Indoor Gardening Tips

Indoor gardening is a convenient and practical option for those who have limited space. In this article, you’ll get some tips on how you can go about designing your own little green patch, indoors.

If you live in an apartment that does not have a balcony for a full-fledged garden, then indoor gardening is the thing for you. It is a very handy option that you can explore if you do not want space to come in the way of your love for gardening. You can have your own little corner flourishing with beautiful plants right inside your home just by using some of the tips mentioned below.

Tips for Indoor Planting

When you think about an indoor garden, you need to ensure that you take into consideration all possible points before actually starting it. First, you need to decide what kind of plants you’ll be planting. Then you need to pick a good location. If the plants that you’re planning to plant need sunshine, then you’ll obviously have to pick a spot near the window where they are exposed to sunlight. If they need shade, then you can have them under the window sill, where they are protected from the sun. Next, you need to make sure that the area is properly cordoned off. Nothing from the inside of the garden gets out, and nothing from the outside goes inside. This way, your garden remains clean and so does the rest of the home. The next thing you need to take care of is proper drainage of the water. All plants need water. So you have to make sure that the water that seeps out gets properly drained and does not mess up the entire room. Given below are some ideas that you may want to try out.

Herb Garden
Nothing looks prettier in the interior of a home than a herb garden. The lush green herbs, together with their tantalizing aroma all mixed together in the air, render a sense of peace and exquisite ‘flavor’ to the house. If you don’t want them on the ground, you can have them in hanging garden planters all around a room. Your options for herbs can be coriander, thyme, mint, etc.

Flower Garden
Nothing says garden better than flowers. And if you don’t have the space for a full-fledged landscape, you can have your own little miniature flower garden inside your home. Pick one flower that blooms in different colors. Roses, gerbera daisies, and orchids are good options but tulips definitely take the cake in indoor flower gardening. They look stunning, especially when they bloom against a wall in a contrasting color.

Vegetable Garden
Another popular idea is a vegetable garden. It is practical and very useful. While most of it will be container gardening, if you have a balcony, you can allot a corner and plant the vegetables directly into the ground too. Chillies and tomatoes are very good options. Avoid roots and tubers for indoor vegetable gardens as they could get quite messy.

Cactus Garden
An unconventional yet fabulous idea for an indoor garden is a cactus garden. Go to your local nursery and get different varieties of cactus plants. The best part of this idea is that since cactus plants are really hardy, you do not have to bother about watering and taking too much care of them. They do that for themselves.

Indoor gardening can bring a sense of peace and calm to your home. It beautifies your home and makes it appear more friendly and relaxed. So, get started on one for your home right away.

ontainer Garden Design

Creating container garden designs just requires you to be a little creative and think out of the box. Here are some guidelines on coming up with a design that suits your personal taste.

Container gardening is a boon for those who do not have a sprawling landscape to fulfill their desire for gardening and greenery in their homes. You don’t have to give up on your green thumb simply because of the lack of space to pursue it. Growing plants in small containers gives you enough space to create a small garden in your patio, thereby giving you a little bit of both worlds. What’s more, with the variety of plants, along with the different types of containers that can be used to grow them, have led to the emergence of unique and creative designs for gardens. Here, we give you some tips on container gardening, that will help you express your love for nature in your personal style.

Tips

Creating a unique and interesting container garden design requires the use of certain tips and tricks. If you want to create an attractive garden, the thumb rule is to break through traditional barriers and norms of design and get as creative as possible. Also remember, the success and the beauty of the plants in your garden largely depends on the kind of lighting that they require and that they are exposed to. Keep in mind all these details before you set about designing a beautiful garden yourself.

Containers
The type of container you use makes a whole lot of a difference to your garden. Not every pot has to be the regular round, terracotta pot. Go for different colors and get creative. You can also opt for a variety of different materials including ceramic and stainless steel pots. Finally, go for pots of different heights to create interesting level differences that add to the aesthetic appeal of your garden. You could also hang your pots, which adds a whole new dimension to the visual appeal of the garden.

Plants
Depending on the kinds of plants you wish to grow, there are different ways in which they can be used to create an interesting container garden.

  • If you want to create gardens with flowers, you can opt for flowers of the same color, or different shades of one base color. It could be blue and purple, or pink, red and purple. On the other hand, you could choose a completely contrasting color scheme, such as pink and blue, to alter the design of your garden.
  • Make sure that the color of your plants and pots do not clash with each other. You must ensure that the pots and the flowers make a good combination on their own. Similar is the case with creating a vegetable container garden.
  • Choosing different shades of greens, along with various textures, also adds to the beauty of a garden. Do remember that the texture of a pot combined with the texture of a plant can make an outstanding design effect.
  • Plant varieties also help in adding to the beauty of a garden. Ideally, a container garden should have a combination of these 4 types, namely, thrillers, fillers, accents, and spillers. Thrillers mainly add height to your garden, as they are a variety of upright plants. Use these where you would like to create an illusion of height. Fillers, on the other hand, provide the effect of a rich, lush garden. Accents are meant to highlight your garden, so a dash of burgundy leaves among greens is what will create that extravagant factor. Spillers refer to plants that spill out and over the pot, into another pot. These also give the illusion of a rich lush garden. Create a combination of these as another option for a focal point in your garden.

Placement
Not all plants have to be kept together. Create clusters of plants that are similar in sunlight and water requirements, as well as those that create a focal point together. Decide on a suitable location for your plants. You could make the cluster of pots of different heights, textures, and colors, a focal point, and then have a few containers strewn here and there. Creating a pathway by placing plants along the edge of a path is another way of adding interest to an otherwise regular garden.

Accessories
Whether you need container gardening designs for your patio, a deck, or a garden, there is a lot you can do to accentuate it even further. Add to it accessories such as water features, unique landscape lighting, wind chimes, and other small figurines to complete your design.

How you create designs for your garden completely depends on your idea of what beauty is. You know that the effect of greenery and the brightness provided by certain plants is definitely pleasing to the senses. Use it in a manner that heightens this sensitivity, so that not only do you have something that soothes your eyes, but also has the ability to relax your mind after a stressful day.

Growing Tomatoes in Pots and Containers

The idea of growing tomatoes is not limited to gardens or large plots. Tomatoes can be grown easily in pots as a part of container gardening. Growing them in containers can be rewarding, provided you select the right container, potting soil, tomato variety, location and supply the plant with necessary nutrients.

Even if you live in the heart of a city and don’t own a large plot, you can still enjoy garden-fresh, juicy tomatoes. The key factor is that you should have a sunny patio or balcony, so as to expose the tomato plants to maximum sunlight. Of course, careful planning is required while purchasing the container, selecting the tomato variety and taking care of the tomato plants. Let’s discuss in brief the tips of growing tomatoes in pots and containers.

Selecting the Right Container

Tomatoes are dicots and have a deep root system. So the containers opted for tomato plantation should be deep (five gallons or more), plastic or fiberglass pots. It’ll provide sufficient room for development of roots, making it easy to maintain a healthy root system. A well-established root system is very essential for healthy growth of a plant. Other than flowering pots, you can make use of any large container like buckets, cooking pots or other unused cookware (make a bottom hole to the pots).

Choosing Tomato Variety

This is the most crucial step for growing tomatoes in pots. Some tomato varieties are large and spread out to a great extent. You might be already aware about using stakes and supports while growing them in gardens or greenhouses. For planting them in pots and containers, it is always advisable to select the dwarf and bushy variety of tomatoes. With such cultivars, the plants are easy to maintain in a manageable size.

If options are available, choose disease-resistant and indeterminate tomato seedlings. Indeterminate variety produces fruit steadily, whereas determinate variety bears maximum fruits at the same time.

Preparing Potting Soil

Tomatoes can grow well in any good quality, organic soil. You can purchase ready-made soil or prepare it on your own by adding peat moss and farmyard compost. If you are preparing potting mixture, then supplement with plant nutrients. Remember that the plants directly depend on the potting soil for water and nutrients. Garden soils are usually not preferable as they are very heavy for container gardening.
Make sure you add healthy soil mixture, otherwise there can be chances of soil-borne fungi and other pathogens in the potting soil, which may lead to development of diseases.

Planting Tomatoes

For planting tomatoes in pot you need to add the potting mixture in the container to about one-fourth of the depth. Place the plant in the center of the pot and add soil till it reaches the height of the stem, where the lowest leaf is developed. This way, you are allowing further development of roots from the stem to promote a healthy root system. Make sure that you keep the level of soil a few inches below the rim of the pot. While planting, lightly press or firm the top soil around the seed.

Caring Tips of Tomato Plants

Light and water are the two most important factors for maintaining the healthy growth of tomatoes in pots and containers. A healthy plant requires about five hours of daily light. You can place the potted tomato plants in any area, either balcony or windowsill, where the plants will get maximum sunlight. If possible, select a location which is less windy, as high-velocity wind may result in drying of the soil.
Once the potted tomato plants are placed in a proper location, water the plants thoroughly. Make sure to water the plants regularly and supplement the soil with organic fertilizers. For water retention and weed control, you can consider mulching with straw or bark mulch. Provide the tomato plants with supports like stakes or cages, when the first fruits appear.

Depending upon the tomato variety and the growing conditions, the plant will start bearing fruits within 6 – 8 weeks. Growing tomatoes is easy but adequate care should be taken as they are susceptible to diseases. Majority of the tomato plant diseases are caused due to soil-borne fungi. Hence, as long as the potting soil is disease-free, there are very less chances of diseases in tomato plants. In case of disease occurrence, you can discard the diseased parts as far as possible and use mild fungicides to prevent further spreading.

Container Gardening Plants

Container gardening refers to the practice of growing herbs and plants in containers, instead of in the ground. The practice is very popular across the globe, aiding the efforts made towards recycling plastic containers and chipped chinaware. It is pursued by many a green thumb for ornamental purposes as well.

Container gardening is best suited for regions where the soil is unsuitable for planting or cropping herbs and plants. The concept appeals immensely to the gardener in urban areas, where space available for plantation is limited. There are a number of herbs and flowering plants that thrive in container gardens, either developed in the balcony or porch, or within the kitchen window-box. This method allows the modern homeowner to use every empty container and to infuse the home with a new spark of green! A number of fruits and vegetables can be potted in used jars and chipped china, depending on the size of the container.

The practice has many advantages associated with it. Not only are the plants exposed to lesser risk of contracting soil-borne diseases, but the gardener is able to virtually eliminate the menace of weeds. It also allows the gardener to capitalize on mobility of the potted plants and to ensure optimum control over-exposure to moisture, temperature, and sunlight. The concept, however, is not a new one. It has been around for ages, with herbs and vegetables sprouting from kitchen boxes flaunting chipped tea cups and pots, plastic jam, butter and cheese containers, and even tin pots. Today, there are a number of innovative designs generated around the concept to accommodate automatic-irrigation systems.

Vegetables and Herbs Conducive to Container Gardening

The urban green thumb is now able to make the most of the space available and the flexibility in design that the containers offer. The garden involves the potting of plants according to the root system. This helps the gardener to experiment with the development of bonsai and special pot-bound and root-bound plant varieties. Not having garden space is no longer a constraint to grow vegetables like:

Tomatoes
Peppers
Green onions
Eggplant
Beans
Lettuce
Radishes
Parsley
Cucumber

The technique is also very helpful in growing herb-garden annuals, biennials, or perennials like:

Anise
Basil
Caraway
Chives
Fennel
Lovage
Thyme

It is essential to consider the implications of drainage, porosity, and weight when choosing the material. The width of the container mouth decides the plant variety that could be opted for, since a wider mouth would facilitate quicker evaporation, while a narrower one would retain water for a longer time. There are a number of dedicated resources, online as well as offline, that allow the green thumb to access containers made of glazed ceramic, resin, fiberglass, and metal. They also enable access to synthetic soil mixes composed of sawdust, peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite.

The design and space available for the container garden largely depends on the kind of containers being used. While smaller containers are ideal for table tops, mantles, and window ledges, larger varieties adorn the yard. Container gardening offers the plants protection from pests and control-invasive plants. The containers are not only convenient to move around, but can also be displayed indoors. The effort could be theme-oriented or material-based . The home owner could choose a color, monochromatic or complimentary, or a size theme to merge with the existent indoor home décor. The choice of a material-based theme, plastic or ceramic, to infuse the porch with a touch of black-eyed susans or petunias is also popular today.

Indoor Greenhouses

An indoor greenhouse should be considered by people who have to face cold-weather and space related limitations/restrictions. These are easy to set up and maintain, the only condition being that places with availability of adequate sunlight need to be chosen. Perennial crops can grow well in this setup during winters.

How to Create an Indoor Greenhouse

The items required for building an indoor greenhouse can be purchased at nearby hardware stores. Materials required for setting up such a structure include the following: plastic utility shelves, fluorescent light tubes, shop lights, power strip, and light timer. These are used to provide enough light to the plants of greenhouse. Lighting is an important aspect of setting up an outdoor greenhouse.

  • The plastic shelves used for indoor greenhouses need to be arranged so that the plants receive enough light from the source.
  • The power strip should be attached to middle shelf by means of twist ties. The advantage of placing the power strip at the middle is that it becomes easy to connect cords which arise out of every shop light.
  • The light timer should then be plugged into the electrical outlet. Settings about the time duration for which lights are kept on during the entire period of 24 hours can be determined and implemented with a timer.
  • Shop lights have to be assembled with the help of hooks and hanging chains. These lights need to be suspended below the shelf so as to provide light to the other shelf which is present underneath. To illuminate the uppermost shelf, lights have to be suspended from the ceiling.
  • Lights need to be connected with power strip. The power strip should be turned on after connecting it with a timer.

Portable Greenhouses

Nowadays, there are many portable greenhouse kits available in the market. These mini indoor greenhouse kits help in creating a setting for plants to grow with ease in different seasons. The materials which come with these kits include panels of polycarbonate, carrying bags, greenhouse heaters, ground stakes, water hoses, and portholes meant for connecting electric cords. These greenhouses help plants survive harsh weather conditions and protect them from ultraviolet rays. Maintaining the desired levels of humidity and temperature is possible with these portable greenhouses. Proper ventilation can be provided, and one can also protect the plants from pests.

The greenhouse structure can be made as elaborate or simple as possible. It actually depends on how sophisticated and user-friendly you want your greenhouse to be. Portable structures are suitable for those who want to pursue the practice of indoor gardening as a hobby. For others, it is advisable to use permanent structures. Wood and metal is generally used for the purpose of making frames for greenhouses. Poly films and plastic is used in covering these frames. If one is looking to have a permanent structure, then the use of cement foundation should be considered. The other features which can be included in permanent structures are the auto-venting system (for temperature regulation) and integrated windows and doors.

The information in the article above should help in setting up a suitable structure for a small-scale operation. Temperate countries, unlike the tropical ones, are not gifted by nature in order to continue gardening/farming the entire year. It becomes necessary for gardening enthusiasts from cold countries to resort to means like greenhouses for the purpose of indoor gardening.