If you happen to live in a house or apartment with virtually no outdoor space, you can still work wonders gardening indoors. The inside of your home has the added advantage of being a controlled environment that is independent of the weather conditions outside. Therefore, you can grow plants indoors that outside would ordinarily wither with the heat or freeze from the cold.
With indoor gardening, you’ll still need to take into account such factors as ambient temperature, moisture, air circulation, and the availability of natural and artificial light sources. Depending on the size and design of your home, you may be limited in what you can grow. However, rest assured that there are many options out there for any size space.
For example, if you have a tall roof but narrow spaces, you can try the shade tolerant South African native Afrocarpus falcate. If you have a lot of wall space to work with, you can build a series of shelves and have a large collection of succulents and cactus that require little watering. Spider plants are ideal for hanging baskets and the more creative urban gardener can look towards orchids, bamboos, and ferns. Orchids are a classic indoor plant that grow well indoors because of their tropical origins.
Bulbs also make an excellent choice for indoor gardens. Bulbs can provide your house with year-round color. Even if you live in a region with long winters, you can grow bulbs to cheer up your indoor environment. You can use bulbs to have beautiful spring color in January, but to accomplish this you will need to “force” your bulbs. This means that you create the conditions for them to flower before their naturally blooming time. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden provides several articles with tips on growing bulbs indoors.
Water gardens using fountains or small ponds can also function well indoors. You’ll probably want to contact an expert on water garden design and construction depending on how elaborate you want your garden.
Indoor gardening occasionally requires special technology such as metal halide grow lights which do a great job of creating “virtual” sunlight. Fluorescent lights can also work great for growing seedlings or small plants indoors. Compact fluorescents work just as well and use less energy. For a complete resource on indoor gardening, see this site. Another useful gadget is this great Houseplant Watering System, which will give your plants the exact amount of water they need and will help you grow healthy plants despite your busy lifestyle.
When gardening indoors, you should also select plants and containers that will fit well with your interior decorating. Think of the different colored flowers and foliage available that will match your home furnishings. Visiting your local nursery and seeing a few samples can help you generate ideas. Terracotta pots and wooden planters can also make a wonderful addition to your home decorating.
If you’re interested in growing fruits or vegetables indoors, you’ll be happy to know that some citrus plants and many herbs grow very well indoors. Try growing potted basil, along with sage or cilantro. Tomatoes can often be grown indoors if you have plenty of sunlight or use hydroponics. Some species of lemons, oranges, and more exotic citrus fruits such as the Meiwa Kumquat grow great indoors given the correction conditions. See this site for a detailed article on growing citrus fruits indoors.
Want to know more about indoor gardening?
The Helpful Gardener is a great site with a variety of gardening tips, a Q&A section and a discussion forum. You can connect with other growers to make friends, ask questions and share your knowledge and expertise with like minded people.
Tips on Indoor Gardening has a comprehensive list of indoor gardening articles. There are how-to guides on indoor gardening methods, as well as gardening supplies and featured products. This is a great resource for new and experienced gardeners alike.