A DIY Craft For All Ages - Great Gift Idea Too! Those wishing to grow indoor herbs, a sill sanctuary filled with flowers or a simple resting place for healthy, veggie sustenance can bank on this craft-idea to bring joy to their homes - or that of loved ones (should you wish to gift it). Here’s what you need: a drill machine, a store-bought or home-made window box with drainage provided, drainage tray, sand-paper, compost and soil (or mixture bought from a nursery), favorite seasonal flowers, acrylic white and colored paints, overcoat of clear gloss to hold in the colors, a 2 inch paint brush and turpentine. Method: Rub the sand-paper over the outside of the window box to smoothen out the rough edges; in smooth strokes, apply the base coat of white paint, wait for it to dry fully before applying a second coat. When completely dry, paint in colored designs you like - hearts, leaves, lattice and stripes are some popular choices - and wait for the colors to dry before going ahead with the overcoat of clear gloss. Let dry in sunlight overnight. Fix the painted window box to your chosen spot by the window after machine-drilling holes into it, placing drainage tray and inch-thick layer of pebbles at the bottom, then before covering these with compost and soil mix and sprinkling the plant seeds. Lavender and Geranium grow well in small areas as do chives, mint and sage. Whatever plants you choose, take care to water them regularly and treat them with adequate fertilizers (even slow release ones are available, so do find out about these) to keep from withering. If opting for different varieties of plants, sow the tallest at the back, bushy ones in the middle and trailing kinds towards the front of the window box to give it an aesthetic look that’s peachy keen for the outsiders - looking in. (Yeah, you’re sure to have plenty of those too - with such a great garden idea decorating your home!)
The Wide Choice Of Indoor Plants When it comes to choosing indoor plants there is no dearth of the variety you can select from. We will list some of the plants that can liven up your indoors and are easy to maintain. It will pay, however, to keep in mind that any type of plant needs sunlight and will sooner or later begin to tilt toward the source of light. This will make them grow at an awkward angle and so you will need to rotate the direction so that the plant will grow straight up. Some of the popular indoor plants include: African Violets: These small potted plants are easy to grow and adapt well to the indoors. These plants blossom for about three weeks, however they need a lot of sunshine, so keep them on a windowsill. However, avoid the heat of the sun or they will wither. These plants also need special fertilizer made especially for them. All green house stores keep a supply of it. Begonias: You will find three kinds of Begonias; Tuberous, Perennial and Semperflorens. The most common of the Begonias are the Semperflorens and come in ever blooming and wax finishes. Begonias are available in red, pink, yellow and white varieties and all have a very attractive yellow center. Ivy: This variety of indoor climber makes for a very attractive indoor plant. Though this plant can survive for quite some time in a dark cornet of a room it will soon begin to demand its share of sunlight. So if you plan to have this plant among your collectionb it is best to choose a place near a source of sunlight. Remember to add enough water to your ivy to make the water drip out of the bottom of the pot. Too little water will stunt the plant. Some of the other popular plants are Cactus, Coleus, Amaryllis, Geraniums, Paper Whites, Poinsettia and a variety of rubber plants.
Cheer Up Your Window This Winter With A Garden To Grace It! When winter sets in soon and nips at your toes, don’t let the blues get to your love for gardening outdoors...simply bring it in indoors! Yes, we recommend an indoor window garden to boost your spirits and keep the gloomy winter feel out in the cold with sensibly chosen winter plants - some fragrant and colorful, others edible and flavorful for enhancing your winter menus. Try this wonderful winter gardening remedy today: Your windowsill is the perfect place for starting a seasonal indoor garden that will sustain your wintry gardener’s soul and warm your heart with perfect seasonings for tasty, nutritious and wholesome soups, broths and stews if you plant timely, healthful herb when ushering out autumn. Along with the versatile herbs like basil, compact dill and Greek Oregano, you can also consider thyme and parsley besides coriander that readily take to windowsill gardening and are likely to fill your winters with fragrance, greenery and soothing, medicinal value when added to soups! These only require regular watering and a few hours of sunlight to grow and so are easy to grow even for those not blessed at birth with a green thumb. Perhaps, some eye candy - in the form of fresh flowers that are regarded as winter blooms - can be your daily delight with just a snip of a seed packet, pre-prepared potting soil that has been treated for fertilizer mix and contains the necessary peat moss etc. for helping indoor plants nasturtiums, pansies and calendulas. Sure to bring a smile to your face and color to the room, flowering indoor plants in your window garden, when tended with a little bit of sunshine, water and right soil-mixture, are the best bet for beating winter blues!
Watch Out For These Indoor Plant Insects There are a few insects that infect a plant that grows indoors. When the symptoms of these infestations become known you should take immediate remedial action because failure to do so will allow the infestation to spread to the other plants and lead to complete destruction in short time. The most common plant pest is the spider mites. These are a very serious problem for plants as they multiply very fast, lead to defoliate and kill the plant. These mites belong to the family of ticks and spiders. Spider mites are yellow or green in color and cannot be seen easily. To check for presence of spider mites tap the leaf over a piece of white paper and check for very tiny movements on the paper. Remove them with an insecticide spray from your plant store. Shell Insects appear like a small bump of wax on a stem or leaf. It is usually not possible to view these creatures without magnification, but when their numbers increase they make their presence known. Shell insects stunt a plants growth and can even kill the plant in time. The only known solution is an insecticide spray. Mealy Bugs are easily visible without having to magnify the pest. These insects look like they have come out of a sack of flour and have a long waxy protrusion from their tails. These appear like small clusters of cotton on the plant. Check the under side of the leaves to notice these pests and when you do find them wash them off with water and spray with insecticide for plants. A couple of weeks of treatment and you will be rid of these pests. Pests not only kill a plant in time, they are also very unsightly. A beautiful plant will become ugly and the whole purpose of decorating the place is defeated by plant pests. Proper cleaning and regular spraying with insecticide will help prevent any kind of pest infection.
Household Plants And Pests Household plants are used to add beauty to the indoor environment. The term "household plants" does not mean that the plants have to be in a home, they cold be used to decorate a hotel, lobby or an office as well. A lot of care needs to be taken of these plants and prevent pests from infecting the plants. Plants are usually infected with pests when they are put outdoors for sunlight or they may come infected with mites, insects or their eggs. Many pests are easy to get rid of with non-chemical means, however, if you are having a problem with your household plants being attached by pests you could get an insecticide spray that is quite easy to use and rids the plant of the pests in a couple of days. It is always better to prevent infection rather than let it happen and then look for a cure. It is always better to inspect plants before you purchase them. Even after you examine the plants it is possible for you to get a plant with a disease or pest infestation. So when you get a plant to the house or office, keep it isolated for a couple of weeks to observe any infection. This will prevent the pest from infecting the other plants as well. To prevent pests from infecting your plants it is best to insect them periodically and spray the plants with fresh clean water regularly. Never use a feather duster to clean the plants; this is a sure way of transferring insects to the plant. Spray your plants at least once every two months.
Using Containers For Indoor Gardening Gardening is a hobby many people love to bide their time with. It gives one a sense of accomplishment when they see their flowers or plants blooming after a few weeks or even months of tender loving care. The plants also add to the aesthetics of the room and sooth the occupants of the home or office as well. There are many forms of indoor gardening. You could have flower gardens, hanging gardens, vegetable gardens, fruit gardens and bonsai gardens. As with the many types of indoor gardening there are indoor gardening tools available to help you make your indoor garden blossom even better. There are fertilizers, insecticides, implements and indoor gardening lights to substitute sunlight. For those who do not have a place to garden outdoors there is always container gardening. Containers are used to grow plants on windowsills or on the balcony of an apartment and are useful when it comes to moving the plants from place to place, be it to optimize sunlight or to redecorate the place. Container gardening is also useful when you have to move from your home; you will not have to leave your beloved plants behind. There are many designs, sizes and colors of containers and pots that can be used to grow indoor plants. Plastic containers are economical and last a lifetime, however, many people like to use hand crafted clay containers for their plants. These containers are very attractive and give a very natural look to the place. Wooden containers made, much like barrels, are another good choice for indoor gardening containers. Indoor gardening is a very satisfying pastime and there is a lot of advice out there for the beginner and even the seasoned gardener to learn from. There are also scores of manufacturers offering implements ranging from the very basic to the most sophisticated for indoor gardening enthusiasts.
Care For Your Indoor Plants It is a difficult task to keep your indoor plants healthy. Therefore it will make a big difference if you chose those plants that could easily adapt to the indoor environment such as lesser light, heat and water. It is not uncommon for plants to grow much slower indoors than they would outdoors. Many plants are known to stop growing or showing sign of development or change from fall to winter. Indoor plants have different needs compared to outdoor plants and this means that they should not be "killed with kindness" either. It is necessary to control the temperature indoors for the plants to thrive. It is recommended to keep the temperature between 60 degrees to 70 degrees F during the daytime and 55 to 65 degrees during the night. It is advisable to keep the plants away from a drafty location as this could lead to the plants drying. Instead of keeping your plants in direct sunlight, it will do them good to keep them in a place that gets adequate light but not directly from the sun. The varying changes in the day and night temperature will only damage the plants. In the winter, the indoor environment gets a lot drier than the summer. This adversely affects the plants. Therefore it is advised to ‘spray bathe’ the plants twice a week to keep them healthy. Finally, a word about watering the plants: Tap water from your home is not good for your plants. You should store the water in a container and use it for watering the plants after keeping it for a day or two. This will help dissipate the Chlorine which damages the plant.
A Few Tips For The Indoor Gardener While all plants are quite apt to prosper indoors, they do need more or less the same conditions to grow as outdoor plants do. These conditions are a good supply of fresh air, proper sunlight, water and nutrients such as plant food commonly known as ‘fertilizer’. We will include here a few tips that are sure to make your indoor plants grow healthier and add beauty to your surroundings. Ever notice how plants will face the source of sunlight? This is because the sun is the main source of their nutrition. Plant leaves change water and nutrition from the soil to food through a process called ‘photosynthesis’. A couple of hours of sunlight is a must for your indoor plants. If you do not have a place where you can have adequate sunlight, and cannot move the plants you should consider purchasing a couple of indoor gardening lights. Ordinary lights will not do. Indoor gardening lights provide enough of ultraviolet light to nourish the plants. Provide adequate water to your plants. Your indoor plants need ‘room temperature’ water to survive. Do not over water the plants, most plants die due to a lack of water or a surplus of it than they do of any other reason. Follow a rule of thumb, like you test a cake you should pierce a knitting needle into a plant container. If the needle goes in with ease the soil is just the right dampness, if not increase the quantity of water a bit. Fertilizers are also important, once a fortnight add a scoop of indoor plant fertilizer to your plant pot. Used tealeaves are also a very good supply of nutrition to your plant. Follow these simple tricks and you will see your indoor garden prospering very soon.
Humidity: The Destroyer Of Household Plants Though humidity is rarely found in the house, it is always good to keep an eye out for a plant that is being affected by humidity. If you notice rot, mildew or mold, it is time to get some ventilation in the area or else lose your precious indoor plants. Contrary to high humidity low humidity could also adversely affect the plants by sapping them of their water content faster than they can replenish it. Some of the signs of low humidity are brown leaves, wilting, buds dropping, and low humidity which is especially prevalent during the winter months, especially if it is too cold and you use heaters in the house. If you follow the few ways to regulate the humidity at proper levels you will have a beautiful and healthy indoor collection of plants. * Do not keep to a schedule to water plants. Check the soil in the pot before adding water. Water when you feel it is necessary not because it is time to water the plants. * Use a mixture of soil and fertilizer that will hold water for longer periods. A sandy mixture will allow water to drain out easily. * For low humidity, install an electric humidifier to raise the humidity level and a dehumidifier if the humidity level is too high. * Keep plants in a place that is free from a draft. Such a location is bound to dry the plant. * If you have many small pots of plants or flowers, make a large tray and fill it with marbles or pebbles. This will keep the pot above the water and the evaporating water will rise and wet the plants. In the end, you will notice by regulating humidity levels you will have healthier plants.
Indoor Garden Tips For Beginners! Hey there, new gardeners! This one’s for all you kitchen garden enthusiasts that want to sow different varieties of indoor plants, both edible and the simply decorative ones too, who’d like to know simple, practical and home-grown wisdom regarding a garden that’s easy to maintain and provides for both body and soul nourishment. While some people have all the luck and also large spaces to maintain kitchen gardens, others like those living in apartments, small spaces or those bereft of a backyard can still indulge in gardening as a hobby with making the best of growing potted vegetables, herbs, floral plants and indoor greens. A good choice of flowering plants that do well even in limited areas of growth, like planter boxes and pots that have been prepped with potting soil are nasturtiums of the compact kinds such as Whirlybird and Copper Sunset. Marigolds, Iceland poppies and smaller varieties of sunflowers are other options that are sure to happy up your indoor garden area. These are short, easy to care for and not likely to take over your walls like trailing plant varieties are prone to doing! If choosing herbs for your indoor garden, even small tin-pot containers work well as long as you ensure the necessary sunlight (minimum 4 hours) and water nourishment is given them regularly; check a local nursery for pre-prepared soil-mixes as these contain the right balance of grub for indoor garden glories. Do check for proper drainage (at the base) for your plant containers or punch holes if these are missing, so the excess moisture escapes and your plants get the necessary warmth too. If planting herb seeds, try out an old home-gardener’s trick of pre-soaking them a couple of hours before planting in pots filled with potting soil; cover with a quarter inch more of soil after randomly scattering the seeds over the base soil and rosemary and thyme are sure to see you through the season with welcome aroma!