Just because the temperature is dropping doesn’t mean you need to drop the shovel and trowel. Bring the fun indoors by creating an indoor garden. While this may seem space-consuming and messy, it doesn’t have to be. You can even get the kids involved. When you’re feeling the winter blues, gardening can help boost your mood. Indoor plants also reduce noise, create fresh air, and add a lively touch to your decor. Indoor gardening is also a great alternative when you don’t have a spacious and sprawling backyard. If you live in an apartment or are looking to move into one, you can embrace green by going small. All you need for a healthy indoor garden is a balcony, window, or just a great lightbulb.
1. Get Creative and Build a D.I.Y. Tiered Garden
A great tiered planter will save you space in a small apartment, be a fun project with the kids, and maximize your natural light. To create a water-efficient tiered planter, stack terracotta or plastic pots on top of one another. You can even use old baking pans. Stack them in size order from smallest on top to largest on the bottom. When the kids water the plants, you can have them just water the top pot until it pours over.
You will want to keep the most drought-tolerant plants on the bottom tier and the plants that need the most water on the top. Place your planter near a light, bright south-facing window. Rotate the tiered planter every couple of days to share the gift of the sun with all your plants. If you’re looking for creative ways to decorate small spaces in addition to adding some beautiful plants, try doing it yourself!
2. Let Your Plants Climb or Spill Over
Try installing a vertical garden in your kid’s room or the family room to keep the kids connected with the natural world. Some plants naturally grow upward while other will naturally spill over the edge. Try hanging a Devil’s Ivy in the window. This beautiful plant topples over the side of the pot so its branches make a natural mobile or dream catcher.
You can also create a vertical planter with the kids. You can easily make a vertical planter system by placing pots in a hanging shoe rack or attaching soda bottles vertically to one another so the excess water will drain down.
3. Winter is Dark, But You Can Find the Light
Some of your plants, like your succulents, will need to winter inside, these are great go-tos for your indoor garden, too. But the secret to indoor gardening success is to be aware of your plants’ lighting needs. If you order your plants online or go to a nursery, you should be able to discover their needs quite easily. Otherwise, ask a fellow gardener or Google it. Plants that grow in partial shade or shade will be fine by a window. You can also add a Halides or Compact Fluorescent Lights nearby for plants that seem hungry for extra light.
Some fun indoor plants include Lucky Bamboo, which you can grow in just water. Try slowly spinning it. As time progresses, your bamboo plant will become warped by always slightly reaching toward the sun. This makes a great educational experience for children.
4. Small, Low Maintenance Plants are Great for Beginners
If you don’t seem to have a green thumb or your children are ready to have their own indoor garden, try succulents. They’re just as easy to care for as cacti without the thorns. You will have to remind the little ones that they can drown, though. Only water them once their soil turns dry. But they can live for weeks if you forget to water them or you’re going away on a family holiday, and they don’t need as much sunlight as other plants. You can even create a breathtaking container garden with colorful and quaint succulents. Let your kids pick out a few and help you arrange them in their pot.
5. Find the Space You’re Not Using and Green it Up
Send the children on a search-and-find mission for the nooks and crannies of your house that you’re not using. Then, let them choose a spot or two to house a plant. Adding green in areas that are overlooked can help beautify the space and boost your mood in the wintertime. We often ignore darker, dimmer areas, so if this is the case, you may even want to brighten those areas with a lamp and a new plant. Choose plants that don’t require a lot of light. Creeping Fig and Maidenhair Fern are excellent options to bring a little garden cheer inside.
As winter comes and passes and you find yourself ready to emerge into the sunlight, you won’t feel like you wasted an entire winter without getting your hands dirty. Once you get the hang of indoor gardening, try planting some carrots, beets, or herbs, and get ready to repair your lawn.