Maintaining a garden maintenance schedule is important if you want to see your indoor plants thrive. Scheduling times for routine plant care then is essential for raising plants that are as healthy as they are beautiful.
Pruning and Propagating
Prune your plants to encourage compact growth. Some plants, such as the geranium, can become long and leggy if you do not regularly prune them. Therefore, prune plants on a monthly basis, reserving heavy prunings during the spring and summer. At this time too, remove any faded leaves. Cuttings can be made during pruning to produce more plantings of a desired plant. Place the cuttings in a rooting medium. A nice mix is one-half part coarse sand and one-half part peat moss. Use a mister to give cuttings the humidity they need and aid in the rooting process. You can also encourage rooting and give cuttings extra humidity by placing them in an aquarium tank covered with a pane of glass. Rooting will take place in about three weeks. Provide bottom heat to the plants, not exceeding 80 degrees Fahrenheit, until they take root and you can transplant them.
Watering and Misting
Maintain a watering schedule for your plants, always watering them when the soil is dry to the touch. You want to keep the soil damp, not soggy. Always make sure that the water you use is room temperature too, as cold water can be stressful on a plant. Place your plants in a container that allows for drainage and water from the bottom as well as from the top. Watering from the top keeps the soil from forming a crust, which can cut off air circulation to a plant’s roots. Add humidity by placing the pots of plants on moist gravel spread over trays. The gravel is helpful in providing a surface so any excess moisture can evaporate. Always mist plants in the early part of the day. Doing so later can scorch the leaves.
Give your plants a monthly bath by combining a pint of warm water with a tablespoon of mild dishwashing detergent. Place the plant’s container in a plastic sandwich bag and hold the plant upside down, dipping the leaves in the solution. The bath aids in keeping pests away. If you find that your plant is infested, bathe it in the aforementioned solution and separate it from the other plants until you’re sure that the plant is pest-free.
The plants in your indoor garden will also require regular feedings of organic fertilizer. A good fertilizer providing a proper balance of nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) is recommended to encourage the growth and health of your plants. Feed newly transplanted plants that have been rooted from cuttings approximately two weeks after they’re been removed from the rooting medium. Continue feeding them bi-monthly along with your other plants. Typically plants can be fed in this manner from March to September. You can taper off fertilizing them during the colder months, especially during the dormant times of December and January when fertilization isn’t necessary.
Lighting requirements can vary to some degree, but, for the most part, make sure you maintain your plants in an area where they can obtain a good amount of indirect natural light.