Tips on Growing Indoor Plants and Herbs During the Winter Months

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Apartment homes offer the same capabilities of growing indoor plants and herbs during the winter months as any other home does. It just requires a little bit more creative thinking to make it work in a smaller space. Selecting herbs and plants that thrive inside is key to growing an indoor herb garden and keeping plants in your apartment. Even if you are not an experienced gardener, it is possible to develop a green thumb for indoor plants and herbs, especially during the winter months.

Tips for Growing Plants & Herbs Indoors

1. Sunlight

Plants need sunlight, especially flowering plants. Find a window where the plants in your apartment home will receive six to eight hours of direct sunlight. If you do not have a patio or a window with access to a full day’s worth of sunlight, it might be best to select plants that require less sunlight to thrive or use a light that can mimic the benefits plants receive from direct sunlight. Avoid placing plants in the direct path of an air conditioner or heating vents, which can dry out the soil.

2. Soil

Plants depend heavily on soil as a means to absorb water, air and nutrients needed to thrive. Apartment plants have less room to grow and need to be planted in good soil in order to survive. Because of this, ordinary garden soil will not be enough for household plants and herb gardens. Selecting a potting mix that is well-draining, will provide plants with enough air, water and nutrients. In addition, a water soluble fertilizer can be added to the soil often providing the plant with the nutrients it needs.

3. Water

Potted plants need a lot of water and some should be watered multiple times a day. This can be done by using a watering can or bringing plants to the kitchen sink or bathtub. Before watering, check the soil by poking a finger an inch or two into the soil. If it is still wet, it does not need additional water. If it is only slightly damp or dry, give it some water. In addition to water, you may need to provide indoor plants with a touch of humidity. This can be done by using a spray bottle filled with water and regularly spraying down the leaves.

4. Tips for Growing Herbs

Herbs can be planted in small containers and set on a kitchen countertop or on a windowsill. Indoor herb gardens offer fresh herbs that are readily available for cooking. However, try to avoid over-harvesting the herbs because this may lead to the need to replace with a new plant. Allow time in between harvesting to allow the plant to recover and continue to grow. Keep in mind, herbs grown in an apartment will not be as full as plants grown in an outside garden. So ultimately, indoor grown herbs cannot be harvested as quickly or as often.

Taking care of an indoor herb garden is similar to taking care of house plants. However, there are just a few extra things that will help an indoor herb garden thrive in the winter. To help herbs grow, place the planter on the windowsill of a south-facing window for unblocked light exposure. Herbs will not grow or look healthy if they are not getting enough sunlight. In addition, plant the herbs in pots that allow good drainage. Pots and saucers are perfect planting containers for herbs. You must also closely monitor the temperature of the room the herbs are in. Ideally, indoor herbs prefer temperatures between 65 to 70 degrees F.

5. Best Plants for Apartment Living

You cannot simply go to the store and pick out any type of plant to grow in an apartment. Some plants do not grow well when confined to a pot, while others thrive in this type of setting. Here are some plants that are best for an apartment home:

  • Air Plant: This plant is perfect for apartment homes with pets that like to dig in dirt. The plant grabs moisture from the air, is soil free, easy to plant, and only needs a spritz of water every few days.
  • Bird’s Nest Fern: This fern is not like any other. It is capable of surviving in low light conditions and in average humidity.
  • Christmas Cactus: This plant blooms beautiful flowers in the winter and does not require a lot of direct sunlight.
  • Peace Lily: This plant helps purify the air, only needing indirect sunlight and less water in the winter months.
  • Philodendron: This plant is very inexpensive and easy to take care of with weekly watering and indirect sunlight.
  • Rex Begonia: This very colorful plant survives on little water, light, and fertilizer. Thus making it the perfect apartment home plant.
  • Snake Plant: The stiff green leaves are great for purifying the air and is another plant only needing indirect sunlight. This plant should be kept away from drafts and the soil should be allowed to dry out in between watering.
  • Spider Plant: This plant thrives in indirect sunlight and well-aerated potting soil. The plant can be divided and replanted in multiple pots.

6. Best Herbs for Apartment Living

When selecting herbs to plant in a kitchen garden in an apartment, you must first consider the types of foods you cook and the herbs most commonly used. Herbs are available as seeds or small plants and many can be grown in small containers on the countertop or windowsill. Below are some of the best herbs to grow in an apartment home:

  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Dill
  • Lavender
  • Lemon Balm
  • Marjoram
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Thyme

Many feel a drawback to living in an apartment is not having access to a yard where they can grow a garden. However, with a little bit of creativity and working on that green thumb, it is possible to have all the plants and herbs you need in your home. Having all of these in winter, helps make an apartment feel like a home and gives you fresh herbs at your fingertips for cooking.

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