Growing plants in your home can be rewarding in so many ways. They can spruce the place up, they can keep you company, and they’re just overall incredibly pleasant to be around. Everyone has their own reasons to grow their plants indoors and you hardly need more reason than simply that it’s fun, but these are some of the greatest benefits to growing a garden within your home.
Fresh Organic Produce
When you have your own vegetable, fruit, or herb garden, you’ll always have access to fresh produce. But your crop isn’t ready to harvest, you say? When growing indoors, you can control the seasons. If you want fresh veggies all year round, stagger the times when you start a new crop. Trying to grow fruit out of season? Use grow lights and environmental controls like heaters, humidifiers, or irrigation to give them the perfect environment to produce their fruits. Growing your herbs indoors is always convenient, especially if you grow them in your kitchen, next to a sunny window. It’s a wonderful feeling to simply pluck a few leaves of fresh basil off your plant or snip off a couple chives and add your own fresh herbs to sauces, salads, smoothies, or any other recipe you’re preparing.
Protection from Weather
One of the major perks to growing your garden indoors is that you control the weather. There will be no sudden cold snap, no violent winds, and no overly hot days that cause your plants to wilt under the immense heat. Especially if you live in an area with extreme weather, be it snow storms or scorchers, growing your plants indoors prevents any harsh weather from damaging their delicate leaves. There are plenty of plants that are very hardy and can withstand a wide range of climates, but if you’re growing a more temperamental species, giving them a spot to live within your home will help them thrive. Establishing your plants indoors allows you to choose how close they are to a window, whether there is a draft on them or not, or supplement their light source with grow lights.
Protection from Pests
Weather isn’t the only unpredictable element that comes with growing outdoors. While it’s true you might see spider mites, scale, mealybugs, or any number of nasty little pests in an indoor garden, the likelihood of an infestation is much, much lower than when your plants live outside. When bringing new plants home, always be sure to check them carefully for any would-be interlopers, and even give them a few days of quarantine to ensure they’re safe to add to your indoor garden. It’s also much easier to keep an eye on your indoor plants and stop an infestation before it can really take hold. Insects aren’t the only pests your plants need protection from. Deer, mice, rabbits, neighborhood cats, there are many animals that love getting into your garden and snacking on the fruits of your labor.
Extend Your Growing Season
Even if you love tending to your garden under the open sky, there are still times when growing them inside can be beneficial. You can give your bulbs or seedlings a headstart on the growing season and start them indoors around 6 weeks before the last frost in your area. When it’s time to move them outdoors, you simply need to harden them off by slowly introducing them to the elements and providing them with a partially covered spot on your patio or a shady space on the side of your house. You can also keep your plants growing after their regular growth season is over by bringing them back inside, but keep in mind that moving back into a warm house can be a shock to their systems and another transition period in a partially sheltered area should be provided.
Plants create chemical energy to fuel their growth using photosynthesis, a system which uses carbon dioxide and water to create glucose, and in the process, oxygen is also produced. Basically, plants “breathe” opposite how humans do, carbon dioxide in, oxygen out. When you grow your plants in your home, this process allows them to act as natural little air purifiers. Many plants can also help to filter airborne toxins, dust, and germs, such as English ivy, snake plants, spider plants, and chrysanthemums.
Nothing brightens up a room like a big leafy plant or a gorgeously blooming flower. One plant alone can really add to any space, or you can set up a creative display with your garden to totally transform the room. Succulent arrangements, cactus gardens, or a windowsill full of blooming flowers can create an incredibly pleasing environment within your home. Knick-knacks can fill shelves and make your place look nice, but when you share your space with living plants, it just gives the atmosphere a much more vibrant feel.
Taking care of plants can be a lot of work. You need to remember to water them, make sure they’re getting the right amount of sun, and adjust their environment if their needs are not being met. Letting your kids help you grow an indoor garden can be a great hands on way to teach them about responsibility, caring for another living thing, and creating a routine that they’ll need to stick to. It can also be an excellent tool to help teach them about plant biology, life cycles, ecosystems, and sustainable farming. There are many gardening kits designed specifically for kids to make the learning experience even more exciting and engaging.
Plants can be great company, but tending to an indoor garden can go way beyond that. We have to care about the needs of our plants and this simple act can foster a greater sense of compassion. Plants will actually respond positively to people talking to them, but talking to your plants can act as a type of therapy for you as well. Pruning, watering, repotting, and many of the other tasks associated with caring for your garden can be very calming and therapeutic. Having plants to care for within your home can reduce stress and depression, while creating a sense that you aren’t alone. Some doctors actually prescribe gardening as a way to get exercise and improve mental health.
Gardening, whether indoor or outdoor, is both therapeutic and enjoyable while also creating a natural beauty wherever your plants are growing. Growing your garden indoors has a few of its own added bonuses that make your gardening hobby even more worthwhile. They next time you’re at your local nursery asking yourself if you should grab one more plant, think about all the great benefits there are to indoor gardening, then grab two or three and get your leafy new friends home and into your garden.