Christmas and holidays are over, the tree is gone and there’s empty space all around you. What to do? What to do? It’s time to garden indoors!!
Fun things to do indoors right now for adults and kids are indoor plants, dish and fairy gardens, and terrariums. Dish and fairy gardens are great activities for kids indoors right now when it’s cold and blustery outside.
Right now you may still have some Paperwhites or Amaryllis or Poinsettias still blooming from the holiday season. Add some indoor plants. There are many plants for every type of condition in your home. Low light, lots of lights, low moisture, high moisture, high heat, low heat. There’s no excuse for not being able to grow plants indoors. Just pick the right plant for the right spot and pay a little attention to it and you’ll be successful.
Some plants I like for those who think they can’t grow anything and are fairly indestructible are Spider Plants and Philodendron or Pothos. Check your conditions for where you would like to put a plant and go to the local garden center and get some help picking the right plants for the conditions. If you start with a couple of the plants listed here you should be off to a good start. They are really not too picky about where you put them. It’s really quite easy when you select the right plant for the right spot. When you purchase your plant ask about watering and food instructions.
If you are the type that worries about when to water, these plants can usually be neglected a little and when they start to droop you can water them and they will be ok. It’s better to under water than over water. These plants could be watered once every two weeks and they will be fine. They should be fed once in a while but they’re pretty tolerant about that too. There is a handy gadget called a moisture meter that has a list of plants and how moist they should be that you can get that are very inexpensive that will help you with watering. Just stick the wand in the soil and it will show you whether you need to water. Or stick your finger in it. If it’s dry about two-thirds down then water it.
Everyone complains about those little pesky black bugs that fly around. They are fungus gnats. If you have them, you are watering too much!! No exceptions, if you have them you are watering too much. Can’t say this enough. They didn’t come from the garden center with the plant!! To get rid of them let the plant dry out and don’t let the pot sit in water in the saucer. If you have a really bad case then sometimes you need to change out the soil but just don’t water too much to begin with and you’ll be ok.
All indoor plants should be in pots that drain otherwise you will get root rot (and fungus gnats!!) from the roots staying too wet. I like to take a decorative pot and I put a plastic saucer that will hold the drained water and I sit the potted plant down into the decorative container. When the plant drains it goes into the plastic saucer and the roots don’t sit in the water. Or, there are many fun pots with saucers included to put your plants in. Just don’t water too much and have the saucer constantly full of water. One thing that is good to know is you don’t have to repot a plant right away. Indoors plants can usually live at least a year in the pot they come in. Whether I use the decorative pot with the saucer method or use a pot with its own saucer I don’t repot the plant until the roots start coming out of the bottom of the original container it came in. Remember not to put anything over a heat vent or have extreme hot air aimed at them.
The local garden has dozens of small miniature plants you can use for dish and fairy gardens. They come in most indoor plant varieties and the blooming ones are so cute (if I can call plants cute). They are so fun and the blooming ones add some color to your home right now.
Fairy and dish gardens are very fun to make and you can put little decorations in them. Also fun to make are terrariums. The fun part is finding a container to put them in. You can use a pretty dish, a pot saucer, or find something fun at the local thrift or antique shop. Just make sure if it’s a dish garden that it can drain properly or you will get root rot. You may have to drill a hole in the bottom of the container so it will drain. Clear plastic saucers to put underneath them are available at your garden center. Fairy Gardens are a really fun and creative thing to do with your kids. There are fairies for girls and woodsmen and sprites and dragons, and unicorns and all sorts of fun things for both boys and girls. Fun for everyone!!
Terrariums are fun to do as well. I like finding interesting jars at antique stores to make terrariums or old mason jars or bottles. Finding the container is part of the fun. Since terrariums can’t drain and use the moisture from watering to make their own little eco-system you need several layers in your terrarium. First put some medium in the bottom, like clay balls or some pea gravel, take a coffee filter and cut it to fit over the bottom medium (so your soil doesn’t leak into the bottom), cover the filter with a very thin layer of charcoal (this is so the very moist environment doesn’t stink), add soil on top of that and plant your plants. The miniature plants are excellent for terrariums. It’s fun to put a little decoration like a bird or mushroom or other little figurine inside as well. Stop watering when the water starts to drain into the medium in the bottom of the jar. You don’t want the soil to be soggy. Close the top and it will water itself. Every couple of days you can open it and air it out a little. Water when it starts to get dry.
Fun projects for all indoors when it’s cold and snowy outside!
To see Rob’s segment about indoor plants visit: http://www.9news.com/rss/story.aspx?storyid=371511