Indoor Gardening Errors

Don’t Get Caught With Your Plants Down – Avoid These Common Indoor Gardening Errors

Ian Mutuli
Updated on

The fact that you’re reading this could mean one thing: – that you’ve discovered the benefits of indoor gardening and probably gotten started already. 

Of course, you can grow anything from ornamentals to veggies, or even fruits as long as you have the space and the time, but there are some mistakes you just can’t afford to make if you want to look forward to a bountiful harvest.

With this having been said, here are some common errors you should look to avoid when practicing indoor gardening.

1. Not Selecting the Right Soil for Your Indoor Garden 

Whether you grow your plants in containers or you have a dedicated area for them indoors, one thing is for sure. 

Once you decide you want to create an indoor garden, the soil will unquestionably be among your first points of consideration. It is the base on which you will grow your plants and keep them nourished, so the last mistake you want to make is choosing the wrong soil for indoor gardening.

Basically, the soil you choose should be lightweight and well-drained, more so if you’re going to use pots. It should also be nutrient-rich, pH balanced, and free from pests or diseases. Most importantly, it should be just the right type of soil for the plants you intend to grow in your home or commercial establishment.

2. Overwatering or Underwatering 

Overwatering or underwatering (or not providing enough water) is a common cause of root rot for many indoor plants. When you over-water, the soil becomes too saturated. The plant roots are in turn unable to get enough oxygen from the soil, leading to drowning in their own water supply.

On this note, different plants have different specific watering needs. Some may only require occasional misting with a spray bottle, whereas others need daily watering during hot summer months. This is to say that the amount of water your indoor garden needs and how often may depend on factors like.

  • The kind of plants you grow
  • The season
  • The conditions in their growing space

3. Applying Fertilizer at The Wrong Time

Applying fertilizer at the wrong time is another overly common mistake that indoor gardeners make. While it's true that fertilizer is an important part of successful indoor gardening, it's also a powerful tool with many negative consequences if used incorrectly.

Fertilizer products can be harmful to your plants if applied at the wrong time or in unusually high quantities. Also, it’s always vital to read labels carefully before using any new product.

4. Over Pruning Your Plants 

As you might already be thinking, pruning can be a great way to control indoor plant foliage size, shape, color, or even how your plants bloom. Well, you couldn’t be more right! Pruning can be useful for some cases, but not for others. 

For instance, an indoor garden with one or several aesthetic plants could benefit greatly from occasional pruning.

5. Not Observing the Right Temperature and Humidity

While some plants need high humidity levels to thrive, others do best with a cooler environment. Unfortunately, this is something many homeowners fail to consider when taking up an indoor gardening project, and it can hurt your expectations.

Let’s take succulents, for example. While they can go for long with minimal watering and care, these plants can be very sensitive to temperature changes and require proper ventilation at all times. It’s either this or their leaves could start browning or turning yellow over time.

6. Overlooking the Importance of Proper Lighting 

Basic biology has it, that light is principally the means through which many plants get the nutrients they need to grow and stay healthy – through photosynthesis. Different kinds of plants may need different amounts of exposure to light.

And if you’re growing them indoors, sometimes your garden or part of it may not receive adequate amounts of sunlight or natural daylight. Thankfully, modern technology has allowed the production of grow light fixtures that mimic natural light. What’s more, you can choose the option that provides just the right amount of light that your indoor plants need.

As much as indoor gardening is exciting and all, keeping your plants healthy and bountiful often needs more than just having the space and the will to do it. It demands some level of dedication, discipline, and bracing yourself up with the right knowledge.

The world of gardening can be complicated, but it’s also full of helpful people who want nothing more than to share their love of growing things, and you can thank some of them for the tips above. Besides these, you will also want to avoid growing species that need similar conditions too closely together in your indoor garden.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.