7 gardening mistakes
Life Stages

7 Rookie Mistakes Indoor Gardeners Make

7 common pitfalls of indoor gardening and how to avoid them

Gaelle Gilles

It's springtime and you want flowers, I get it, I do too. But as I've learned plant care is a lot more than picking up a basil plant at whole foods and making sure the soil is moist. It happens to me every year around spring and summer. I go to the farmers market and pick up some mint, rosemary and the basil plant that never ceases to die on me. If I'm lucky only after harvesting once or twice.

Even though it sucks being in North America where you can't reasonably grow plants for food year-round without serious thought and effort, this year I took matters a little more seriously. I knew thousands have successfully grown and cared for simple indoors plants so I decided to give it a try. I quickly found out how clueless I was. I never considered how much equipment was required or how easy it can be to get carried away. I feel like what caught me off guard the most was how much I ended up caring about these plants individually. Throughout my journey, I've picked up a couple of tips you might want to keep in mind.

Gaelle Gilles

Not monitoring humidity

I think we all know to check our water but some plants are fickle and require a little extra care. I picked up a prayer plant because it was absolutely gorgeous and essentially calling out my name. But turns out it's extremely temperamental and shrivels up when hit by direct sunlight. It also likes moisture like a lot of moisture. It's an Amazonian plant that likes a lot of moisture. thankfully I have a diffuser that seems to help, and now I have more reasons to stack up on essential oils.

Not buying starting soil

So if you're like, me then around springtime you raid the aisles for your next seed starting adventure. I usually pick up a packet or two with huge plans that never come to fruition. I usually pick up those cute pots at the 5 below that have the soil pellets in them. WATCH THEM GROW!! But since I was trying for a few plants I picked up a seed starting kit and found myself with no soil. No worries I'll get some topsoil from outside, right? False, seed starting soil is necessary in order to grow thriving plants. Back to the store I go...

Gaelle Gilles

Glossing over plant care instructions

I know I'm not the only one who's picked up some tulips or roses at the store just to gloss over that care card they stick in the soil. It's so straight forward. Full or partial sun, moist or moderately soil and some temperature guidelines that I ignore because. Hey, I don't run the weather. I toss them and regret it three days later when the plant loses its luster. I know they're not ascetically pleasing their are necessary at least until your comfortable knowing the plants needs.

Not knowing your plant

This goes with the last statement. I hauled a bunch of seeds and containers from 5 below. They're touted as easy to care for and grow, but it's so misleading. I purchased a chamomile and lavender seed combo only to find out that lavender seeds take weeks to germinate and even longer to flower. While the chamomile took about a week. It's not ideal to have them in the same pot. Now I'm in limbo hoping my lavender will sprout.

Gaelle Gilles

Not knowing basic plant care

This may seem redundant but it's not. Knowing about and caring for one plant differs from caring for several. When you start to accumulate plants it's good to read about general plant care to know the different types of plants and how their needs vary. When you get to know more about horticulture, you'll notice plants can be placed in groups depending on their needs.

Being too ambitious

Being a plant lover walking into a nursery is like being well a journal lover walking into the journal isle at Target. I want everything, all those gorgeous plants and flowers. The more green stuff the better. But it's almost like taking in a pet, you have to get them ameliorated to your environment and learn to care for them before adding others.

Gaelle Gilles

Not having a plan

All of these mishaps could have been avoided if I started with a plan. Going to Home Depot and picking up whatever sounds nice is okay if your willing to invest some serious time and cash in the back end. It's better to think about what your needs are, what your space can handle. A good rule of thumb I follow now is “don't find a space for your plant but find a plant for your space".

*Don't forget to have fun with it

Gardening indoors can seem like a challenge but there are tons of plants that can thrive in a small or poorly light space. I'm a fan of climbing foliage and love the string of hearts plant. Looks beautiful and is relatively low maintenance. Also if you're green thumb is close to rotting away, pick up some succulents. They're a hardy plant that can take whatever you throw at it.

Happy gardening ;)

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Podcasts are such an integral part of some of our everyday lives that it can be hard to recall a time at which they didn't exist. Podcasts exist on about every single topic, from dating to celebrity gossip and Harry Potter.

Now more than ever, it's likely you're reeling from the news, and (hopefully) wanting to do something about it in order to educate yourself. Podcasts are one of the best ways to get the most up-to-date information in a conversational, personal way from some of today's top educators, scholars, and theorists.

Keep Reading... Show less

Stop Pitying Me Because I'm Single, I'm Very Happy With My Relationship With Myself

I don't need your opinions on why I'm single and you're not. We are two different people.

I'm so happy for my friends when they get into relationships, but that doesn't mean they get to have control over my love life, and that is what bothers me. For the record, I've been in four relationships, one lasting for three years, so I do understand relationships.

Keep Reading... Show less

13 Books About Race Absolutely Every American Should Read, Especially Now

Books about black lives, from classics to new must-reads.

It's likely you are seeing the current state of the world and wanting to do something about it. Whether you're only beginning to or wanting to deepen your understanding of the black experience, these books are precisely where to start.

Some, like Maya Angelou's "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, are classics you've probably heard of, but may not have picked up yet. Others, like Reni Eddo-Lodge's "Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race," are newer hits.

Keep Reading... Show less

What's Coming To And Leaving Netflix In June For Your Summer Viewing Pleasure

Just in time for another your summer binge-watch list.

Paramount Pictures

The first of the month is now here, which means we will be losing some of our Netflix favorites but gaining some new ones.

Here is a list of TV shows and movies we will be losing and gaining on Netflix during June.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

I Was At The Atlanta George Floyd Protests, Here's What It Was Like Before The Violence Started

What started out as a peaceful protest quickly resulted in destruction, with mixed opinions leading narratives on both sides.

When I heard about the protests happening in my city in honor of George Floyd, a black man who was brutally and fatally detained by police in broad daylight, I was conflicted about the best way for me to support a cause that I was passionate about. The senseless killings of people of color in America had been weighing on me, and I was eager for a way to help, to do my part. I wanted to be out on the ground with my community, having our voices heard. However, there was the issue of the coronavirus, a very real and troublesome threat that is still controlling our daily lives.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

If You Can Eat Crap And Stay Thin You Aren't Healthy, You're Lucky

A high metabolism isn't a get-out-of-jail-free card!

Photo by Tarutoa on Unsplash

Everyone has that one friend — the one who eats to their heart's content but never gains an ounce. Meanwhile, you feel like you gain five pounds just stealing a glance at a hamburger! My childhood best friend was like that, much to my chagrin. Anyone who hadn't witnessed her eat might be tempted to say that she was thin because of her diet, but she would sometimes eat a bag of Sour Patch Kids as a "meal." One time, I watched in awe as she chowed down on a "salad" made up of one part romaine lettuce, two parts shredded cheddar cheese, and two parts French dressing — it was nothing more than a red lake of dressing with bits of green and orange debris floating in it. Clearly our definitions of "salad" were quite different, as were our perceptions of a balanced meal.

Keep Reading... Show less

I Started Dating A Guy Before Quarantine, But Now We Rarely Speak Unless I Double-Text

"He's really nice and cute and I like being around him when we see each other, but he's awful at communication."

Each week Swoonie B will give her advice on anonymous topics submitted by readers. Want to Ask Swoonie B something related to dating and relationships? Fill out this form here — it's anonymous.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments