Indoor gardens can use a variety of "house" plants mixed with colorful annuals and perennials. Because the plants are in containers, it's much easier to change plants that work and grow well with the season--for example, switching a pot of calendula for mums in fall or poinsettias in winter. Like outdoor gardens, indoor gardens should still have a theme and a design plan. There are several considerations, such as how much space you want to use, availability of sunlight and budget.
If you have a sunroom or a room with large windows, this is the perfect room for a garden. Other locations for a garden include a sunny foyer or entryway, a corner of a room that gets a lot of natural sunlight or a window sill.
Windows, particularly those with deep ledges, are great places for a small garden. Increase your space by installing glass or metal shelves between the window sashes, but be sure shelves can bear the weight of pots and soil.
Because the indoor garden becomes part of your home's decor, consider the color and type of container you choose. Clay, wooden or plastic garden pots can readily be purchased at garden shops, but other containers also work well for an indoor garden.
Tin cans, decorative vases, buckets and old cooking pots work well amid purchased plant pots. Metal wash basins and wooden barrels work well for larger plants. Hanging planters also work well for vine plants. Any time you recycle a container for planting, make sure to create at least one drainage hole and line the bottom with drainage material such as gravel or sand before adding soil.
The container should be deep enough for root system of the plant and large enough to allow plant to mature.
Soil needs to be rich in nutrients and lightweight enough to allow you to move pots and containers. Regular garden soil and topsoil will be too heavy for pots.
You can buy a soil mixture for container gardening, or you could mix your own soil. Mix 1 cubic foot of peat moss, 1 cubic foot of vermiculite, 6 ounces of lime, 6 ounces of bone meal, 1 ounce of blood or alfalfa meal and 1 ounce of lanbeinite. Water the soil after mixing.
Watering and Fertilizing
Younger plants with shallow roots need to be watered daily, older more established plants should be watered as needed. Stick your finger up to your knuckle into the soil. If it feels moist, the plant does not need water.
Container plants will need to be fertilized because the soil loses nutrients through watering and time. Garden centers have a variety of fertilizers and organic mixes.
Small trellises can be used for climbing flowers or an ivy in a large pot. Take your garden upward by using hanging pots on decorative hooks. Multilevel pot stands also work well to create symmetry and allow more space for small plants.