Indoor Gardening Tips for a Guy Afraid of Plants

Those who are beginners with indoor gardens, or plants in general, need not worry. Knowledge comes through experience, trial, and error. Whether you want to grow plants for flowers, foliage or vegetables, there are a few simple steps at the start which can help you to better understand the basics and set you well along the way toward that green thumb.

Set Limits

Limit the number and type of plants you choose in the beginning. Keeping your focus narrow allows you to learn as you go. Some plant varieties are more forgiving than others. A hardy choice will be able to survive a few mistakes or missteps and even a bit of neglect. If you want many plants, consider choosing several of the same plant, such as multiple cacti or Amaryllis. According to the University of Illinois Extension, Amaryllis bulbs are among the easiest to grow and come in a wide variety of colors. For indoor vegetables, try a selection of herbs. Herbs are often tolerant of less than ideal conditions and require little care to produce well.

Educate Yourself

Read and retain the labels of store-bought plants. Most plants come with a tag or wraparound label on the container that lists all of the most basic information you need to start. You will find details such as the plant name and variety, conditions the plant prefers and how to transplant it properly. Use your local extension service to obtain information and helpful tips on the plants you select. A little research on the particular needs of your plants will go a long way toward success. Focus on the basics like soil preference, proper watering and light levels, then expand your knowledge from there.

Trial and Error

Obtain plants that are troubled by few pests or diseases. This keeps the maintenance low and your results more positive. Troubleshooting the few problems your plants have as they arise will give you valuable experience and confidence that you can draw upon when you expand your collection. Choosing to garden indoors offers advantages for the beginner because it is possible to control many of the factors that are difficult to influence in an outdoor garden setting. According to the Virginia Cooperative Extension, using containers can circumvent issues such as disease and poor soil. Artificial lighting can alleviate many other problems, such as adequate sun exposure.

Keywords: beginning indoor plants, beginning gardeners, indoor gardening

About this Author

Alice Moon is a freelance writer with more than 10 years' experience. She was chosen as a Smithsonian Institute intern, working for the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and has traveled throughout Asia. Moon holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from Ball State University.