Indoor Gardening: Containers
Luckily for most of us gardeners, plants will grow in almost any kind of a container. Unlike some humans, they don’t care if their container is an expensive designer pot or just a simple clay pot. What this means is you can adapt all kinds of things from old pop or milk bottles to garden baskets or even waste paper baskets to create indoor gardening containers. Your choices are only limited by your imagination, crafting skills and perhaps your sense of style. Now, while appearance isn’t a prerequisite for a good indoor garden container, all good containers do need to have one common characteristic - they must be able to provide drainage so plant roots won’t get water logged and rot. Here’s some ideas on creating and using indoor garden containers.
Inexpensive ideas for creating indoor gardening containers
- Cut the tops off old plastic soda or milk bottles with a sharp knife, then puncture some holds in the bottom to allow for water drainage. For appearance, you can cover the bottles with tinfoil or spray paint them to coordinate with other fixtures in a room.
- Small inexpensive wastebaskets or gardening baskets can be easily adapted to make planters. Line the baskets with Coir (a coconut material) or polyurethane planter liners to hold the soil. The design of open weave baskets will naturally allow for drainage and you can create drainage in solid bottomed baskets by making a number of holes with a hammer and nail.
- You can even create hanging baskets from garden baskets since the handle is a perfect way to suspend the basket.
Choosing the right container for your indoor plants
- Choose the appropriate shape of container that your plant will have room to grow. Some plant’s roots grow out and around while some grow down.
- A healthy plant will eventually grow out of whatever pot it’s growing in. You can tell when the plant is too large for it’s existing pot by watching for tell tale signs such as roots coming out through drainage holes, the plant is too top heavy for the pot it’s currently in or there is very little sign of new growth. Any or all of these can be indications it’s time to repot and give the plant a new home with fresh soil.
- If you are going to be repotting your plants, using containers with perpendicular sides and a wide mouth or opening at the top makes the job much easier.
- When repotting, pick a container that is only one or two sizes larger than the current pot. Don’t try to save yourself some work by planting in a much larger container as you could damage or even kill your plants. The extra soil in the larger pot will stay wet and could cause root rot in your plant.
- Use fresh potting mixture in your new pot and fill the pot so the roots will be positioned at the same height as they were previously. This will allow the roots to easily grow down or out in their new home.
- Indoor plants should be planted in potting mixture which is usually a mixture of organic material like peat, vermiculite or perlite and sand (to provide drainage) with perhaps some slow release fertilizer included to help feed the plants. Don’t use garden soil for your indoor plants, it’s generally too heavy for the plant’s roots to grow in and it could even contain diseases or bugs.
Murray Anderson is an experienced freelance writer over 500 articles published on the web as well as in print magazines and newspapers in both the United States and Canada. He writes on a wide range of topics and is a regular contributor to DoItYourself.com. He can be contacted at [email protected].com.