9 Indoor Gardening Mistakes
When you first bring a new plant home, you are excited to have it and take good care of it. However, sometimes, things do not go as planned, and your plant suffers.
Yellowing leaves, shriveled flowers, and wilted foliage are all warning signs that your plants are experiencing some problems. But why do your plants start dying all of a sudden when you’ve done everything to ensure their health?
In most cases, we end up making some common indoor gardening mistakes, which lead to many problems in our plants. Today, let’s take a look at 9 common indoor gardening mistakes we make that may not be obvious to us, but hurt our plants badly.
Not doing proper research about the plant
Since you are creating your garden, you should first research your plants to determine how they should be maintained. Since you are beginning to make your garden, you must learn the basic care for each type of plant.
It is important that you conduct thorough research in order to avoid wasting time, money, and resources. Therefore, we suggest you begin researching with small and easy-going plants. These hardy plants can tolerate some neglect.
If you have completed the research, you can prevent your plant from dying or going through unnecessary problems. Each plant has various needs, some need more light, and some may survive in low light. Some are drought-tolerant, and some may wilt once the soil dries.
Buying sick plants in the first place
Gardeners who buy a sick plant are doing themselves a disservice, and if this is your first time gardening, sick plants will surely crush your garden dreams.
A sick plant will complicate matters not only for the planter but for the rest of the plants as well. Ill and weak plants are time- and resource-wasting and will not come back healthy.
Buying plants at a reputable nursery is an ideal way to avoid this problem. They have healthy and disease-free plants, plus they will help you choose the one that is best for your growing environment, and they will answer any questions you have when choosing plants.
The quality of the plants you will get at nurseries is better than what other stores provide, and the staff may not be able to provide you with appropriate knowledge and advice on the plant. Buy plants that look healthy; it will save you from harm.
You should separate any new plants from your older ones. If their condition is poor, you may not be aware of it, so keeping them apart helps you discover that and preserve other plants. If you mix them all up, diseases and pests will spread among all of them.
Not watering your plant right
The first thing a beginner has to learn is how to water properly. Since we’re told in every article to follow a schedule for watering our plants, leaving your plants out might harm their health. There isn’t one right schedule for watering.
Watering their plants blindly according to a regime is common practice for planters who do not check on them to see if they are satisfied with the regime.
It is important to water the plants, but not in a routine manner without checking on them, so they must be checked before you water them.
It is crucial to consider the environment when watering your plants. For instance, if you follow a weekly watering regime in the summer, you need to change it if the temperatures drop.
When checking the soil moisture, it is impossible to tell if the soil is dry visually; you need to rely on the results to properly water them. Following a couple of steps will help ensure the right amount of watering.
You can tell if your plant needs water by observing wilting leaves or droopy stems. But you should validate any assumptions you make before making a decision as it may be caused by other factors, such as pest infestations, diseases, etc.
The soil at the border can tell you whether the soil is dehydrated. If the soil is pulling away from the sides, it is dehydrated. You can touch it to feel it.
For checking the soil moisture with your finger, dig up to 2-3 inches of soil and thin it out. If the soil does not feel dry to your finger, wait a few more days before watering the plants.
Your plants will prefer a particular climate, so it’s best if you learn how it likes its soil to stay wet between waterings. For instance, some like it moist, while others prefer it dry.
When you keep a saucer under your pot, the roots will get wet due to keeping it wet all the time. This will eventually affect all the roots and ruin the plant.
Although you might suspect that you are watering your plants correctly, the root system inside them is dying and the plants don’t live. Empty the saucer when you water the plant so the roots aren’t sitting in water for too long.
Tip: Stop watering your plant as soon as you see a few drops of water come out of the drainage hole. This way, the saucer won’t overflow with water, and the plant will have an even watering.
Not providing appropriate light
Lighting is essential for plants to produce the energy and nutrients they need to grow. Different types of indoor plants have different light requirements. These requirements may also vary with the time of year and the stage of growth of the same plant.
Major mistakes are:
- Winter poses a greater challenge to the plant’s lighting because the light is weaker and may not be sufficient.
- Perhaps you are overestimating the amount of light your plant gets during hot weather and not providing them with enough light.
- It is possible that you are keeping your plant in the scorching sun when the light is intense; even just a few hours can burn its leaves.
Your mistake, and the problems you face, can be avoided by arming yourself with knowledge of your plants and their requirements. Knowledge is what makes you a responsible gardener.
Keeping plants that thrive in the light conditions of your home is crucial. You must find out how much light your home receives.
If your house receives less light, and for example your plants need brighter lighting, then you might look at growing lights to provide brighter lighting.
Plants can be moved outdoors safely if you take the proper steps and follow the right procedures, so as not to shock them. They will happily survive outside, too if you choose the right kind of spot for them.
Not using adequate fertilizer
The growing medium of plants in containers cannot provide them with all the nutrients they need. As a result, you either overfeed them expecting a larger plant, or you underfeed them, leading to weak plants.
Because the nutrients in the soil get flushed out through watering over time, the soil lacks nutrients that it cannot produce on its own. You should make sure the plants get enough food. Overfeeding may be harmful and underfeeding may make them weak and leggy.
If your plant needs high nitrogen content or high potassium, or balanced food, then knowing the amount and type of fertilizer depends on both the plant and the season. Applying the fertilizer will be influenced by whether the plant is growing in a greenhouse or a garden.
Some plants need heavy feeding, and others need light feeding. Some prefer to be fed throughout the year, while others require feeding only during the growing season.
Using wrong type/size of containers
Incorrectly sized containers usually refer to the wrong size of the container that you are using for your plant. If you do not use an appropriate container, the health and growth of your plant can be adversely affected.
It is possible to kill a seedling if you do not consider other factors. If the soil is too wet, the soil will never dry out, leading to the seedling’s death. If the pot is too small, then it will limit the plant’s growth.
In addition to not growing to their full potential in small pots, plants that prefer root binding tend to need frequent repotting, which can also shock their roots and stunt growth.
When repotting a plant, it is important to understand what it requires for its particular type. Repotting should take place only when the roots are visible through the drainage holes.
Another common problem for many planters is growing plants in containers without drainage holes. This usually happens when planters plant in decorative pots that lack drainage systems or holes that serve no purpose. This keeps the soil soggy and causes root rot.
Buying pots with a proper drainage system, such as clay pots, terracotta pots, ceramic pots, etc., is easy because they are readily available in the market.
Using wrong growing medium
Growing indoor plants in pots requires choosing the right soil mix and taking care of their nutritional requirements. Each plant has different requirements when it comes to its growing medium.
There are soil mixes suitable for a heavy mix and a well-draining mix. The soil mix is highly determined by the type and species of plants you grow.
Inappropriate soil mix can harm a plant even if other conditions are met, such as when a plant is grown in heavy soil but prefers porous soil mix, then lack of air and water flow may cause the roots to rot, leading to plant death.
Using gardening soil when setting up new gardens is one of the biggest mistakes beginners make. Garden soil is heavy, compact, and filled with bacteria, fungi that are not suitable for your indoor plants. They can damage roots, cause pest infestations, and lead to bacterial growth.
Compost should not be used alone to grow indoor plants. Unfortunately, many novice planters grow their plants in these materials expecting them to provide proper growth.
In time, compost deteriorates and will not provide the right structure for your plants’ growth. No matter how much fertilizer you add, your plants will always be lacking in nutrients. Choosing the right soil mixture is essential for a healthy plant.
It should have the ability to flow water, air, and nutrients with a high water retention quality and also be rich in nutrients. It should also allow the root system to move freely through it. But the optimal soil mix may still vary from plant to plant.
Growing too much at once
Beginners must also avoid over-commitment and over-doing their work, as that leads to disappointing results, drains you of motivation, and leads to burnout. Instead, we suggest you start slow, and manage your excitement.
A common mistake beginner gardeners make is buying too many plants at once, then not being able to maintain them, and consequently ending up losing them all.
New planters need to learn how to take care of each plant in a particular manner, which might take some time. Some plants need extra care; others are fragile so that routines or spots must be adjusted according to the conditions.
Start small by picking just a few plants, maybe 2-3 plants in the beginning. Don’t pick too many, whether they’re different or identical.
You should pick plants that require little maintenance and are of the same type in order to gain experience and confidence to increase the number plants in your indoor garden.
Not pruning your plants
Pruning your plants is like cutting them and it’s also beneficial for healthy plant growth. Unfortunately, most new gardeners aren’t very confident about pruning.
Beginners might feel that cutting off parts of their indoor plants would harm them, but it actually promotes healthy growth.
Cutting the branches at the right time and spot enhances their growth. Dead and damaged leaves must also be removed to prevent pest infestation.
Clipping your plants will encourage their growth and lighten the burden they place on soil and roots if they are weak.
Your plants need to be cut at the proper time and place. Keep track of their condition, cut their leaves when they begin to discolor or do not look strong.