The Fencerow: Indoor Plant Care Basics

One of my favorite pastimes is plant shopping. I am giddy, and in full spring plant mode right now. We recently ordered seeds for our garden, and will be planting onions and potatoes later this month. We like to order seeds online from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. We also frequent Stillwater Milling, in Claremore. As far as flower gardens go, Sanders Nurseryin Inola, is my go-to. When it comes to having indoor plants, most people think that they have a brown thumb. But, keeping plants alive isn’t as hard as you think.

Here are a few basic tips on indoor plant care:

Water: Overwatering seems to be the most common cause of indoor plant death. In the wise words of my grandma, plants like a shower, they don’t want to soak in a bath. Most plants thrive when you allow the soil to dry out between waterings. I don’t necessarily water my plants on the same exact day each week. When the top soil (about an inch into the soil) feels dry, it’s time to water. Don’t be afraid to get a little dirt under your nails. Over time, you will have a better gauge of how often you need to water.

Light: Typically, plants needs at least six hours of sun daily. I find it works well to leave my plants in a south or southwest facing window. When I’m expecting company, I will move them to “their perfect spot,” this way I don’t have to shuffle them back and forth each day.

Drainage: Proper drainage is critical to plant health. I love my plants in old containers, or mason jars. Although meaningful and cute, there is a downside to using pots with no drainage holes. Pots with no holes keep all of the water in, and it is likely root rot will occur. I add a one inch layer of pebbles to the bottom of each pot. This creates a barrier from the water and the roots, and will decrease your chances of root rot. Terracota pots are hugely popular, and have proper drainage holes. My favorite planters are these concrete planters from The Makerage.

Fertilizer: I never thought to fertilize my indoor plants until my friends at Sanders Nursery suggested that I work slow-release, all purpose granules into the soil once a month, in spring and summer. It has worked like a dream (when I remember to do it).

I am a succulent junkie, and have them scattered throughout our house. Last year, I desperately wanted a fiddle leaf fig tree, but this year…the olive tree is on my wish list. Who has one, and do you love it?? What are your favorite plants to have inside?

-by Cassie Carriger
The Fencerow

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