Do your children have trouble concentrating? Do you battle to focus at times?
Don’t reach for the Ritalin, getting your hands dirty could work just as well.
According to the American Society for Horticultural Science, simply being near plants can help improve concentration.
That’s just another reason to grow plants at home, especially now that home schooling’s become more prevalent.
Here’s how to succeed at creating an indoor garden that’s functional and safe for every family member.
What Are the Safest Plants for Kids and Pets?
We hear horror stories about house plants poisonous to dogs harming children and pets far too often.
So, the most important thing about starting an indoor garden is to ensure you keep pets safe and protect kids from harm.
Always do your research before buying new plants for your home. These are the most common plants that pose a risk to the most vulnerable members of your family.
Toxic Plants for Pets
Tea tree oil is highly toxic to dogs. So if you have dogs. don’t even consider growing the Australian Melaleuca alternifolia tree which is the source of this antibacterial tonic.
Other types of plants with a bad record when it comes to cats and dogs are:
- Aloe vera
- True ferns like staghorn ferns
- Mother in law’s tongue
- Devil’s Ivy
Some plants are safe for pets but pose a risk to children.
Plants That Can Harm Your Children
Children can’t resist exploring the world around them. For smaller children, this includes using all their senses, including taste, to investigate new things.
If you have children living with you, avoid planting the following poisonous species:
- Peace lilies
- Dieffenbachia (dumb cane)
- Caladium (elephant ear)
Whenever you’re considering growing a plant always consult your nurseryman about whether it’s safe for every member of your household first.
You can also double-check with a reputable online horticultural site, or ask your local Poison Center for advice.
Easy and Safe Ways to Grow Plants Indoors
The best way to keep plants away from pets and children is to place them out of reach. Thanks to the excellent climbing ability and innate curiosity of cat’s this isn’t an easy task.
It’s not practical to keep food plants like tomatoes out of reach either. Yet, in large quantities, the green parts of the tomato plant are toxic to dogs and cats.
The answer is to grow your plants in a sealed or portable environment. These indoor ecosystems are the modern-day answer to limited outdoor spaces in city environments.
They’re specifically designed so that plants can thrive indoors while taking up very little space. Examples of these innovative units include:
- Self-sustaining planters
- Aero gardens
- Indoor hydroponic gardens
- Planting pods
- Smart gardens
Thanks to these technologies, you can grow more plants in a smaller space with these gadgets. So it’s easy to keep them out of reach of pets.
Growing Food Gardens Indoors
Now you can grow a wide range of small plants indoors and even start producing your own food.
Growing vegetables and herbs indoors is a worthwhile activity for children and teaches them about where food really comes from.
Different types of lettuce, herbs, micro-greens, other leafy greens, and strawberries thrive in a hydroponic system.
When you grow your own greens, you always have the freshest produce to hand and you’ll even save shave some money off your grocery bill.
How to Nurture and Protect Indoor Plants
If you’re using a Grow Box or similar hydroponic contraption, you needn’t worry about your plants too much.
They have everything they need inside this sealed unit. All you need to do is change the water occasionally.
Getting Started With Hydroponics
When you choose a hydroponic system, there’s less mess and no pests can access your plants. So, you won’t have any unwanted visitors popping in for a snack either.
These are the steps involved in starting a hydroponic garden:
- Choose a grow system that works in your space
- Pick a plant medium like perlite or vermiculite
- Plant your seeds with a seed starter or mat
- Install LED lighting for your plants
- Choose the right nutrients for your plants
- Pick your fruits and veggies when ready and enjoy!
Some fruiting plants like tomatoes need a little help along the way. You should promote pollination in fruiting plants by shaking them lightly with your finger.
Most indoor grow systems come with everything you need to get started growing plants indoors.
Tips to Grow Plants Indoors Without Hydroponics
All plants need a little extra care and attention if you are growing them in a conventional way.
Plants need at least 8 hours of sunlight a day, so you’ll need an elevated windowsill or shelf near a window for indoor gardening success.
Some plants can thrive in indirect sunlight, but you should proceed with caution in this respect. Most of these species make the list of plants that are unsafe for pets and children.
It’s important to research your individual plants to determine their needs, but there are a few general tips to keep in mind.
Planting your plants in pots with drainage holes and keeping the potting soil moist are two basic care tips for all plants.
With a little planning and help from the internet, anyone can grow plants indoors for everyone to enjoy.
Indoor plants are an asset to any home. They add life, color, and positive energy as well as improve the air quality of your indoor spaces.
For more useful tips on how to make your home a more exciting and enjoyable place, keep reading our blog.