As spring approaches, people may consider reconnecting with nature. If short on outdoor space, consider broadening horizons through making an indoor garden.
Indoor gardens can provide a sanctuary for those wanting to reconnect with nature on a tight budget or in a small apartment. They can purify air quality and help improve health. Plants can be best friends. Studies have proven that plants respond to voices, so rest assured, plants are listening.
Here are some suggestions and care tips to consider for your indoor garden:
Orchids are epiphytes, or nonparasitic plants that grow on other plants. They don’t grow in soil, but rely on the air for nutrients. The term epiphyte comes from the combination of two Greek words: epi, meaning upon, and phyton, meaning plant.
They can be purchased at a plant nursery or your local grocery store. The most commonly available species is the moth orchid, which goes by the Latin name Phalaenopsis.
Orchids need plenty of light to produce flowers. If an orchid doesn’t have enough light, its leaves turn dark green. In contrast, if an orchid is getting enough light, the leaves are a lighter green color and will continue producing flowers.
To care for an orchid, give it proper ventilation because in the wild its roots are constantly aerated. Orchids can be watered as infrequently as once a month depending on the pot and potting medium in which they are housed. Fertilizer can be used every two weeks in the fall and winter and once a week in the summer.
Bonsai means planted in a container in Japanese. Bonsai plants are not genetically dwarfed trees, but are created from full-sized specimens. The goal of the bonsai is to create a depiction of nature in a small space.
Caring for a bonsai is a mixture of art and horticulture. Watering and light requirements of each bonsai depend on the species from which the bonsai is derived. Check out local web listings for places to buy bonsais and join a local bonsai club. Or, better yet, start a bonsai club at Pierce College next quarter. (Visit room C210 for more information on starting a club.)
Native to Tanzania and Kenya, the African Violet’s scientific name is Saintpaulia. The flowers come in varied colors, including purple, pink, burgundy and white.
African Violets are relatively easy to care for and take up little space. They adapt well to the dry indoor air and need plenty of light, although direct sunlight is not necessary. Soil should be kept moist, but avoid getting the leaves wet because they are susceptible to getting light-colored spots or rings.
These are a few suggestions, a wide variety of houseplants, herbs and even fruits can be grown indoors.
Take a trip to the local nursery and consider bringing the natural goodness of plant life into an indoor environment.
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