Indoor gardening may seem intuitive – but you’re tasking a plant which normally lives outdoors and has access to plenty of sun, water, and soil – to live completely away from its native elements. As long as you can offer these things to your plants, they should be able to live indoors just fine.
Don’t worry, you can easily and inexpensively acquire anything you need to live in harmony with nature, inside your home. And we won’t even ask you to sing to your plants – that’s entirely optional.
As a general guideline, make sure that your plants and supplies are going to fit in with your aesthetic before you purchase anything. That being said, here are five absolutely essential gardening supplies that will help your indoor plants thrive.
1. Clay Pots
Your plants need a place to live inside your house. A pot holds soil, keeps your plant in place, gives some space for roots to grow. Clay pots are extremely useful for plants that die easily from overwatering and soil that’s too moist.
Succulents, cacti, and rosemary are examples of plants that were bred in the desert, so they like it dry. These are perfect candidates for clay pots, although all plants can be grown in them.
Clay is porous, meaning there are little micro holes all over. These pores allow air to exchange with the soil, but they also allow for some water drainage into the pores. The thickness of the clay offers a more stable temperature, and makes house plants harder to knock over, because they’re heavier.
But we love clay pots because they’re natural, look great, and match with most plants! They’re also environmentally friendly to make, or to compost over time, if they do end up broken.
2. Support Structures
Some plants, especially vines, like to wrap around things in the wild. If they’re not in the wild, you will need to provide that support structure. We recommend getting a trellis, since your arm may grow tired if you hold it in place and wait for the vine to wrap.
You can find beautiful, functional trellis, spindle, or arched supports at your local gardening store, or online. If you’re on a budget, you can use an outdoor stick, or bamboo.
Make sure your support structure is firmly anchored in the soil, and able to support the plant’s weight as it grows. Occasionally, you may need to guide your young plant by gently wrapping its new vines around the support structure. Take a picture, because they grow up so fast! Unless they’re hanging vines – then they grow down so fast.
Plants naturally need soil with decaying matter, microbes and all kinds of squirm-inducing things found in the wild.
Fortunately, people have come up with all kinds of different fertilizers so you literally don’t have to get your hands (too) dirty. While there are some disgusting chemical and synthetic fertilizers to be found (plant steroids) we recommend usings 1 cup of liferocks to 1 gallon of soil.
Liferocks offers on-demand plant nutrition by interacting with the ionic exchange in the plant’s roots. Originally designed for astronauts to grow plants as we colonize outer space, they were made available to us in an “ah-ha!” moment by some genius people who saw another use for home gardeners here on earth. It works and smells better than “compost tea” which is fermented rabbit poop (which smells exactly how it sounds it would smell like).
Plus, liferocks lasts for 5+ years, is better than sustainable because it leaves soil even better than when it started, never has to be discarded, and they’re compatible with every type of plant on earth (and probably space).
4. Plant Trays & Plant Stands
Unless your house is already set up with spaces to place your plants, you can add support and beauty to your indoor plants by placing them in either a plant tray, for clusters of smaller plants, or fairy gardens, or into a plant stand, where they will find a new home within your home.
A plant tray can double as a humidity tray and aid in proper drainage. It makes a beautiful tiny indoor garden to either put multiple plants, or add in cute tiny elements that will possibly make your guests weep with delight.
A plant stand, available in both tiers, or shelves, is for larger plants and requires a little more floor space. But it can add an Instagram worthy aesthetic into any small space. As an added bonus, they scream, “I intentionally work from home and this is my professional, curated office!” during zoom meetings.
5. Compact Watering Can
All plants need water in some form or another. Unless you have a bromeliad that sucks moisture out of the air, or an orchid that gets an ice cube or two per week, you will need to offer water to your plants.
An outdoor watering can will not work indoors, because they’re messy and the pour spout which distributes water well in a broad area out there, will simply spill everywhere and cause water damage inside your home.
Yes, you can just use a measuring cup or a small pitcher to water your plants, but a compact watering can offers you much more control and the ability to reach in under plant foliage to get water directly to the base, not just on the side of the planter, where the water may be out of reach of the roots.
Imagine feeding your kids and setting the food on the other side of the table where they can’t reach it, and also your kids can’t move for some reason. Because in this analogy, that’s what’s happening with your plants. We also recommend using filtered, or purified water so you’re not dumping heavy metals, or chlorine all over your flowering friends.
It may seem incredibly obvious, but most plants need sunlight to help them photosynthesize (turn sunlight into sugar). Even cacti do this, but with their stems and not their leaves, since they don’t have any.
Make sure you investigate how much sunlight your plant needs and plan accordingly, setting it closer, or farther from windows or other light sources, if needed.
If you live in a basement, or a space with no windows, you can always get an inexpensive grow light to help your definitely-not-illegal plants enjoy some much-needed artificial sunshine.
A nice home like a clay pot, a trellis if they need to stretch, some liferocks plant food to keep them healthy for years, a plant tray, or plant stand to show off, and a watering can to get wet. Your plants don’t need much, but these basics should keep them nurtured for many years to come. You can also reuse or repurpose most of these supplies once your plant’s life comes to an end, and it’s time to get a new one!
What do you think about this list of gardening supplies for your indoor plants? Is there something that you love that we missed? Leave us a comment below, because we would love to hear from you!