Beat the Heat with Indoor Gardening

If you need a green thumb fix in the middle of summer, but want to avoid the heat, house plants could be a good outlet. House plants are particularly common in urban areas, and taking care of house plants is a whole new ballgame from outdoor gardening. The types of plants for indoor gardening are different than outdoor, and light and water requirements can be vastly different. Since there is not enough time to dive deeply into this topic, this blog is a starting point for your hunt for the perfect house plants.  

Let’s start with some common indoor plants, though this is not an exhaustive list. Keep in mind that though there are general rules of thumb for house plants, it’s always best to research care for the specific plant.  

  • Money Tree 
  • Monstera 
  • Mother of Thousands (Kalanchoe) 
  • Philodendron
  • Pilea 
  • Pothos Ivy 
  • Snake Plant 
  • ZZ Plant 
  • Succulents  

When looking for the perfect house plant to freshen up your home, there are a few different options when purchasing your plants. 

  • Big box stores (Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart, etc.)-These stores carry some of the most common house plant varieties and often at a lower price than nurseries. If you’re looking for a common plant on a budget, there is nothing wrong with going to the big box stores. Just be sure to pick a healthy plant. 
  • Local nurseries-Less common varieties of indoor plants are often found at local nurseries, and the plants can be in better condition than the big box stores. The staff is knowledgeable about the unique plants they sell, and the nursery may even order specific varieties and plants for you. Some local Dallas nurseries include Bruce Miller Nursery, North Haven Gardens, Nicholson-Hardie Nursery, Calloway’s Nursery, Redenta’s Garden Shop, and Ruibal’s Plants of Texas.  

One of the most fun things about house plants is that many can be propagated very easily. Propagation means taking a section or cutting from a parent plant (the original plant) and creating a whole new plant from that cutting. The 2 main types of propagation are stem cuttings and leaf cuttings. Stem cuttings can be placed in water, which allow new roots to form before being planted in soil. This is a very simple and satisfying technique for many indoor plants and can provide some quick gratification for impatient gardeners.  

A quick note about light. Light can be tricky for house plants but is so important since they often receive indirect sunlight. Making sure a plant receives the right amount and intensity of light is key. Keep in mind that just because a plant does well near one window in your house, does not mean the same plant will thrive near a different one since the sunlight on each side of the house comes from a different direction at a different time of day.  

Beat the heat this summer by trying your green thumb at indoor growing and expanding your plant horizons! Even if you think you have a black thumb for outdoor gardening, indoor plants may be the fit for you. If you are looking for more details on how to care for house plants, check out The New Plant Parent by Darryl Cheng as well as Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s article on house plant care. Happy growing!