How to grow your first indoor garden

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How to grow your first indoor garden

Editor's Note: This a guest post from Darlene Mase at Zumper.

Gardening is not a hobby reserved for homeowners with acres of yard space at their disposal. Even those living in the tiniest apartment can enjoy a nice home garden — and can do it without draining their budget. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Decide on your plants

Are you looking to add a pop of color with some flowers? Perhaps you're looking to add some moisture to the air with a tropical Dieffenbachia plant. Maybe you're just hoping to see if you can keep something alive and want a low-maintenance succulant or cacti. Whatever your preference, there are plenty of options — many of which won't cost your entire paycheck.

Start small

If you’re just getting into gardening, start with one or two plants. If you start out with more, you might get a little overwhelmed. Plus, you don't want to invest in too many plants that don't end up working out.

Plant companions together

In the spirit of keeping it simple, try to choose plants ones that have the same water and sunlight requirements. This is especially true if you're planning to put them in the same pot.

Consider the room

Remember to choose plants that won't grow too large for your space.

Find the right planter box

Choose a chic vase or planter to compliment the look of your garden. Don't forget about your plant growing — choose a box or pot that allow room for growth. That way, you won't have to pay for multiple pots.

Know how much water your plant needs

Before you water your houseplants, it's a good idea check the soil. Simply touch the soil and feel if it's still damp from its last watering. If the top layer is still wet, your plant doesn’t need more water just yet.

Plant root systems need air to breathe, and if the soil is oversaturated with water, air can’t get to the roots, which can cause the plant to suffocate.

Invest in a spray bottle

Spritz your plants’ leaves on a regular basis. Doing so will remove dust and allow the plants to breathe better. When dust blocks the leaf’s stomata (breathing pores), the light the plant can absorb is diminished, which can harm the plants ability to grow and thrive. Note: There are some plants that this isn't good for, so make sure you read up to make sure it's a good option for your garden.

Say no to bugs

Indoor plants can get bugs — like aphids and mites — but it's possible to get rid of them using household items instead of expensive pesticides. There are some good suggestions here.

As a preventative, remove any dead leaves that have dropped to the soil because this provides a breeding ground for pests.

Image: MichaelGordon1