Give Your Winter Blues a New Hue

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You’ve probably been stuck indoors daydreaming about the color green for months. You’re not alone! One strategy to beat this symptom of the winter blues is to start keeping an indoor garden. In addition to improving your overall happiness, keeping indoor plants can actually improve the air quality of your apartment or home. According to a study by NASA, there’s evidence that house plants reduce the amount of formaldehyde, ammonia and carbon dioxide, while also increasing the amount of oxygen. To find the right plants for your lifestyle, do your research and start small. Good plants for beginners are aloe vera, succulents, cacti, spider plants, lucky bamboo, varieties of ivy, varieties of rubber plants, varieties of pothos and more!

Indoor plants have three simple needs: good sources of light, water and nutrients in their soil. According to the University of Georgia, maintaining the source of light is the most important thing for your plants. The part of your room, house or apartment that gets the most light for the most hours of the day is the best place for your plants. Plants in darker living spaces would benefit from an LED lamp, which can be found at hydroponics shops and websites like Amazon. Hydroponic shops tend to offer more complex and expensive solutions, but Amazon features very simple LED lamps that will only cost you $10.00 to $20.00, and significantly improve your plant’s light source.

The biggest mistakes that beginners make are overwatering and not fertilizing. The easiest way to avoid the first is to only water your plant when the soil is completely dry. You can also use a calendar to keep track of the days you watered. As you select varieties of plants for your garden, research how often they require fertilization. By keeping up with fertilizing, your plants will grow much more quickly.

So, you’ve learned how to get going, now where should you go to buy your plants? If you don’t have many options for gardening stores in your area, don’t fret! Large grocery stores often sell succulents, cacti and aloe vera. You can also explore The Sill, a website that offers indoor varieties starting at $5. On March 24 from 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., the MSU Horticulture Gardens is having a Spring Make & Take event where visitors will create spa blends, make kokedama moss balls and more! The MSU Horticulture Association also features an annual show and plant sale on April 21 and 22. You can find more details for both events on Facebook.

Now stop daydreaming about the color green, and go start your garden!