3 Budget-Friendly Tips For Growing an Indoor Garden Like a Pro


3 Budget-Friendly Tips For Growing an Indoor Garden Like a Pro

Indoor Gardens Part II

by Yvonne Hanson

Yvonne works for Garden Works in Burnaby and is well known @ grow.over.it on Instagram for her beautiful indoor gardens-slash-jungle. Here she shares some tips for gardening on a budget.


Invest in bottle of rooting hormone and start propagating

Propagation is the act of growing new plants from a variety of sources: cuttings, seeds, rhizomes, and other plant parts. Basically using parts of a parent plant to make baby plants.

Propagation can save you a lot of money if you’re willing to invest a the time and energy into caring for fragile young plants. Many common indoor plants are very easy and straightforward to propagate. Pothos, for example, can be propagated by cutting one vine into sections and leaving each section in a vase of water on a windowsill until roots start to form. Snake plant can be propagated by cutting a leaf into sections and planting each section downward into soil.

Many succulents can be propagated by pulling off leaves and leaving them face-down on dry, sandy soil. Rooting hormone stimulates the elongation of plant cells, which will dramatically increase the likelihood of successful root formation in many species, making it an indispensable tool for propagating certain plants. Once you have successfully practiced propagating your own plants from clippings, you can trade clippings with fellow growers for different species and varieties. You didn’t hear this from me, but many garden centres have a wide variety of clippable plants just waiting to be propagated, and most employees would be happy to see you give it a go if you find a stray vine or leaf fragment laying around somewhere. At the peak of my own propagation obsession, I carried a wet paper towel around in a plastic bag in my purse just in case the opportunity to take a clipping from a rare or unusual plant happened to arise while I was out and about.



Don’t break the bank buying pots

Instead, check in the recycling of any local plant store or garden centre. There will almost always be used grower pots there, and employees will almost always be willing to let you take them home.

Make sure to wash all used pots with soap and hot water to kill any insects or fungus that may be living on them. If you want nicer looking pots, check out your local second hand shops and dollar stores, and hit up a few garage sales in wealthier areas of your city. I can almost guarantee you will find at least a few suitable vessels at any of these vendors. To save on pots and floorspace, don’t be afraid to plant different species in the same pot, as long as they are small and have similar light/ water requirements. I have a few wide, shallow, plastic pots that I plant multiple clippings in at a time, instead of planting them in smaller individual pots. Once the clippings are mature, I transfer them into their own pots and use the larger pot to start the next round of clippings. The bigger the pot, the longer it can go before the soil completely dries out, which means it can actually be a little easier to keep fresh clippings alive in larger, mixed pots than in small individual ones.



Start Small

Large, established plants are either very expensive, or suspiciously cheap.

Chances are, if you’re buying a 5 gallon fern for $13, its not going to live very long outside of the ideal conditions of the garden centre it was raised in.

Instead of buying older plants and hauling them home, buy a box of small 4” plants and plant them in some 6” pots so they have room to grow. Plants that have been stuck in 4” pots in a garden centre for months will often grow rapidly once transplanted. You can buy three common 4” plants for under $10, while 6” plants are usually around $8-$13 each. A healthy plant in a 4” pot will grow to fill a 6” pot in a month or two, depending on the season, saving you a lot of money for just a little patience.

MagazineYvonne Hanson