Indoor Growing Guide
A perfectly placed plant can bring life to a whole room. Plants should not be an overlooked element in creating a warm and inviting room. For beginner gardeners, or even those with a year or two under their belts, the world of garden tools, materials, and supplies can be overwhelming. We provided this guide to help you decide what essentials you need to get started.
select your plant
HERBS & SPICES
recommended for 20w Aspect Growlight
Be sure to use a neutral and balanced sterilized compost based mix, with pH levels between 6 and 7, soils that have a high acid content will produce burnt out, tasteless herbs. You can boost the soil with liquid fertilizers or organic fish emulsion feedings when the plants are actively growing, this can help produce a boost to the growing cycle and create tastier herbs.
Basil is easy to grow from seed and will grow to about 18” tall. Basil will not do well in temperatures below 40°F. Prune often to encourage bushy growth. Surface of the soil should be dry before re-watering. Use any good potting mix.
Chives are extremely hardy and easy to grow indoors. They are best grown when a portion is divided from an already growing plant. Keep soil moist. If you notice your leaves turning yellow this means that you are not watering it enough. When harvesting chives, be sure not to take too much or you could damage the plant. Be sure to leave 2 inches of growth above the soil when you harvest the leaves and only harvest about half the plant during its first year. Chives prefer a temperature of 60°F to 70°F.
Cilantro is among the easiest herbs to start from seeds, it is best not to transplant these from your garden. When the soil is dry to the touch, water the plant until water drains from the bottom. The entire plant is edible, including the seeds. Cilantro will grow tall and wispy as it starts to bloom. The white flowers later produce seeds known as coriander. When cooking, roast the seeds first in a warm, dry pan until you can smell their nutty aroma; the roasting only takes a few minutes. Surface of the soil should be dry before re-watering. Use any good potting mix.
Garlic bulbs should be planted 2 – 3 inches deep with the pointed side up. Use a pot that is at least 6 inches deep and has excellent drainage. Plant garlic 6 inches from the next garlic clove. It is recommended to use a slow release granular balanced plant food. Surface of the soil should be dry before re-watering. Use any good potting mix.
Mint is a very hardy herb, if planted outdoors, it will become invasive and take over your garden quickly. Spearmint is the best variety to grow indoors but you might consider buying several varieties and planting them together in a 12 inch pot. You should plant mint in a pot that has adequate drainage. Try to keep the soil evenly moist but not consistently wet. Use any good potting mix.
Oregano is easy to grow from seed or rooted cuttings. Oregano should be planted in a container that has very good drainage. Be sure to let the soil dry out between watering’s. You should keep temperatures above 55°F for this plant to thrive. One 6 inch pot of oregano should give you more than you need for cooking and pinching off the leaves frequently will ensure that it stays bushy and full.
Transplant it from your garden or grow it from seed, but be forewarned that the seeds can take a long time to germinate. Parsley likes to have soil that is a bit moist but make sure you do not overwater it. If you want to stimulate growth, cut the shoots at soil level.
Rosemary is best grown by using a cutting of an existing plant since the seeds take a long time to germinate. Rosemary will enhance your home with a wonderful smell and beautiful purple flowers. Rosemary enjoys a lot of humidity and if you see your plants leaves turning black this might mean that your house is not humid enough. You can mist the plant to remedy this, but make sure there is enough ventilation. Surface of the soil should be dry before re-watering. Use any good potting mix. If you start to see the leaves turn yellow then you are not giving it enough water.
Sage is best started as a transplant or rooted stems. This herb will grow to a 20 inch tall woody plant. Sage needs good drainage and temperatures around 70°F. Provide humidity when growing sage indoors. Surface of the soil should be dry before re-watering. Use any good potting mix.
It is recommend to grow this herb by rooting a cutting. It grows to about 15” tall and does very well growing in pots indoors. It prefers a slightly alkaline soil. Surface of the soil should be dry before re-watering.
Dwarf Fruit Trees
recommended for 40w Aspect Growlight
Dwarf fruit trees make a great addition to any home or office. Even though they have a small stature, they provide an abundance of full-size fruit. You can approach indoor trees in a few different ways. Some people like to keep them indoors all year while others like to put them outside while for the summer. If you plan to keep larger trees indoors year-round, two or more Aspects may be required. Many fruit trees require amble light from spring through fall, and minimal light during the winter phase when they are dormant. Most plants will bloom once a year, but if they do not bloom, they are not getting enough light. Many of these trees will need to be pollinated if left indoors year-round.
Dwarf banana trees are a great addition to any home if you have the space. They will produce a large purple flower, which develops fruit. The fruit will be about 6 inches long and edible. When you first get them in stores, they will typically be small, but will quickly grow. The leaves can grow up to 2 - 3ft long while the plant can grow as tall as 6ft. Dwarf banana trees take a range of light, from medium intensity to full sun, but will grow best with more sun. When the plant is small, one 40 watt Aspect over the plant is sufficient. Once the plant grows larger, additional Aspects will be required to sufficiently cover the entire plant. It is not required, but helpful to locate the plant near a window for supplemental lighting. These plants consume a lot of water, so check on your plant often during the growing season. Keep the soil evenly moist in the spring and summer, slightly drier in winter. They like moderate humidity, with a temperature of 65 - 75°F (18 - 24°C). Use any good potting soil, and fertilize every 2 weeks.
Calamondin, or Dwarf Orange Tree
These are one of the best fruit trees you can grow indoors. You can expect an abundance of flowers and fruits beginning in its second year. Fragrant flowers will appear at the tips of branches during the summer cycle, followed by long lasting fruits. The fruits change from deep green to bright orange and do not need to be picked for months. You will usually see flowers and fruits on the tree at the same time. When the plant is small, one 40 watt Aspect over the plant is sufficient. If the plant is left to grow larger, additional Aspects may be required to sufficiently cover the entire plant. It is not required, but helpful to locate the plant near a window. If you choose to move the plant outside over the summer, place it under shade for the first two weeks before moving it into a sunny area. Pollinate your plant using a small paintbrush or cotton swab by transferring the pollen from flower to flower. When the flower dies off, fruit will begin to form. Dwarf citrus trees flower better when their roots are slightly constricted. Plants will not bloom if they are in large pots, so keep them in small containers. Use a pot that is about 6in in diameter until plants are 3 or 4 years old, then move up to an 8in container. Always use a pot with a drainage hole to prevent root rot. Use any good potting soil. We highly recommend fruit tree fertilizer to promote flowers and fruit.
Meyer Lemon Tree, or Dwarf Lemon Tree
These fruit trees are great if you want an abundance of sweet lemons every year. The fruit of this tree is a cross between a lemon and mandarin orange, providing you with a sweeter and less acidic lemon. You can expect flowers to appear in later winter and spring on mature 3 – 4 year old plants. When the plant is small, one 40 watt Aspect over the plant is sufficient. As the tree grows, additional Aspect units or supplemental lighting is required for indoor growth. Pollinate your plant using a small paintbrush or cotton swab by transferring the pollen from flower to flower. When the flower dies off, fruit will begin to form. To maintain a smaller, more bushy size, prune your plant back when new growth starts in spring. Pruning will encourage new branches to emerge from just below the cut. Cut at an angle just above a leaf node, where a leaf stem attaches to a branch. Water the plant thoroughly, allowing the surface of the soil to dry between watering. These enjoy moderate humidity, so misting the leaves may be necessary. Use any good potting soil. We highly recommend fruit tree fertilizer to promote flowers and fruit.
Olive Tree, Dwarf Olive Tree
An attractive tree for those who want something different. These are slow growing and keep their leaves year round. These grow up to 10ft when grown in a container while dwarf varieties reach up to 6ft. Pruning olive trees will keep them compact. These trees enjoy high intensity light to full sun. When the plant is small, one 40 watt Aspect over the plant is sufficient. As the tree grows, additional Aspect units or supplemental lighting is required for indoor growth. You may need to repot this plant every few years to a pot one size bigger. Always use a pot with a drainage hole to prevent soggy soil. Water thoroughly spring through fall. Allow the top 2 inches of soil to dry out between watering. Reduce water in winter while the plant is resting. Enjoys average humidity and can tolerate dry air. Use sandy, fast draining soil, such as cactus potting mix.
Easy to grow, small decorative trees. Produces a less sweet and smaller pomegranate, so many people do not eat the fruit. When the plant is small, one 40 watt Aspect over the plant is sufficient. As the tree grows, additional Aspect units or supplemental lighting is required for indoor growth. If the plant is not blooming, it is not getting enough light. Pollinate your plant using a small paintbrush or cotton swab by transferring the pollen from flower to flower. To maintain a smaller, more bushy size, prune your plant back when new growth starts in spring. Pruning will encourage new branches to emerge from just below the cut. You should keep the soil moist. Enjoys average room humidity. Use any potting soil.
Pineapple is a unique plant that is a tropical must have. You can sometimes find these in the stores already growing, or you can start one using the top half of a regular pineapple. Since these are very slow growing, up to 5 years before it produces fruit, we highly recommend finding one in the stores. These require high sunlight, but should do fine under one 40 watt Aspect grow light. These enjoy moderate to high humidity. Use a fir bark soil or commercial bromeliad mix. To force a pineapple to bloom, place ripening apple or apple core around the pineapple plant and cover it with a clear plastic bag for a couple of weeks. The apple gives off ethylene gas which promotes the pineapple to bloom.
recommended for 20w or 40w Aspect Growlight
Orchids are far tougher and hardier than most people think. Orchids are different from other houseplants as they do not grow in soil. Orchids can be grown in pots filled with bark, stones, orchid potting mix or other loosely packed material. Do not use any soil. Roots can even be exposed to the air and misted with water. Nothing kills an orchid faster than letting it sit in water.
You can water the orchids thoroughly about twice per week. If you are unsure if you need to water your orchid, wait a day. Also, keep in mind that orchids need less water during their dormant period. You can water them about once per week in the winter.
Another difference between orchids and many houseplants is that in nature most orchids experience a big difference between day and night temperatures. Manipulating the temperature of the home so it will drop at least 10 degrees at night, especially in fall and winter when many orchids initiate buds, will induce the orchids to set flower buds more readily. Warm-growing orchids, such as phalaenopsis, droop if temperatures drop much below 60 F. Intermediate growers, such as cattleyas, prefer winter nights around 55° F. Cool-growing orchids, including cymbidiums and odontoglossums, are accustomed to winter nights of 50 F. At the other extreme, most orchids perform poorly when exposed to temperatures above 90° F.
Most orchids enjoy medium light, but vary greatly. Be sure to provide at least six hours a day of lgiht. Many orchids can withstand more or less than the amount of recommended light, but providing more light enhances flowering potential. Conversely, inadequate light prevents orchids from flowering, although they will grow.
recommended for 20w or 40w Aspect Growlight
Grows well at medium light intensity. Provide light for 16 – 18 hours each day during the vegetative stage. Leggy stems and no blooms indicate that it is not getting enough light. These plants will fail to bloom if they do not get 8 hours of darkness every night. Keep soil moist but not soggy, it is best to water from the bottom. Keep their root growth restricted slightly, do not repot. Enjoys high humidity. Use peat moss or African violet potting soil.
Grows well at medium light intensity. The foliage will lose its variegation if light level is too low. Pinch off growing tips and stems to encourage the plant to stay compact. Keep soil lightly moist spring through fall, but drier in winter. Moderate to high humidity. Use any good potting mix.
Tolerates low light but becomes more dense in medium light. Prefers moist air, recommended to mist leaves daily. Surface of the soil should be dry before re-watering. Use peat moss based potting mix.
Enjoys medium light for long durations of 14 – 18 hours each day. Enjoys medium to high humidity. Keep soil moist, but do not allow the soil to get soggy. Use peat based soilless mix such as African violet mix. Provide good drainage. Overwatering will cause the leaves to wilt and turn yellow. Immediately remove infected leaves. After blooming is over, you need to make the plant go dormant. Cut back on watering so that the plant is barely moist, but not dry. Keep it away from light during this dormant period. In 6 – 7 weeks, the foliage will die. Remove foliage and leave 3 inches of stems. When new growth appears, repot the stems; you can discard the parent plant.
Cacti & Succulents
Most plants in this category enjoy high to full sun intensity. Keep the plants close to the source of light. These plants enjoy fast-draining, sandy soil. These plants have shallow roots making drainage holes unnecessary, just be mindful to not overwater the plant. Cacti need to be watered less often than succulents. Surface of the soil should be dry before re-watering, soil can become moderately dry before re-watering.
Cast Iron Plant
This plant tolerates cool locations, low lighting, and low humidity. It can survive infrequent watering and extreme heat. Easy plant to take care of! Surface of the soil should be dry before re-watering. Use any good potting mix.
This plant enjoys a high intensity light, average temperatures, and average humidity. Surface of the soil should be dry before re-watering. Use soil designed for flowering house plants. After 4 years, the plant produces sweetly scented white flowers, followed by green fruits which change to red then ripen to a black color. Inside each fruit is two seeds, which, when roasted, can be ground into coffee.
Enjoys medium light, but can tolerate low intensity to bright light. These plants are forgiving, but do not over water or over fertilize. Droopy, yellow leaves are a sign of overwatering and may indicate root rot. Be sure to use a pot with good drainage. Surface of the soil should be dry before re-watering. Use any good potting mix.
Crotons require high intensity light. These plants are not easy to please and require a warm, draft-free environment, moist soil, and humid air. Recommended to mist daily if possible. Dry air or dry soil will cause the leaves to fall off. Use peat moss based potting mix. Plant is poisonous; take precautions by wearing gloves and keeping them away from children and pets.
Ficus species: Rubber plant, Weeping fig, and Fiddleleaf fig
These plants enjoy medium light. These plants typically enjoy average to warm temperature and do not like temperature changes. They will drop leaves easy. Surface of the soil should be dry before re-watering. Use any good potting mix.
These plants grow best in medium to bright light. They tend to grow better when kept slightly cool indoors. They will grow as high as it is allowed. If the leaves dry out, mist the plant with water. Requires good drainage. Surface of the soil should be dry before re-watering. Use any good potting mix or flowering soil can be used, or soilless potting mix can be used.
This succulent plant is well adapted to indoor conditions. Enjoys high intensity light, but will tolerate low lighting. Allow soil to dry out between watering. Brown spots or dropping leaves means it needs more water. Needs well draining soil, such as peat moss or peat moss mixed with sand
These plants need medium light to flower but can survive in low light. Increase light if you are unable to get this plant to bloom. If it is an older plant, you can divide it in spring, which may encourage it to bloom. Keep soil moist, but make sure pot has good drainage Use peat based potting soil.
This plant enjoys low to bright light. Enjoys moderate humidity with average room temperatures. Surface of the soil should be dry before re-watering. Use any good potting mix.
This plant tolerates most lighting conditions, but keep it under medium light. Keep soil evenly moist. Average humidity is okay, but if leaves turn brown, raise the humidity. Any potting mix will work.