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Indoor gardening involves a lot more than plants and soil. In order to have successful indoor plants, you need the proper tools to help you care for them in the best way possible. If you’re not sure where to begin or if you’re looking for a gift for the gardener in your life, here are the basics to get you started.
Houseplants need just as much regular pruning as their outdoor counterparts. However, it’s more likely you’ll be pruning much smaller plants indoors. This is where a small set of pruning scissors comes in handy. Clipping away dried stems and foliage and separating roots while repotting a plant are some of the most common uses for small pruners. Rather than use household scissors for these tasks, using a dedicated tool will help keep them sharp and prevent the spread of bacteria.
Many plant pots come with matching saucers, but for those that don’t it’s helpful to have a few simple planter trays. Planter trays help prevent water damage to surfaces when a freshly watered plant is still draining from the bottom of the pot. While letting your plants drain in the sink can work, those with a lot of plants or busy sinks will find that having some simple plastic trays available makes watering days quicker and easier.
Some houseplants can grow to be enormous with age and proper care. Larger plants need larger pots with more soil and when all combined it’s easy to end up with an extremely heavy plant. Plant caddies are essentially small platforms on wheels that you can place under your larger plants to make them easier to move. They come in a variety of materials and sizes depending on style preference and weight you need to support. While your every day 6-inch house plant likely won’t need its own caddy now, get one before it grows too large to move comfortably.
Many new plant owners learn the hard way that it’s easier to kill houseplants with over-watering than with under-watering. Unfortunately, even with best intentions it's difficult to determine how much water a plant actually needs. A simple moisture meter has a long sensor attached to a gauge you can use to read the moisture levels in the soil. A quick check into the planter will tell you immediately whether it’s time to water or if it’s time to hold off and can also help troubleshoot drainage issues with potting mixes or containers.
There’s a good reason outdoor gardeners keep potting benches. Having a dedicated work space and area for your tools makes caring for your indoor plants easier too. Regardless of where you store your supplies, make sure you consider these suggestions to make sure you cover all the basics of plant care.