Downtown Dame: a Raleigh blog

Growing an indoor garden

Mint at my house

Did the groundhog see his shadow in your town? Sir Walter Wally of Raleigh saw his, but I’m not fazed. Neither were the kids in my neighborhood yesterday who were still brimming with boisterous laughter until dark after a day of playing in the sun. I suspected they are playing one last game of Capture the Flag before their parents called them in to turn on the Superbowl.

(The Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson, played for NC State’s Wolfpack for a short stint.)

In honor of life, and of warmer weather to come, today I’m sharing my indoor garden with you. If you have any tips to share, please do!

In memory of John Seabrooke


♣ Winter months: fertilize and water less
♣ Spring/summer months: fertilize and water more
♣ Tap water has chlorine in it, allow to dissipate
♣ Or collect rain water / use distilled water


Phalaenopsis Orchid

Purchased: Kroger in January 2014

Natural habitat: Tropical rainforest

At my house: After research, moved orchid to desk area, added nearby lamp. Lives in a plastic pot with no drain.

Weekly care

» Water once a week, when top of soil feels dry
» Give air / space
» Temperature between 70-85
» Moderate to full light but don’t burn

Yearly care

» Will bloom for 3 months
» Once blooms die, cut right below first node, then repot into pot 1 inch bigger
» Put outside for 10 cumulative days of 50 degree weather in fall
» Will bloom again in spring

Peace Lilies (2)

From: Mom in January 2012

Natural habitat: Tropical rainforest

At my house: After research, moved to very indirect light. Both live in large, plastic pots with drain.

Weekly care

» Water once a week; plant will droop, don’t over water in winter, spritz in spring/summer
» Yellow or brown leaves indicate too much sun
» Don’t place near drafty/cold areas of the house, likes 65-80 degrees
» Indirect to no sunlight, fluorescent light is good

Goldon Pothos / Devil’s Ivy

From: Don’t recall, have had for a long time!

Natural habitat: Solomon Islands

At my house: On top of a tall bookcase, near a window. Lives in a clay and ceramic pot with no drainage.

Weekly care

» Low light, low water (once every 2 weeks or so)
» To keep bushy, trim right above a leaf node

Lucky Bamboo

(not really bamboo, is Dracaena sanderiana)

Purchased: (If I recall correctly…) Logan’s, 3-4 years ago

Natural habitat: Africa

At my house: I had potted Dracaena with an aloe plant. After research removed aloe and moved back to top of small table in kitchen. Lives in a tall, glass vase.

Weekly care

» Indirect sunlight only, clear vase and pebbles to encourage algae growth
» Cut back to encourage a more bushy plant, can get top heavy (3+ feet)
» Shoots will root in water
» Doesn’t like chlorine / tap water
» Repot / clean out vase every now and then


Purchased:  (If I recall correctly…) Logan’s, 3-4 years ago

Natural habitat: Arabian Peninsula

At my house: I had potted the aloe plant with Dracaena. After research, removed the aloe plant and moved to indirect but moderate sunlight. Repotted to a large, plastic pot with drain.

Weekly care

» Frequent water and fertilizer from April – October; allow soil to dry 1-2 inches from top
» Full, indirect sun and drainage; potting soil and pebbles like for succulents

Pixie Dixie Ivy

Purchased: Kroger in January 2014

Natural habitat: Northern Africa

At my house: Doing well on window sill at sink in kitchen. Lives in small plastic pot with drain.

Weekly care

» Medium, indirect light
» Water every 2-7 days


Purchased: Raleigh Farmer’s Market in January 2014

Natural habitat: Europe, Asia, Africa

At my house: Doing well on table at window (west facing). Lives in large clay pot with drain.

Weekly care

» Indoors, place near a window
» Plant in big pot with drainage
» Needs lots of water, once a day or so
» Cut sprigs and biggest leaves (use in tea or food) to encourage growth

Yearly care

» Repot every year, divide to encourage big leaf growth

Cactus and succulents

Purchased:  (If I recall correctly…) Logan’s in spring 2013

Natural habitat: Arid climates all over the world

At my house: After research, moved to a table by window (north facing). Lives in a glass container with drain.

Weekly care

» Growth period: spring to fall = Water once a week! Allow to soak and drain.
» Dormant period: fall to spring = Water sparingly, let soil dry out.

Rabbit’s Foot Fern

From: Mom, 1-2 years ago

Natural habitat: Southern US to South America

At my house: After research, moved under lamp and repotted into a small, ceramic pot with drain.

Weekly care

» Likes 60-75 degrees and humidity
» Water frequently, every 2-4 days
» During growth period: Spitz with water, fertilize weekly


Thai Basil / Lemon Basil
Sage / Thyme
More succulents
A friend is giving me a rubber plant / tree

5 Responses to “Growing an indoor garden”

  1. The Editors of Garden Variety

    Thank you very much for sharing your recommendations.

  2. Joe Payne

    This is great info. Will definitely be sharing with the missus as we look to get the most out of our sunroom. Looks like a trip to Logan’s is on the cards!


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