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Old 02-17-2019, 07:03 AM   #1
KD1980
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I'm thinking of getting some basil, and other herb plants for my apartment. Does anyone have any advice for growing and maintaining them? I'm not the best city gardener around lol.

What sort of plants (especially edible ones) do well in an apartment?
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Old 02-17-2019, 01:29 PM   #2
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Hm-m-m-m... well... I'm not the best person to be replying to your post. (I have a brown thumb. Any plants I ever try to grow turn brown & die. My wife is the gardener in our household.) A couple of things I do know, though, are that herbs in particular need lots of sunlight to do well. Plus basil, in particular, needs warm temperatures in addition to sunlight. Even outside, if the temperature cools off for any significant stretch of time, basil will begin to fade.

I personally wouldn't bother trying to grow herbs indoors unless you have a window with lots of sunlight. And even then it can be a challenge to have them do well. At least that has been my experience. They tend to just get "leggy" & pretty scentless as well as flavorless. But then I live where it gets very cold & dry in the winter & there's not much sunlight. Since you live in L.A. perhaps having sufficient sunlight would not be a problem. Placing your herbs under a grow light might help if they do need a bit more. Misting them regularly will help too. Herbs don't typically need to be fertilized.

One other thing I know, with regard to house plants, is that more plants are killed by overwatering than by under watering. You can always give them a bit more water if they need it. But if you water them too much, you can't take it back out. (It's always best to use pots that have holes in the bottom for drainage.) You also don't want to fertilize plants during the winter. This just makes them grow leggy because there's typically not enough sunlight for them to produce lush foliage... again... at least not where I live. It's helpful to turn your plants regularly as well so they're exposed evenly to sunlight all the way around. I turn ours about an eighth of a turn daily.

As far as what kinds of plants to grow indoors, I think I would pretty-much rely on the staff at your garden center to tell you what plants might do well. I think the quintessential houseplant is the philodendron. Spider plants typically seem to always do well indoors too; also parlor palms. African violets are good. But they can be a bit tricky to grow I think. They're especially susceptible to over watering. I myself am partial to Christmas cactus for some unknown reason. They can also be easily over watered as well.

So that's pretty-much the sum-&-substance of what I know regarding growing plants indoors. Perhaps we have some other gardeners, here on PC, who will be able to provide more & better information.
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Old 02-17-2019, 06:36 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Skeezyks View Post
Hm-m-m-m... well... I'm not the best person to be replying to your post. (I have a brown thumb. Any plants I ever try to grow turn brown & die. My wife is the gardener in our household.) A couple of things I do know, though, are that herbs in particular need lots of sunlight to do well. Plus basil, in particular, needs warm temperatures in addition to sunlight. Even outside, if the temperature cools off for any significant stretch of time, basil will begin to fade.

I personally wouldn't bother trying to grow herbs indoors unless you have a window with lots of sunlight. And even then it can be a challenge to have them do well. At least that has been my experience. They tend to just get "leggy" & pretty scentless as well as flavorless. But then I live where it gets very cold & dry in the winter & there's not much sunlight. Since you live in L.A. perhaps having sufficient sunlight would not be a problem. Placing your herbs under a grow light might help if they do need a bit more. Misting them regularly will help too. Herbs don't typically need to be fertilized.

One other thing I know, with regard to house plants, is that more plants are killed by overwatering than by under watering. You can always give them a bit more water if they need it. But if you water them too much, you can't take it back out. (It's always best to use pots that have holes in the bottom for drainage.) You also don't want to fertilize plants during the winter. This just makes them grow leggy because there's typically not enough sunlight for them to produce lush foliage... again... at least not where I live. It's helpful to turn your plants regularly as well so they're exposed evenly to sunlight all the way around. I turn ours about an eighth of a turn daily.

As far as what kinds of plants to grow indoors, I think I would pretty-much rely on the staff at your garden center to tell you what plants might do well. I think the quintessential houseplant is the philodendron. Spider plants typically seem to always do well indoors too; also parlor palms. African violets are good. But they can be a bit tricky to grow I think. They're especially susceptible to over watering. I myself am partial to Christmas cactus for some unknown reason. They can also be easily over watered as well.

So that's pretty-much the sum-&-substance of what I know regarding growing plants indoors. Perhaps we have some other gardeners, here on PC, who will be able to provide more & better information.
Thank you!
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:01 PM   #4
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Good luck KD1980! Growing herbs sounds like a lovely hobby. I myself am the mama of 2 house plants (inedible).
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Old 02-18-2019, 01:20 AM   #5
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I love growing herbs though all of mine have died. Didn't get them inside off my front porch before freezing temps hit.

Love growing lemon grass. Had a gorgeous tall bunch in a large pot but moved it out ti my back deck after ants decided to make their home in the pot.

I like the edibles to cook & season with but really love growing tuberous begonias. They keep coming back every year even when my pot looked like it all died off. They are growing again in my house in the middle if winter.

In calif, the pothos & succulent plants did best for me but I lived in Santa Clarita then Antelope Valley after leaving the San Fernando Valley so it was desert living there & not much else survived heat even indoors
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:45 AM   #6
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If you want grow herbs you’ll need a south exposed window or shop lights within a few inches. Same for anything edible....they are meant for direct outdoor sun and being indoors only works temporarily. Tropical plants have evolved to grow in lower light. If you want flowers moth orchids and African violets do well in a western exposure. Just about any green tropical will also work. African violets can be set up on a wicking system or self watering pot to get rid of the trickiness.
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Old 02-18-2019, 04:50 PM   #7
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One plant I've found almost impossible to kill that will grow indoors in considerable shade is the Peace Lily, or Spathiphyllum something. Eventually it will get really big and you'll have to divide it or throw some of it away.

It isn't edible tho.

Managed to grow some French Thyme in a south-facing sunny window which lasted a number of months, then died for an unknown reason...

Good luck with this!
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Old 02-20-2019, 03:57 AM   #8
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I kill everything but my outside vegetable garden. I have given up and want to buy some nice fake plants.
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:46 AM   #9
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No green thumb here. I even managed to kill cacti. I admire people who can grow plants
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:39 AM   #10
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I have grown a Myers Lemon Tree for 4 years. It gets sun in the summer as I am able to put it on the deck in the tiny spot that gets the most sun. I the winter I put it on the living room floor where some sun hits it. In the winter it loses over 50% of its leaves but comes back every summer. I have gotten 6-12 lemons off of it that ripen right before thanksgiving.
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