Updated February 26, 2022 by Mark Marino
There are some plants that are better at growing in the soil of a garden rather than the confines of a pot. Persian Ivy, for instance, likes to spread its roots out so much that it would hurt itself if it tried to grow in a pot. As a result, there are many kinds of plants that you simply never see grown indoors. Are flowers one of them?
Many people ask this question, as flowers so often end up growing in gardens than in pots. If you see flowers, they are usually already plucked and in a vase. But the surprising thing is that many kinds of flowers that can survive in pots, they just are not always as iconic as those that cannot survive in pots, such as roses or daisies.
The big difference between flowering plants and non-flowering plants is that the work of flowering requires nutrients and energy that the plant cannot get from water and sunlight alone. For this reason, the most important thing to growing a flowering plant indoors is feeding them nutrients.
But how does one get nutrients into the plants? It seems to be an oversimplification to just say “You should feed plants with plant food,” but that is the gist of it. The issue is that this advice just moves the question. Now the question becomes “What is plant food?” The answer to that question is a lot more valuable.
What Is Plant Food?
In most cases, there are two kinds of plant food: Store-bought fertilizer, and homemade fertilizer. But in the case of flowering plants, there is a third as well: Liquid plant food usually branded as “miracle grow”.
All three can work on indoor flowering plants, but the reason for the existence of miracle grow is that store-bought and homemade fertilizer is usually far stronger than it needs to be to make the flowers bloom. This means that while you can use these kinds of fertilizer, it is far more cost-efficient to use miracle grow.
How Is Fertilizer Food For Plants?
The best plant food is fertilizer. But what is fertilizer? Fertilizer is a part of the cycle of energy plants create. In physics, all systems contain three things: “Work”, which is what they do. “Fuel”, which is burned to produce “Work”. And “Waste”, which is the by-product of Fuel and Work.
Waste is created because no fuel can be burned with perfect efficiency. The amount of work that can be done with any fuel is always going to be lesser than the energy contained within the fuel, as it takes energy to turn fuel into work. Therefore, there is always a net loss of energy. This loss exits the system as waste.
Fertilizer is waste that is repurposed into more fuel. Fertilizer comes from farms, where it is usually animal feces. These feces is rich in nutrients and bacteria, but it is bacteria that cannot reproduce in or consume plants. As such, plants have adapted to consume their nutrients and grow stronger by them.
You do not need to use animal feces on your plants to fertilize them though. There are far more sanitary waste products you can use. Store-bought fertilizer does not even use waste products at this point.
What Is The Best Home-Made Fertilizer?
The best fertilizer you can make at home is using pasta water. You can use any kind of wheat-based pasta, but macaroni and cheese are ideal due to being so easily accessible. This method uses the bacteria on food waste rather than the bacteria in animal waste in order to feed your plants.
Making mac and cheese involves boiling the macaroni in some water, and then straining it to separate the water from the macaroni. When you do this though, do not let the water go down the drain. You see, that water now has a bunch of different things in it, including some forms of microscopic life.
Everything in the world has bacteria on it. This might sound alarming, but it is the truth. Just as true is the fact that most of this bacteria is not harmful to humans, and that which is harmful to humans is pretty easily dealt with. Dried macaroni has bacteria on it, as well as still-living wheat cells. These are separated out when boiling.
When they are separated out, they go into the water. The water becomes a soup of all manner of tiny lifeforms and the waste product of these lifeforms. It is, essentially, a little ecosystem teeming with life. This is exactly the kind of thing your plants love to extract nutrients from. Wait for that water to cool, then use it on your plants.
What you will see is that your plants will be super-charged by that water. It will have all the advantages of watering them normally, as well as a degree of the advantages of fertilizing your plants. This method will work with any pasta, so whenever you make mac and cheese, spaghetti, ramen, whatever, you can use this.
Now, this is not to say that this manner of fertilization is as effective as store-bought fertilizer. But store-bought fertilizer is far from a “natural” solution, and it can be extremely expensive. You are not going to be able to feed the world off of plants fertilized with pasta water, but you will help your plant’s health tremendously.
Which Flowing Plants Are The Best For Beginners?
The easy answer is the zinnia. Zinnia is a flower that comes in every color except blue (which is a surprisingly uncommon color in the world of plant life). This means that it appeals to most peoples’ sense of aesthetics, fits in with just about every color scheme of every room, and is still easy to take care of on top of that.
If you are looking for a flower that really pops, try the cosmos. Of all the “iconic” flowers, these are the best for growing indoors. When people grow flowers, they want to grow things that are recognizably flowers, so those iconic flower shapes and textures are important, and that is exactly what cosmoses provide.