Tips and Guides

5 Things You Need to Know About Small Space Gardening

Keep these tips in mind before hoarding potted plants for your pocket garden

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Deciding to start a small garden in a limited space can be quite challenging. While it can be refreshing to see a touch of green or lovely blooms in the balcony, you need to think about things like: how to avoid a cramped space, how often should you water plants, and how to keep your mini garden clean.

If you're having second thoughts, here are must-read tips that can guide you:

Main photos from: Decorating Your Small Space and Decor Facil.

Decide on what kind of plants you want and why

Do you like herbs that you can use for cooking? Is your home in need of a minor makeover care of ornamental plants? Are you always not home so you'd rather have low-maintenance greens? Equally important to ask: Does your space have a spot that gets enough sunlight? Most plants require the sun's warmth regardless of their kind.

Photo from Decorating Your Small Space.

Commit to it

While potted succulents are all the rage these days, don't get into the hobby just because it's the fad. Maintaining plants is not a one-month (or two) commitment—it's long-term. But don't think that raising greens is a daunting task. It only takes a few minutes to water them, and an hour or less if you need to prune, re-pot, or clean your pocket garden. Doing so may feel like a chore, but it can also be therapeutic and fulfilling when you see your plants thriving.

Photo from Decor Facil.

Do your research

Different kinds of plants require various care, so arm yourself with the basic information on how to keep yours healthy before you even buy a pot or two.

The Internet offers a plethora of guides—from keeping your plants healthy, to propagating and potting them. You'll also get ideas on which plants are annual (meaning, they eventually die as soon as soon as one growing cycle is up), which ones are perennial (these are plants that basically thrive year after year), and which ones "hibernate" (one such plant is the Venus fly trap, which turns dormant for a certain period). It also helps to ask your suki for tips.

Photo from GAP Gardens.

There will be hits and misses

Don't lose hope when that mint you've been cultivating—even if you know you've been following the rules of caring for it by the book—is slowly wilting; or if that hardy cactus is starting to look sad.

Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, one or two of those potted buddies of yours will die. Don't give up. Remember: you learn from experience. (I have a pot of tarragon that I thought lost its battle against mites. I decided to prune the whole bunch, leaving only the lower stems. Imagine my surprise to see it sprouting back to life a week after!)

Photo from Pink When.

Share the experience

Plants make for refreshing gifts. Once you've successfully propagated your favorite herb or succulent, why not give it to a friend who also loves to have his or her own mini garden? Spread the cheer of growing greens!

Photo from A Beautiful Mess.

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