Gardening indoors in a home with little natural light can be frustrating. That's especially true in winter when you can't put plants outside. Not everyone can afford or make room for grow lights. How can you make the best use of the light you do have? Is there a way to make sure all your plants get some light without knocking a wall down? Could you use plants that love the sun a little less? Here's some ideas that might help your indoor winter garden along when you have very few windows.
Make better use of glass patio doors.
So, you don't have a lot of windows. Do you have glass patio doors? If you do, I'm sure you have a few plants in front of them. Have you thought of using only one side to enter or exit in the winter? Chances are, you don't use the yard that much off season anyway. If you can manage it, you'll have a lot more space for your sun loving plants. Remember to use all the space by hanging some and putting the rest below.
Shelves allow for more plants.
A shelf in front of your patio door increases plant display capacity in cold months. Use shelves in windows for smaller plants. You don't need special windows to accommodate shelves. Simply nail supports to the inside of window frames. Your shelves needn't be fancy either. Cut 2x4 planks to fit the windowsill. Rest them on the side supports.
Widen your windowsills.
Maybe your windowsill isn't big enough to accommodate your winter houseplants. That's alright. Expand the space by using a wide board, screwed to the sill. You can finish the board any way you like. Check your local home improvement store for finished shelving if you're not handy with a paintbrush. Glued on decorative edging gives a more finished look.
Shifting plants insures sunlight for all.
Some homes and apartments are truly dark. Basement apartments are one example. If your home has just one or two awkwardly placed windows, you can still have a few winter houseplants. Simply rotate them so each one gets some light every few days. As long as you stick to plants that don't require extreme sun, they should be fine.
Some plants prefer indirect light.
Not all plants need to be placed in windows. Some prefer a less intense light. So, when placing your winter plants, group them according to sun needs. Start with those that need the most sun. Be sure they are closest to the light. Work your way outward with the rest of your plants. It's an easy way to insure your plants are happy in winter, even when you have very few windows.
This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.