There are several advantages when it comes to bringing a wild plant indoors.
They are often easier to care for, as they have their built-in adaptation to survive in their native environment. Outdoor wild plants can bring your home to life, adding vibrant color and exotic scents you won’t find anywhere else.
Having houseplants can also have psychological benefits. Having greenery around boosts your happiness and productivity levels, but caring for them allows you to disconnect from technology and immerse yourself in a more natural environment.
Additionally, herbs have been linked with improved levels of concentration and mental well-being, making it worth the effort to turn an outdoor wild plant into a houseplant. That’s why we’ve compiled this handy guide to explain all the steps in the process.
Choosing the Right Plant
Before you start digging up your flora, remember that certain criteria need to be considered, and not all plants will be suitable for bringing indoors.
The first thing to do is determine what environment you have indoors and if the future houseplants can cope with changes in temperature, humidity, and light levels. Herbs native to your area are usually better suited for being brought indoors as well as plants that can tolerate low levels of light or changing temperatures.
Next, look for ones with a low maintenance requirement regarding pruning and watering. Houseplants often require less water than their outdoor counterparts, so hydration needs should not present too much of a problem.
Lastly, consider the size of the new greenery – smaller ones are better suited because they take up less space, while larger versions can block windows or doorways very easily. Carefully consider how much time and effort you can devote to taking care of your new houseplant before making any kind of commitment.
Preparing the Plant & Soil
Before bringing your wild plant indoors, inspect the specimen to ensure it’s healthy and free of pests or diseases. Remove any dead leaves or blossoms and discard them away from the plant.
Once you have checked the specimen and it appears healthy, you must prepare the soil. To do this, remove all loose soil from around the root system. Then, fill a pot with a sterile potting mix that is well-draining and contains a mix of organic matter such as compost or coconut coir. If you are uncertain about what ingredients to use for your specific greenery variety, consult an expert or do some additional research online.
If possible, place your wild plant in indirect sunlight for a few days before bringing it indoors. This will help acclimate the specimen to its new environment more quickly when you move it inside for good.
Also read our blog post on making a home vegetable garden if you’re interested in expanding your plant family.
Transplanting the Plant
Once you have determined that the species is suitable for indoor life, you can begin transplanting it. The process will depend on the size of the plant and how large the container will be.
If the specimen is small, you may need to divide it before transplanting it to fit your pot better. Make sure that when dividing, you have enough healthy foliage and rootstock for each portion of the plant so that it doesn’t become weakened or suffer too much shock during repotting.
The soil mixture used for herbs grown indoors should consist of equal parts loam, peat moss, and compost or vermiculite. Place some pieces of charcoal at the bottom of your pot to promote good drainage, and add fertilizer according to package directions.
Once you’ve done this, pour a small amount of soil mixture into your chosen container and insert your newly divided wild plant into its new home. Fill in with more soil until all roots are covered then water generously until some water has drained through into a tray placed beneath or outside the container wall as a catchment plate.
Establishing the Plant in its New Environment
When you first bring home your wild plant, understand that it is transitioning from its native environment to a radically new place, and it may take some time to adjust. To support its transition, you may need to make changes around the home. When establishing a wild plant in its new environment, there are several things to consider:
- Light: Wild species are usually accustomed to being outdoors and receiving far more light than they can inside even when placed near windows. If needed, purchase specialized lights that offer more intense light levels than natural sunlight can offer indoors.
- Stop Fertiliser: Do not fertilize it until fully acclimated, as this can weaken them in its vulnerable transition state.
- Temperature & Humidity: Some greenery thrives in warmer temperatures, while others like slightly cooler conditions. Even with humidity-loving plants like ferns, be careful not to provide too much moisture or risk suffocating delicate roots when repotting. Monitor both temperature and humidity levels daily for at least three months – if either remains too extreme for a long period, your plant won’t be able to survive long-term in a domestic setting.
These factors come into play when adapting a wild flora to an indoor home environment. Depending on where and how your chosen wild species is natively adapted, other considerations will also come into play, such as soil type or specific temperatures for successful rooting or germination of seeds if planting directly from seed rather than cutting.
Bringing an outdoor wild plant into your home is a great way to decorate and add some greenery to your space. However, it is important to remember that the transition can be tricky, so respecting the natural environment, noticing signs of trouble, and taking proper care of your new companion will ensure you get the most out of this experience.
By researching the greenery, ensuring it is healthy before bringing it in, providing as much light as possible, avoiding changes in temperature and humidity levels, and regularly checking for pests, you can be sure that your wild flora will thrive in its new home!