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The Growing Environment

A basic understanding of your environment and its effect on plant life

For both indoor and outdoor plants, there are some basic environmental factors that need to be taken into account if you want a successful garden. The type of environment you try to grow a plant in needs to be suited for that type of plant (and plants near it - a microclimate is only so small!).

Some major factors to consider when selecting a plant to grow include the type of light it needs (full, partial, shade); the temperature range that the plant will thrive in; conditions such as frost, wind, and extreme heat; and the amount of moisture that the plant needs.

Outdoor plants have more challenges to deal with than indoor plants. For example, there may be the threat of frost, extreme heat or wind, or too much rain or sun (or too little). But indoor plants are often more limited by available light levels, and have to cope with the dry air in most houses in winter.

Before bringing a plant home examine the area you wish to hold your garden. Make sure that the plants you are considering will do well in the type of environment that you have. Keep in mind that if it is too hot, too cold, too sunny, too windy, too wet, or too dry, there may be specific plants that will grow wonderfully, and other plants you may want to avoid altogether.