Indoor vs Outdoor Gardening: 11 Differences You Need To Know

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Gardening can be a great deal of fun, not to mention very rewarding. That said, one of the main decisions that you need to make is whether you want to do indoor or outdoor gardening. 

This is what we are here to compare today, indoor vs outdoor gardening. Let’s figure out what makes them different, and which one is best for you.

Indoor vs Outdoor Gardening: The Main Differences 

There are actually a whole lot of differences between indoor and outdoor gardening. Our aim today is to cover every last single difference that comes to mind.

1. The Types of Plants

Perhaps the biggest difference between indoor and outdoor gardening are the plants themselves. Simply put, some plants work better outdoors, and some work better indoors. There are many outdoor garden plants and flowers that people try to grow indoors, rather unsuccessfully. 

Moreover, it also depends where the plants are from. For instance, if you’re trying to grow tropical plants outdoors, it won’t work well in a cold climate. 

Therefore, even though some tropical plants might be better suited for outdoor growth, if you live in a cold climate, you’ll need to grow them indoors. Knowing what kind of climates and conditions plants need is an essential consideration here.

2. Spatial Constraints

Something else you need to take into account here is how much space you have to work with. In most cases, you’re probably going to have much more outdoor space to work with than indoor space. 

This is especially the case if you have a large house with a big property. That whole property can be turned into a beautiful garden. 

Now, many people say that indoor gardening requires much less space. This might be true in some cases, but you are, of course, limited by the amount of space you have. 

For instance, if you live in a small apartment, you’re not going to have much indoor space. Then again, if you live in an apartment, you’re not going to have any outdoor gardening space. 

A good way to save space when doing indoor gardening however is to use a vertical garden. You do then also need to consider the types of plants that you want to get. Of course, some plants are much larger than others. How much space you have to work with is, therefore, an essential consideration.

3. Ability to Control the Climate

One of the biggest benefits with indoor gardening is of course that you can control the climate. You can turn the heat on when it’s cold, or the AC on when it’s hot. If it’s too sunny it, you can close the curtains. If it’s too shady, you can open the curtains or even get a grow light. 

There is also the fact that when you grow plants indoors, you don’t have to worry about wind storms and rainstorms. You also don’t have to really worry about extreme temperature. 

However, if your plants are being grown outdoors, then they will be at the mercy of Mother Nature. If you are gardening outdoors, you need to find plants that are fairly resilient. You also need to find plants that are ideal for growing in this specific hardiness zone that you reside in.

4. Those Pests

Another big benefit that you get with gardening indoors is pest control. When you are gardening outdoors, pests are quite numerous. There are literally dozens of different pests that can infest your garden. 

Of course, they have an easy time doing so because they already live in your garden. Sure, you can always take a variety of steps to prevent and eliminate pests. However, that is added work that you probably don’t have time for.

Now, gardening indoors doesn’t guarantee that there won’t be any pests. However, your home probably doesn’t contain that many insects. 

Therefore, the chances of pests infesting your plants are much lower indoors. Those insects that you have inside of your home are also much more unlikely to disturb your plants. Potato bugs, silverfish, and even cockroaches don’t really want to eat your flowers.

5. Lighting

Another comparison worth making when considering these two types of gardening is lighting. Now, generally speaking, real and natural sunlight is best for plant growth. This is why many people choose to garden outdoors, because it exposes those plants to plenty of sun. 

However, this does mean that you need to position your plants properly to get sunlight. For the most part, when it comes to lighting, people do prefer gardening outdoors. That said, maybe you live in an area that doesn’t get too much sunlight. 

If this is the case, you might want to consider gardening indoors. There’s also the fact that you can’t really control lighting outdoors. If it’s sunny, it’s sunny, but if it’s cloudy then it’s cloudy. There’s nothing you can do to change that. However, people do often have problems providing their plants with enough light when gardening indoors. 

You have to find a good window to position your plants in. That said, a good solution here is to get a simple full spectrum grow light. A good full spectrum grow light can provide your indoor plants with all of the light they need to survive and thrive.

Indoor vs Outdoor Gardening

6. Soil Conditions

One issue that many people face when gardening outdoors have to do with soil preparation. When you are gardening outdoors, if the soil present is not good enough, you need to replace it. This might mean that you need to remove a good deal of dirt and replace it with your own high-quality soil. It also means that you might have to till the ground. 

It also means that you probably have to add a good deal of fertilizer, mulch, and other nutrients into the soil. It can be a whole lot of work. Then there is the fact that outdoors, a lot of weeds are going to grow. These are all issues that you don’t really need to deal with indoors. 

When you are gardening indoors, you just get some high-quality potting soil, mix it with fertilizer, and you’re good to go. You don’t need to do any tilling of the earth, you don’t need to add organic material, and you don’t need to worry about weeds either.

7. Watering

Yet another essential difference between indoor and outdoor gardening has to do with watering. Controlling how much water your plants get out of the doors can be very difficult. First of all, you always need to consider how much it rains. 

Second, you then need to consider how hot it is, how much sun your plants get, and how windy it is. These are all factors that can affect how fast water evaporates. It can be fairly difficult to accurately water your garden outdoors. 

However, things are a lot different indoors, and a lot of it has to do with climate control. Indoors, you control the temperature, wind, and light. 

You can therefore control how fast water evaporates out in the soil. It’s also much easier to measure how much water you get your plants when you don’t have to calculate rainfall. When it comes to ease of watering, indoors definitely has the advantage.

8. Need for Fertilizer

We did already touch on this above. However, when you are gardening outdoors, you probably have to add a lot of fertilizer and nutrients to the soil. This is especially the case if you are gardening outdoors in the same spot year after year. 

However, when gardening indoors, your potting soil probably has more than enough nutrients already. Yes, those nutrients will run out eventually, but you still don’t need to fertilize as much as when gardening outdoors.

9. Effort and Convenience 

There is also just a simple fact that gardening outdoors requires a lot more effort. Gardening indoors is a lot more convenient. When you garden indoors, you don’t have to worry about the weather, and you don’t have to put on special clothes either. 

It also takes a whole lot more effort to garden outdoors because you always have to lug all of your tools and bags of soil around. There’s just a certain convenience factor involved here.

10. Required Tools 

There’s also the fact that outdoor gardening generally requires more tools. You generally also need larger tools, as you are dealing with larger pieces of land. 

Not only does this mean that you have to carry those tools around, but you also have to buy them first. Indoor gardening requires limited tools, and this also means saving money.

11. Relocating Plants

There is also the matter of relocating plants to consider. When you are indoors, and your plants are in pots, you just have to pick them up and move them. However, gardening outdoors is different in this sense. You generally plant your plants in the ground. 

This means that if you want to relocate them, you first have to dig them up and then prepare a new spot. Not only does this require work, but it also puts your plants at risk of injury or death. 

If you make an outdoor garden only to realize that it’s in an unideal location, it’s going to take a lot of work to move everything.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, the 11 main differences between outdoor and indoor gardening. Now that you know what all the differences are, you can put some thought into it and make a choice.

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