I kill plants — especially edible ones. I was so excited when we moved into our place two years ago because I finally could take advantage of our outdoor space. As hard as I have tried to maintain an outdoor garden, I simply cannot do it. I have tried opting for low-maintenance plants and flowers, but what I found out is that the lower the maintenance, the easier it is to forget.

One plant that I have managed to keep alive has been the ti plant that I cut and propagated in a mason jar on the center of our dining table. I look at the plant every day, and if the water gets low, I refill it. It has thrived indoors, and, soon, I’ll have to move it outside.


However, this got me thinking: Maybe the secret to maintaining an edible garden is moving it indoors. The easier it is to see the plants each day, the easier it may be to remember to take care of them. If you want to create an edible indoor garden, consider some of these tips:

Pick the proper plants. Believe it or not, you can grow herbs, fruits and vegetables indoors. Herbs, such as basil, cilantro, mint and rosemary grow relatively easily indoors and will give your home a nice fragrance. For fruit, do yourself a favor and purchase dwarf trees/plants rather than starting from seedlings. Avocados, lemons and mandarin oranges all do very well indoors. Just make sure to use pots that are big enough for the plants, and place them in areas with high ceilings to give them room to grow. Vegetables, such as carrots, also do well indoors. When planting carrots, make sure to get a pot or planter box that is at least 18 inches deep and wide.

Drill for drainage. Make sure that all pots and containers have drainage holes to prevent over watering. If your pots/containers do not have drainage, drill the holes yourself. Then, place trays underneath to catch excess water. Another option for drainage: add stones to the bottom of the pot before adding soil.

Light them up. Plants, even those suitable for the indoors, need sunlight. Luckily, we live in a place where there is plenty of that to go around. Honolulu is sunny 71 percent of the time during daylight hours, according to the National Climactic Data Center. Take advantage of that sun by placing your plants near the window. If you must grow your plants in an area without sun, grow lights are a good substitute.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.