In the previous post, we discussed everything about how to Grow Butterfly Pea? This is an extension where we continue our discussion to grow butterfly peas indoors. The Botanical name of the Butterfly pea is Clitoria Ternateae. It is a perennial flowering vine. It prefers direct bright sunlight and an ambient temperature of 25 degrees celsius.
This flowering vine can tolerate mild drought and high daytime temperatures. In tropical and subtropical climates this plant can survive at a maximum of 40 degrees celsius for more than a week. Although you must not let it stand open in bright light if the temperature exceeds 35 degrees celsius often.
You must understand the basic plant needs especially if you want them to adapt to indoor climate. Therefore keep a check on the following details before proceeding.
Butterfly Pea Plant Needs for Indoor Gardening
- Healthy Moist Soil. Use any Commercial soil mix or plain garden soil with little organic matter in it. Only confirm the soil is natural in ph with good drainage.
- Use an 8 or 10-inch Container to grow Butterfly peas. They can grow well in 6-inch pots although you may have to water them frequently.
- Add only 10-15% Compost to the soil mix. Don’t overdo this otherwise the soil may become soggy.
- Choose a spot where the plant can get at least 6 hours of direct or filtered sunlight every day.
- Water these plants only when the topsoil starts drying. Indoor Butterfly pea plants don’t require much water therefore water them only once every week. Water deeply and let the container drip for confirmation.
Can Butterfly Pea Grow Indoors?
Indeed Butterfly pea plants can grow indoors. They prefer open space with bright light and free root and stem growth. Yet it is easy to grow them indoors. There is only one thing that could go wrong in this case- The average blooming.
The indoor environment lacks proper lighting as well as temperature. So the vines may bloom late or produce fewer flowers compared to their garden counterparts. This is a significant problem but not very hard to deal with.
You already know the plants’ needs and if you follow all of them carefully then the chance of any problem is minimal.
Do You need a Greenhouse to grow Butterfly peas indoors?
No, Not really. It is good to grow a butterfly pea inside a greenhouse although it is not necessary. These plants can work well in any indoor conditions till they receive proper sunlight, water, and an average of 25degreese celsius temperature.
I would only prefer putting these vines in the greenhouse if the daily temperature shift is more than 15 degrees celsius. Regular changes in temperature can put the plant under stress. This may result in less blooming. Such conditions are common in USDA hardiness zone 3 through 5B.
Another important reason to consider a greenhouse is the survival rate of the plant. A greenhouse can keep the butterfly pea plant alive and healthy for several years even in frost-prone zones.
Therefore It is a good option to grow butterfly pea in a greenhouse although it is not always necessary. You are free to decide whether to grow these vines indoors or inside a greenhouse.
Preparation to grow Butterfly Pea Indoor
You should start with a healthy Butterfly pea seedling. Seeds can also grow though it will take another 8-10 weeks for the seedlings to mature enough for transplant. You can instead buy a healthy seedling from a local nursery or borrow one from your neighbor if they have some.
Next focus on the container or a pot. Ok, don’t worry choose whatever you like, only make sure it’s bigger than 6 inches in depth.
Once the container selection is over move on to soil preparation. Butterfly pea plant is not very choosy on soil type. It can survive in any soil unless it is too soggy. So the soil should not be a big problem. Any commercial soil mix is good although I always prefer plain garden soil with quarter part compost. It should be neutral in ph value with good drainage.
The last thing to do is choose a spot for your new butterfly pea plants. The plant will need sunlight so place it in a spot where it can receive sunlight for 6 or more hours every day. Dark shady spots are not good for the vines. They may not bloom in low light conditions. The pest problem is also high in low light indoor conditions.
How To Grow Butterfly Pea Indoor?
- If you start with butterfly pea seeds then do it 4 weeks before the last frost. The indoor environment does not change much as you can adjust it according to your needs. Although the slight difference during these four weeks will help the seeds to germinate properly. Germinate them in a moist soil mix at 20 degrees Celsius or more.
- Once the Butterfly pea seedlings grow taller than 3 inches with multiple leaves then they are ready for transplant.
- Fill the container half with potting mix and place the seedling in the center of it. Cover the sides with the same soil mix and leave a 1-inch space on the top for watering.
- Pour water thoroughly and let the soil drip through the bottom drainage holes.
- Next place the container near the window or on the balcony where it can get maximum sunlight.
- You can feed these plants with liquid fertilizers, seaweed extract as well as all-purpose NPK fertilizers. Although none will be necessary if you prepare the soil properly.
- Butterfly pea vines need moist soil, yet you should water only when the topsoil becomes dry. The soil in indoor containers usually dries very slowly and if you water it regularly then it may develop mold and fungal diseases. None of those are good for the Butterfly pea vines, so water carefully.
- These plants will be ready to bloom in 4 to 6 months after plantation. So have some patience and care for the plant regularly.
Also read: Butterfly Pea Summer Care Guide
Indoor Care for Butterfly Pea Plants
Butterfly pea plants need extra care if grown indoors. indoor conditions are not very preferable as it usually lacks sufficient sunlight. There is also the risk of pest and fungal infection. So you should care for the Butterfly pea plants especially if it grown indoors in a container.
- Keep the soil moist but never soggy.
- Place the plant in a sunny spot.
- Spray the butterfly pea plant with neem oil spray once every week to avoid pests.
- Sometimes misting the vines is also very helpful to maintain the humidity.
- Don’t forget to install a support stand before planting butterfly peas in the container.
- You can prune the long vines to keep them in manageable length. Pruning also helps with pest and disease control. Late summer till fall is the right time to prune indoor butterfly pea vines.
- Feed the vines with liquid fertilizer once in 20 days. If you use NPK fertilizers then apply only once in 30-45 days.
- If the plant lacks flowers then feed them with phosphorus-rich fertilizers. Bone meal fertilizer can also help in improving blooming in butterfly pea.
- You should replace 1/3rd of the soil every year with a fresh healthy soil mix. Sometimes mixing the same soil with compost and fertilizer is also sufficient. You can refill the soil after treating the container with any contact fungicide.
- At last, you may need to change the container every 3 years. It will help with disease control and root-bound problems.