As your summer growing season comes to an end it’s important to start preparing those porch and patio plants for indoor living. Plants such as ferns, philodendra, potted begonias, yucca plants used to beautify your summer living areas can be easily adapted for indoor living. Here are 5-simple-tips to help them adjust to their new location.
1. Repotting: Plants grow a lot faster in the summer. The small plant you put on your patio or porch in June may have grown to twice its size by September. Repotting helps the plants root system to absorb more nutrition for new grown. Choose a potting soil with moisture-holding pellets to make sure your plants get the correct amount of water over the winter months.
2. Cleaning: Whether you live in the country or in an urban environment your plant leaves may need to be cleaned. Cleaning the leaves with a mild soap and water helps remove soot and grime from old and new summer growth. Plants breathe through their leaves. Keeping your plant leaves clean helps to maintain oxygen production.
3. Bugs and Garden Pests: As beautiful as your plants may look they may be a residence for unwanted and harmful insects. Check for spiders, centipedes, woodlice and other outdoor critters that may have used your begonias as a summer home. Last year after bringing one of my unchecked large Yucca plants indoors, I noted a small hole in the soil. Later that evening I found a small garden mole resting beside it!
4. Feeding: This is also a good time to feed your summer plants. Plants need additional care for them to survive the winter months. Check with a lawn and garden store for the proper plant food. Some plants need special care when brought back into the house. I grow and propagate white Poinsettias for my holiday home decoration. It’s important to feed them before relocating them to a cool, darkened area [of the house] until November as it is essential for their blooming process.
5. Indoor Bulb Maintenance: Some bulbs like begonias and calla lilies are suitable for growing indoors. If you have planted garden bulbs this is a good time to trim the spent stems, examine them for damage by gardening tools, insects or animals. Bulbs are okay to leave in the ground however they will need some thinning before they bloom again. Cool fall weather is the best time for planting and/or relocating bulbs. Hearty bulbs such as daffodils, hyacinths and tulips propagate quickly from year to year. After thinning, don’t throw away those smaller bulbs. They do very well potted indoors. Place them in sunny indoor areas of the house. They can add a bit of spring color during those dreary winter months. If you have an area of your yard that needs a bit of color you might like to try what I call Free-Range Bulb Distribution. Just grab a handful of the miscellaneous bulbs and throw them on the area. Bulbs often take root on their own. I once tossed some damaged red tulip bulbs in our compost pile. By spring our ugly heap had sprouted beautiful tulips! It’s a gardening treat to find random flowers blooming in otherwise drab areas.
Deb’s Home Gardening Journels
Deb’s Hobby: Growing and Propagating Poinsettias