Bringing Plants Inside for Winter
Do you live in a region with cold winters, that would kill off some of your more heat-loving garden plants? Well, It's getting to that time of year when you should start thinking about bringing them indoors for the winter.
If you've never kept plants that needed winter care like this, maybe you can learn a thing or two about bringing plants indoors. Then next year, you can add some more tropical plants to your outside space.
Plants that need indoor over-wintering should be kept in pots during the summer, to avoid the somewhat sizable chore of digging them up each fall and repotting. You can check the roots in your pots, but I would suggest doing any repotting due to growth in the springtime instead.
Ready Your HouseBefore you bring in your plants, get your house ready to receive them. Decide which windows offer the best light, and give them a good washing. Arrange benches or tables so that you have a place to set your plants to give them the most light.
Make it GradualTo avoid shocking your plant with the reduced light, you could try bringing them indoors for a few hours each day. Or make sure they get more light while indoors by having an artificial light nearby. Your plant may still lose a few leaves, but will eventually adapt to the indoor lighting.
Inspect Your PlantsYou don't want any more bugs in your house than necessary. Take a close look at your plants, to make sure they are free of insects. You can give the leaves a bit of a wash with some soapy water.
Don't OverwaterPlants will grow slower during the winter months, due to lower light levels. Keep a close eye on the soil, and only water when necessary.
Take Cuttings InsteadRather than bringing an entire plant indoors, you could try taking a cutting instead. By snipping off a few inches, you can start a whole new plant over the winter. Just pull off the bottom leaves from your cut piece, and stick the end into a small pot with damp potting soil or peat moss. You can get a special hormone powder for cuttings that can help get your new plant rooted properly. Come spring, you can take your new houseplant back outside.
You can also use this technique with annuals, so that you can enjoy some bright flowers all winter long. Geraniums and impatiens are particularly good for this.
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