Monday, November 5, 2012

How to Prepare Potted Plants in the Winter

A Guest Post

With winter, the most dreadful season of them all, slowly creeping in, it also comes the time when one needs to take care of his potted plants. Low temperatures can cause serious harm to your plants and it is your duty to provide them with the best conditions they require. Following are several tips on how to easily do that.

1. You must keep the plants away from direct cold drafts as well as from direct hot air coming from the vent. If the only way to protect the plants from these is to move to furniture, make sure you do so. A smart solution, however, is to put the pots on racks or even to hang them on hangers away from both direct hot or cold air.

2. Attempt to provide the plants with the light they are used to obtaining during the summer. In other words, the plans will be most happy if the conditions they are in during the winter resemble as much as possible the ones they were exposed to during the summer. Christmas cactus and spider plants, for example, love brighter conditions. Move the sun-loving plants as close to a window with southern exposure as possible. Plants in smaller and lighter pots can even be put on the window pane.

3. Since you are going to be keeping the plants indoors, you must keep your pets away from them. Or to keep the plants somewhere where the pets could not get to them. Either way, you wouldn't want curious paws and mouths to ruin your plants. However, you need also to bear in mind that there are some household plants which are toxic to pets. Inform yourself on that matter unless you want to acquire an ill cat/dog and a damaged plant.
4. Let the plants remain in the pots they were in while outdoors. A possible removal to a new pot could disturb their roots and encourage new growth, and there is no need for that.
5. Carefully scrutinize all plants' stems, leaves and soil for pests. If you happen to see any, either remove them by hand, or use an insecticidal organic soap for houseplants. If you choose the latter method, make sure you use one which is safe for pets and humans. There is a possibility of you finding various insects either on the plant itself or in the soil – worms, wasps, spiders, ants, so don't be shocked. Get rid of them and make sure they are gone for good before they cause serious damage to your plants.

6. There is no need for keeping any damaged or dead stems and leaves. Cut them away. Make sure you do that with already disinfected cutting tools. Do the disinfecting procedure prior to working on each plant in order to avoid infecting already healthy plants. Also, if there is any rotting plant material on the surface of the soil – remove it.
7. Refrain from cutting healthy stems and leaves. This will encourage new growth, just like re-potting. The plants need to rest, rather than to grow.
8. Take the time to carefully clean all leaves of big-leaved plants such as rubber plants and schefflera. Do that with plain water and cotton swabs. There is a big possibility of the plants still having summer dust and pollen on their leaves. They can diminish the already limited light that enters the room and make it difficult for the plant to absorb whatever moisture there is indoors.
Overall, inform yourself about the first frost date. This way you will be able to move your plants indoors right on time, before the frost kills them. The more informed you are, the better care you will be able to provide your plants with. 

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1 comment:

plastic planters said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your post!! keep it up!! take care!@