Garden Log 11/5

Someone was asking in the local group about bringing in tropicals for the winter, what we do to take care of them. So a few quick notes on what I do for houseplants around this time of year:

– check for bugs, etc. on any plants you’re bringing in — isolate and treat any that are afflicted, before letting them near your other plants

– repot any houseplants that are looking like they’ve outgrown their container — I should never have tried to cram this poor asparagus fern into this pot! This is a great time to reassess whether each of your plants is in a good pot for it!

– remove withered and dead leaves, and if you have leaves that show signs of neglect at the tips, you can trim the black bits off, which will generally improve the overall look of the plant. If I’m feeling lazy, I just do a single cut, but it’s more effective if you can mimic natural leaf shape

– if any are seriously overgrown, now is a good time to trim back to a more pleasing shape — you might also want to tie some up onto a trellis for support

– check for drafts and adequate light when settling them into their winter homes — being pressed up against a cold, drafty window can be tough on tender plants; you may want to invest in some grow lights too, esp. as there are very attractive options these days that look like regular household lamps

– reduce watering — most plants need less water (and no fertilizer) during the winter, when they’re in a dormant phase

It usually takes me an hour or two on Saturday to get them all settled in, and it’s a pleasant time puttering with the plants.

Enjoy the jungle!

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