Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Check the plants thoroughly for any problems. This would include looking for signs of insects or disease. Inspect the top and bottoms of leaves and along the stems. You’re looking for things like sticky residue on leaves, holes in leaves, yellowing and discoloration. Remove any leaf litter from the top of the pot, as insects can hide under the debris. It’s much easier to correct problems while the plants are outside. This is also a good time to prune away any damaged leaves.  

If you decide treatment is in order, select a product that matches the problem. Some products target insects only, such as Safer® Insecticidal Soap. Others, like Fertilome’s Triple Action will treat insects, mites and diseases. If you’re not sure, bring us a sample. We’ll identify it and help you select the right product to apply.

Next, take the hose and wash the pot and plant. Do this in the shade, not in direct sunlight. Dry the pot with a towel and look for signs that your plant needs to be repotted. One clue would be roots sticking out of the bottom of the pot. Another way to tell is to gently slip the plant out of its pot and look at the root ball. If the roots are pushing up against the sides of the pot, it’s probably time to repot. In general, move up one pot size.
The new pot should be 1” to 2” wider or deeper than the old pot. A 6” pot could be upsized to a 7.5” pot (as shown). You can choose between clay, ceramic or plastic pots,  but pick one with a drain hole. No matter how careful you are, water will build up and the plant will suffer.  Skip adding rocks or pottery shards to the bottom of the pot. It won’t help the drainage.

Select a quality potting soil. This is a healthy blend designed to encourage strong roots and good drainage. Partially fill the new container with this potting soil. Center the plant in the pot and fill in the sides with more potting soil, as needed. Water thoroughly. You’re now ready to bring your plants inside.

As always, if you have a question, if you’re not sure how to do something, stop in and see us. We will be glad to help you.


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