Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Time to move houseplants back inside

Many of us take our houseplants outside for the summer. Your plants benefit from being outside in the fresh air and natural light. And it gives you a chance to clean up and organize the space they normally occupy. Now we’re into September and it’s time to bring your plants back inside. Here some things to do to make this move more successful. Being outside puts your plants at a higher risk for insect and disease problems, so the first thing to do is to look your plants over carefully. Many problems will be obvious right away; others won’t.
Sticky leaves and stems could mean mealy bug or scale. White powder on leaves could be powdery mildew. Discolored leaves could be from too much direct sunlight or water issues (too much or too little). Spidery webbing could be spider mites. It’s easier to deal with these problems now before you bring your plants inside. Begin by simply washing your plants off with a gentle spray of water from the hose. This will get rid of a lot the insects and will help clean up the plant leaves.
Let the plant dry and then spray it with insecticidal soap
or Neem oil. This will help ensure your plants come into the house pest free. This is also a good time to see if the plant needs repotting.
Plants that have spent the summer outside can out-grow their pots, so have some pots and potting soil handy. Once your plants are clean and re-potted (if necessary), you’re ready to move them indoors. You want to do this while the weather is still nice enough to have windows and doors open. This will make the transition from the outside to the inside environment easier on the plant. Try to avoid bringing your plants in at the last minute, just before a frost warning. Indoor lighting is another thing to consider when you bring your plants in. They are going from a high light outdoor situation to lower light indoors.
This might be the time to add some supplemental lighting. This can be as simple as adding a grow bulb to an existing light fixture. Clamp on grow lamps are convenient because you can put them up easily.
Fluorescent fixtures are available in hanging fixtures or free standing grow light system that set up quickly and can be moved easily.
This is a good time to feed your houseplants and if you like,
spray the leaves with Leaf Polish for a clean, shiny look. Doing these things now will help your houseplants make the move from outside to inside with less stress and ready for the season ahead.

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