2017 GARDENER’S IDEA BOOK
Round Up Your Plants
- Gather up the potted plants you’ll be bringing inside, and dig up the plants you’ll be repotting. Try to get a good portion of the root ball when digging them up.
- Pick healthy plants. If they’re not healthy outside, they’ll struggle even more inside.
- You can take plants out of combination containers and create monos. Monocultures are easier to care for indoors. It’s easier to address disease and water issues with monos.
Repot the Plants
- Don’t use dirt from the ground in your containers. Use quality potting soil. Plants need more air around their root system when they’re in a container.
- Fill a container about two inches below the lip with potting soil before putting in the plants. Dig out a spot for your plant, put it in the hole, then back fill around the plant with the soil you moved out of the way.
- Tip: Make you use the right kind of soil for the plant you’re re-potting. For example, a coleus will want standard potting soil but plants like a lemon coral sedum or portulaca will want a lighter cactus soil blend.
Groom, Prune and Check for Insects
- Remove any damaged and diseased looking leaves. Prune back any branches that look straggly or long.
- A good rule of thumb for pruning: You can prune back by about half of the branch length without damaging your plant. Pruning back will give more energy for fresh growth, filling in the plant instead of leaving it to get lanky and spindly-looking.
- Keep your eye out for insects and diseases: aphids, spider mites, and powdery mildew are all things you want to address before bringing your plant indoors.
Apply a Preventative Insecticide
- Just in case you missed anything while inspecting the plants, it’s a good idea to cover all your bases. Bugs like spider mites are hard to spot.
- This is a good step to get out of the way while you’re still outside so you’re not spraying insecticide indoors.
- Make sure to spray the tops and bottoms of your plants for full coverage. We recommend an organic insecticide like Captain Jack’s Dead Bug.
- If you want to get really hands on, we’ve got a recipe to make your own organic bug spray below.
Water the Plants
- This is another good step to do while you’re outside. Water the plants generously until water is coming out of the bottom of the pot. Let the plants drain before bringing them indoors.
Bring the Plants Inside
- Make sure you put down a saucer or drip pan to protect your household surfaces.
- Provide proper lighting. Day length in winter is so much shorter and the sunlight is less intense, so even low light plants prefer to be in a brighter spot. If there are no bright spots, you can set up grow lights.
- Humidity helps. Household heating systems can dry plants out. Mist the air around the plant regularly to keep the humidity levels comfortable for the plants.
DIY Bugspray Recipe
- 1 Tbs red pepper flakes
- 1 Tbs cayenne
- 1 head of garlic
- Dish soap
- Sieve or cheesecloth
- Spray bottle
- Put red pepper, cayenne, garlic (peeled or unpeeled) and a couple tablespoons of water in a blender.
- Blend until a paste is formed. Filter the paste through a sieve to remove chunks. Mix 2 tablespoons of the mixture with enough water to fill your spray bottle and freeze the remaining paste for future batches.
- Add a couple of squirts of dish soap to the bottle, put the top on and shake to mix. Use as needed.
- This spray can be used for indoor and outdoor plants. You may want to bring indoor plants outside to spray them.
Plants That Will Do Well Indoors Even In The Low Light of Winter
These plants are capable of thriving as indoor plants if you follow the step-by-step transition method above and stay on top of pests and watering needs.
Plants That Will Survive Over-Wintering
These plants tend to go into dormancy in the depths of winter until longer days and the warmth of sunshine help them flourish again. This will vary based on the region you live in.