Winterize Your Houseplants
If your houseplants have been summering outside, follow these steps for a smoother transition from outdoors to inside your home:
1. In September, start a pest control program to keep unwanted insects from hitching a ride into your house and infesting other plants. Spray plants a couple of times with ferti•lome Triple Action or ferti-lome Indoor/Outdoor Multi-Purpose Insect Spray to make sure plants are free of pests. Spray the soil as well as the plant itself. Water monthly with ferti•lome 20-20-20 All Purpose Water Soluble Plant Food, liquid ferti-lome All Purpose Houseplant Food or Nature’s Source Plant Food to maintain good color.
2. Prepare to move plants indoors before nights get as cool as 50°F.
3. Wash plants with water to get rid of remaining insects and disease spores.
4. Houseplants will need repotting if these conditions are present:
• Plants wilt rapidly after watering
• Soil dries out quickly
• Roots appear on soil surface
• Decreasing leaf size on new growth
5. Repotting hints:
• Use ferti•lome Ultimate Potting Mix for optimum growth and drainage.
• New pot should be no more than 2” wider than the old pot.
6. Spray again with ferti-lome Triple Action Insect Spray or fertilome Indoor/Outdoor Multi-Purpose Insect Spray to make sure plants are free of pests.
7. After spraying, put down a soil application of Hi-Yield Systemic Insect Granules to systemically control sucking insects.
8. Prune dead or spindly stems and foliage to encourage compact, bushy growth.
9. Fertilize lightly with ferti•lome 20-20-20 All Purpose Water Soluble Plant Food, liquid ferti-lome All Purpose Houseplant Food or Nature’s Source Plant Food during the winter months, returning to a regular fertilizer schedule in spring, summer and early fall.
10. Fungus gnats can become a nuisance inside during the winter. Adults look like fruit flies and lay their eggs in potted plants. Larva hatch out in moist soil so always use a well draining potting mix like ferti-lome Ultimate Potting Mix and let plants dry between waterings. Adults can be controlled with yellow sticky traps. Larva can be killed by spraying ferti-lome Triple Action on the soil several times. A layer of rice hulls or sand as a top dressing will keep the soil surface dry and unreceptive to fungus gnats.