With our outside gardens finished for the year, I have now turned my attentions to the care of my houseplants. In areas where temperatures reach the freezing point, it is time to bring indoors any of those plants that were placed outside. Plants having experienced the ravages of a harsh summer are now ready for some TLC. Prune away any damaged and yellow leaves, along with any straggly branches. It is best to isolate these plants from your strictly indoor plants for a short time to make sure there are no harmful insect hitchhikers on them. If you discover any, go to your garden center and look for products suitable for house plants (and people too!).
With the reduced light and temperatures of the season, most green plants will go into a period of dormancy. There will be little or no growth. So along with these cut backs, be careful to not overwater your plants. The soil may not dry out as quickly as it would in a warm sunny place. Keep the soil lightly moist by checking with your finger tips or a soil moisture meter. In addition, be very sparing with fertilizer. Also, if your house is very low in humidity, you can mist the foliage with water (except African Violets or Gloxinia).
In the placement of house plants, never put a plant on top of a heat source, including radiators, wood stoves and old fashioned TVs. In northern regions, the more light you can provide, the better.
Enjoy the touch of nature that plants bring to the “Great Indoors”!