• 73°

Darrell Blackwelder: Time to move houseplants indoors

By Darrell Blackwelder
For the Salisbury Post
SALISBURY – Cooler temperatures and falling leaves are a sure signal for those with houseplants outdoors to strongly consider moving them indoors soon. Nighttime temperatures dipping down to the 40-degree range will damage some houseplants.
Houseplants such as rubber trees, philodendron, pathos and even Christmas cactus are actually tropical understory plants. The cell structures of these plants contain more oils and waxes than plants endogenous to the Piedmont. Waxes and oils within the cells solidify under waning night temperatures, rupturing cell walls. Cold damage is manifested by internal browning on the leaf margins of plants. Rubber tree plants are easily damaged at temperatures of 42 degrees.
The indoor environment is a difficult transition for most houseplants coming in from a long summer vacation. Moving plants indoors from bright sunlight of nearly 10,000 foot candles to 5-15 foot candles often initiates premature leaf drop. Ficus trees, or weeping fig trees, are very sensitive to deviations in light intensity. These trees and other plants experience premature leaf drop. New leaves adjust well to low light levels.
It is important to emulate an indoor environment similar to the outdoors. Move houseplants to an area indoors that has high natural light. Avoid placing plants near drafty doors or forced air heating vents.
Occasionally mist house plants or place groups of plants on pans of rock filled with water. Evaporating water increases the level of humidity around the plant. Implementing an electrostatic humidifier to the room is an excellent method of keeping the air moist.
Houseplants on outdoor vacation this past summer are also subjected to a number of insect pests. Check houseplant foliage and stems for aphids, scales or other insect pests carefully before bringing indoors.
Use recommended houseplant sprays to control insect pests outdoors a few days before bringing them indoors for their winter rest. Eggs and immature stages of spiders, ants and other insects may be lying dormant in the soil media of the house plant. People who have plants with insects may want to drench the soil media three days before moving indoors with an indoor insecticide. Drenches will control many, but not all insects hibernating in the soil. Always read and follow pesticide labels before applying any pesticide.
Fertilization is generally not recommended on houseplants during the winter months. High soluble salt build-up from winter fertilization often burns the roots, reducing vigor and eventually killing the houseplant.Darrell Blackwelder is the County Extension Director with horticulture responsibilities with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. Call 704-216-8970.


See More Garden Information on FARM CAROLINA.com – All about Garden, Food and Farm

Comments

Comments closed.

Coronavirus

People receiving first dose of COVID-19 vaccine grows by less than 1%

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools brings Skills Rowan competition back to its roots

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time

News

GOP leaders differ on bottom line for state spending

News

Police: Man killed in shootout with officers in Winston-Salem

Crime

Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes

Crime

Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title

Local

Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game

Local

County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money

Business

Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury

News

At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary

Coronavirus

More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot

Local

City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year

Local

Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days

Crime

Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide