House plants: vacation’s over

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 14, 2018

Believe it or not, now is the time to move houseplants indoors for an end to their summer vacation.
Seasonable cooler night time temperatures will be dipping to the 40-degree range in the next few weeks. Waxes and oils within the cells of tropical plants solidify under cool night temperatures, rupturing cell walls damaging most house plants without a frost. Cold damage is manifested by browning on the leaf margins of plants.
Below are a few tips for indoor house plant survivability over the upcoming winter months.
• Place houseplants in an area indoors that has high natural indirect light.
• Avoid placing plants near drafty doors, forced air heating and air conditioning vents.
• Group houseplants together to increase the humidity around the plants.
• Occasionally mist house plants or place an electrostatic humidifier to the room.
• Check the soil moisture on a regular basis. Never overwater houseplants during the winter months.
• Check houseplant foliage and stems for aphids, scales or other insect pests carefully before bringing indoors. Use a pesticide to control them before entering the house.
Fertilization is not recommended on house plants during the winter months. Soluble salt build-up from winter fertilization often burns the roots.
Remove dead or dying stems, leaves or blooms during the winter months.