My houseplants enjoy their summers outside on the porch. I feel the living room looks a bit bare when they get moved out, however, I don’t spend much time in the house during the summer either!!
When it’s time to bring everyone back into the house, there are a few things that need to be done to insure a safe, pest-free winter. Otherwise, things can go bad fast…
Here are a few tools of my trade.
First, everyone gets a bath. I try to actually shoot across the crown, not down, as if there are bugs, eggs or god knows what up in there, it gets shot out, not into the soil. Hit both sides of the leaves. If the leaves are broad, wipe them off a bit.
I then give everyone a dose of soap! It is best to have the plants wet before you spray the soap on as it will stay liquid longer to smother any offenders. Don’t forget the trunks. So, this is what it’s like to be a mass murderer… ;-)
Oh, a note about frugality…. I love being able to make a concoction for 10¢ instead of paying $13.99 for something… HOWever, do not use dish soap in lieu of horticultural soap. Dish soap nowadays does not have the fatty-acids that aid adhesion and they are mostly made of detergents that will be harsh on the leaves.
I let everyone soak in the soap for about 10 minutes, then a good rinse using the same technique of overshooting the crown.
Look over the plants for anything that may look like a pending issue.
Pruning any poor-growing branches or just to make the plant more compact to fit in the house is a good idea. I also may need to tie a few branches up for space issues.
I then make sure the pot drains correctly and that the pot is rinsed off of dirt or any other cling-ons. This will become difficult to do if you can’t bring it outside to correct.
Some of my plants need amendments, like my orange tree prefers acid soil in this land of limestone well water. I add the garden sulfur as directed and water it in thoroughly. Again this is something you really can’t do after the plant is inside with only a reservoir under the pot. I do give some of them a bit of fertilizer, however I only give it sparingly.
Here’s the lamp that I had and thought matched my repurposed lamp!