Surprisingly, the summer season seems to be moving fast, and then we realize that the harvest season is fast approaching. This past week was the first brush with cold weather, thinking about sweaters, jackets and getting us all to start bringing the plants we want to save for the winter. This can always be a challenge when it comes to bringing them in and adapting to their new environment.
It is always wise to have the right amount of light and temperature in your home to keep the plants growing until the next season. It is also good to know what kind of cold storage you have for light bulbs and plants that are not too heavy for our winter. It’s the same process every year, but we usually have less space or more plants. Me, I always seem to run out of space to transport things. Technically, I bring things to “hang in there” during the colder months. Usually this means that the stems are ready for the new growth season, but at that time the plant does not look very green or healthy.
I always walk around the compound and count what I grew up there and what I want to save for next year. I often have hibiscus, agapantus, bugmania, fumgogo, plumeria, crown of thorns, a bird of paradise, and various spiders in pottery. Among the many bulbs you take to dig and store are ammonium, aryllis, raindrops, tuberculosis, cannons, gladiators, and amphibians. All of them need a place to store their time.
It is common for bulbs to dig up after the first good snow that damages the leaves. Once this happens, simply remove them from the ground, remove all debris and vegetation from the bulb, and allow the ends to dry in the sun for a week to dry and seal. This vital moisture stays in the root and enters the next season. Cold, dry, and dark places are usually best. Since I didn’t have much cool space, I put my bulbs in a plastic bag and put them in a room where the light was less bright and the air was dry. In this way, I lost a lot of light bulbs. If you are storing dahlia roots, make sure the bulbs are soaked in peat moss to keep them stable and do not rot or dry out. Gladiators are best stored in an onion bag hanging from a stem to ensure good ventilation around the bulb. It is always wise to rub these bulbs with pesticides, such as semen dust, so that nothing is left on them during sleep.
Houseplants can carry a lot of pests, so they can be a little challenging to get inside. Insects such as pests, worms, aphids, scales, and spiders are very common. The best way to prevent these insects from entering your home with your plants is to isolate them in a garage with window light and start spraying every week. This kills insects on the spot and then attacks new insects that can hatch from the leaves with each progressive spray.
Most houseplants are good for spraying except English ivys and palm plants. If these are sprayed, watch all their plants turn brown and dry. They are very sensitive to chemicals. The most common pesticide to use is Safer’s Insecticidal Soap (as well as organic compounds) or any spray made by pyrethrums. Pyrexum comes from the chrysanthemum flower and is also natural.
Once your spraying system is complete, bring your plants to their new home for the winter and add a systemic pesticide to the soil. These treatments are usually good for three months and work internally. So if there are insects that drink liquid from your plants, this juice will make them a little more toxic and kill them before they become a problem.
Don’t worry if some or many yellow leaves of your garden fall to the floor. You need to realize that this is a natural process when you are changing the way your plants grow. Indoors, they have a constant temperature, dry air, and low light intensity. This will improve over the next few months, but it will be a slow process as many plants will settle down in the winter and grow very little. As daylight hours begin to increase, true growth begins again. My hibiscus can sometimes be leafless for a good month or more before it can rejuvenate.
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If you have children at home or want to try something new, save a cut or two. Simply cut a stem, remove the lower leaves and paste the lower half into a glass of water. Within three weeks, these stems have roots and can be grown until the pot. The more sunlight they have, the brighter the color. This can be very rewarding for children in the home as this is a very successful process and teaches them the basics of plant propagation and care.
The temperature is now set again for the Indian summer preparations, but it will soon be time to prepare and prepare these plants indoors. This is the time to plan and make arrangements. Remember to always have fun during each process!