Messages posted to thread:

Annette12-Oct-02 01:04 PM EST 5b   
Linda13-Oct-02 12:41 AM EST   
William Creed13-Oct-02 11:18 AM EST   
Annette16-Oct-02 01:26 PM EST   
PUNKY18-Oct-02 10:46 PM EST 5   
Doris Dignard18-Oct-03 05:55 PM EST 6a   
Will Creed, Interior landscaper19-Oct-03 03:10 PM EST   

Subject: potted plants
From: Annette
Zone: 5b
Date: 12-Oct-02 01:04 PM EST

This is the first time I've had a balcony where I could put out my spider plants, palm and other vines. Now that I've brought them in, a lot of the leaves are turning yellow. Will they be ok from the move? I also tried cuttings from my Begonias. I put them in water and they rooted, so planted them and the little shots looked good for a couple weeks, but dieing off now. I'm trying to do the same with cutting from Coleus. Would leaving ceiling lights on in the room help out the plants with the extra light they need in the short days of winter?

Subject: RE: potted plants
From: Linda
Date: 13-Oct-02 12:41 AM EST

Plants usually experience shock when they are moved inside to a different climate. If frequently results in lost leaves.

Check to see if the new plants are sitting in wet soil. If it is too wet the plants will rot at stem level.

Subject: RE: potted plants
From: William Creed
Date: 13-Oct-02 11:18 AM EST

The downside of moving plants outside in summer is that they inevitably decline when they are moved back into the reduced light of indoors. The greater the difference between the outdoor light and the indoor light, the harder the adjustment.

Standard (incandecsent) ceiling lights are of little help and not worth the expense of keeping them on. Overhead fluorescent lights will definitely benefit your plants and are inexpensive to operate.

Here are a few tips. Move your outdoor plants to the sunniest indoor windows that you have. Never repot these plants just before or just after you move them indoors; this just adds to the stress and the likelihood that you will overwater. Monitor your watering very carefully. As the plants gradually adapt to the reduced light, they will gradually need less frequent waterings. Stop fertilizing until next spring. Prune back long stems that lose many of their leaves.

In many cases, the winter months are just a period when you try to keep your plants alive until you can move them back outside again in the warmer months. Personally, I find it much easier to keep my plants indoors all year round so they don't go through the semi-annual up-and-down cycle.

Please let me know if this is unclear or if you have any additional questions. Will Creed, Horticulturist Horticultural Help, NYC Email: P.S. You may be interested in my website at and my Indoor Plant Bulletins that I publish monthly. The Bulletins contain lots of helpful facts and unusual tips for keeping house and office plants alive and well.

Subject: RE: potted plants
From: Annette
Date: 16-Oct-02 01:26 PM EST

Thank you Linda and William for the help. I'll have to see how well they do this winter and decide if I want to put them out next year or not-(but they look so lovely hanging in our upper balcony..*S*) I'll be sure to check out your site William.

Subject: RE: potted plants
Zone: 5
Date: 18-Oct-02 10:46 PM EST

Thank you ever so much for your detailed post. As soon as I put my small outdoor garden to sleep for the winter, I will visit you Web site. I agree that it is not worth putting my houseplants outside in the summer.

I tried it last year and lost a beautiful Hybiscus. This year I put a Spider Plant outdoors, however, as soon as the nights started to get cold, I brought in indoors for the night and put it back outside during the day. That way it got used to the changes and now that I have it inside for the winter, I have not lost any leaves or babies. I did lose some babies carrying it in and out, so I have put them in water and perhaps they will root so that I can made more plants.

Today is my first as a member of ICanGarden, and I am certain that I will be very happy here.

Thank you all.

Subject: RE: potted plants
From: Doris Dignard
Zone: 6a
Date: 18-Oct-03 05:55 PM EST

I would like to know when I should cut my hybiscus back. I am dreading the return of white fly as well. They destroyed my hybiscus last winter.

Subject: RE: potted plants
From: Will Creed, Interior landscaper
Date: 19-Oct-03 03:10 PM EST


When you bring your Hibiscus indoors for the winter is a good time to prune it way back, assuming that it is no longer in flower or bud. This pruning will make the plant less susceptible to white fly.

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