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5 Tips for overwintering containers






You did it again:  You bought plants that aren't hardy.  Although winter is approaching, you don't need to toss out your plants.  Overwintering these must haves can be a painless procedure.  Just follow a few simple tips for moving the outdoors in.

1 - Give plants a trim - clean out any debris, and prune plants back a bit for their winter vacation.  This will help them conserve energy, get them ready to regenerate new growth the following season, and bring them down to a house friendly scale.

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2.  Leave pests outside -  look under and on top of your plants leaves for any small insect pests or potential diseases.  Then, look at the soil.  If you find any suspect creatures, treat the problem with an organic pesticide to prevent bringing pests indoors.

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3.  Remove unwanted plants - you'll most likely be overwintering one piece of a combo rather than the entire container planting.  Remove any unwanted plants, like annuals, and replenish the potting mix.  Re-pot plants in a more suitably sized container if necessary.

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4.  Make a gradual transition - Humidity and lighting drastically change when you move plants indoors.  Gradually transition them by placing them in a shady outdoor location, such as under a patio overhang, for a week or two before moving them indoors.

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5.  Cut back on care - Ease off the fertilizer until spring, and scale watering way back.  Wait to water plants until the soil is dry.  Occasional misting, however, is a good idea to promote humidity, which most plants - especially tropicals - love.


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