Thursday, October 23, 2014

Preparing for Winter

Last weekend temperatures dropped into the 30's. For me and most gardeners this means, time to bring house plants and anything that is not hardy indoors or into some sheltered place for the winter. We haven't had our first frost here but it did go down to 39 last weekend. In the suburbs and Pocono mountains they got frost. The temperatures in Philly are up and down. Next week it's supposed to be in the 70's. Hard to believe when Saturday is the first day of November. I brought 2 of my mother's amaryllis from her house. They've sat in the yard since spring and grew long foliage. The plan was to stop watering them in August so they could go dormant. My brother must of kept watering them or they received rain water because they are huge. I don't know when they'll bloom. I hope not watering them will cause the foliage to die and they'll go dormant and then I can repot them and bring them inside to hopefully stimulate growth and blooming. 

This is my first year trying this. Normally I throw mine out after they bloom because they usually attract fungus gnats in my house. Of course I've learned that the gnats are already in the house on other plants whether I see them or not. My mother refused to throw out any flower I give her, so after her's bloomed, she kept them as  house plants and then put them in the yard in the spring. Maybe this is one plant of her's that I'll be able to keep alive. A tiny palm and a poinsettia also came to my house. How am I going to keep a poinsettia alive? Mom did well with them after Christmas. Mines always bite the dust. A palm in my house! I've never had success with them. It's tiny, maybe the grow light will help keep it alive. Finally a small tradescantia made the trip. I should be able to keep this living. My brother has done well will the larger plants like the sansevieria, pothos, and amazingly her orchid. 

At my house I sprayed the plants on my porch 2 weeks ago, brought some in last weekend in clear sealed plastic bags and some stayed out until tonight. My Boston fern and a succulent came in after work today. I love ferns but this is the first one that has ever survived a summer at my house. I've purchased one almost every summer for years only to watch it die during the summer. I wasn't thinking because the fern was probably still alive and just needed watering until it developed new fronds. I killed a birds nest and maidenhair fern already this year. I tried to save the foliage less pots but got tired of waiting to see if new fronds would come out. Now you know, I won't be out done and I'll buy more of them at the flower show in March.

 When the weather started to turn cooler the fern on the porch started to grow. I was elated! It must like cooler temperatures. Kept it watered and gave it filtered sun, and I had success. Her home for the winter is my bedroom along with a sansevieria my mother gave me a couple of years ago and another plant that I can't think of it's name right now. The succulent is also in the bedroom. My bedroom faces South and receives lots of light year round. They should enjoy it here. The fern is hanging over a radiator. Hopefully the dry heat won't kill her. I'm going to put a container of water on the radiator to increase the humidity in the bedroom over the winter and spritz her with water a couple times a week. I'll keep you updated as to how she does. If any insect is flying around my bedroom tonight it will get ugly. You know I hate, hate, hate bugs.

The fern and succulent were sprayed and watered with a solution of liquid soap and water. Hopefully they won't be dead in the morning. I doubt it. My lungs should love all the clean air in my bedroom. I'm amazed that plants actually help cleanse and remove certain chemicals from the air. I'm already lusting after plant's in stores with blooms. Rieger begonias, miniature roses, orchids, African violets, all call to me. Winter hasn't even started. I'm in trouble.

I've seen prettier ones, but for me this is an accomplishment. Nothing like the huge majestic ones adorning porches with rocking chairs in the south but, it's alive!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting. Comment will be published after review.