MY HOUSEPLANTS RETURNED TO THE WINDOW GARDEN YESTERDAY, after their sunny summer holiday outdoors. Prior to their coming in, I gave them two “acclimatizing” weeks on the shady patio. You see, if plants are moved too quickly from sun and humidity to diffused light and a dryer atmosphere, they inevitably drop their leaves. And here are some additional things which help them adjust to window life:
Before bringing plants indoors, scrub clay pots with plain steel wool, go over foliage for dead leaves, and prune for shapeliness. Then spray both pot and plant with insecticide (I use House & Garden Raid). If you don’t wish to use insecticide, dislodge pests with a firm blast from the garden hose.
Hopefully, repotting was accomplished before the summer holiday. Plants recover more quickly when they are heading out to ideal conditions than when they are returning to home life. Scraping away the top inch of soil and replacing it with a fresh mixture is a fine substitute for shock-inducing autumn repotting. That was a weird sentence, but I think you get my drift.
The first weeks indoors, provide plants all the fresh air and humidity you can muster. Keep windows open all day and all night (as weather permits), and if your plants rest on pebble-filled trays, as some of mine do, keep the trays filled with water. With such care your potted companions will continue to flourish with nary a complaint.
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