Bringing Plants Inside

by Dennis Mayer | November 4th, 2011 | Container Gardening

Depending on where you live, winter weather has either already arrived, or it will soon. Either way, your flowers won’t survive for very long outside. Now, this is a normal part of plants life-cycle, and is nothing to fret about – many of your flowers will come back next spring, anyway.

However, any passionate gardener will want at least a couple of plants inside to occupy him or her during the winter. And while keeping potted plants requires the same basic skills as keeping an outdoor garden, you should remember a few basic pointers to help your plants thrive indoors:

  • Think from the ground up… in this case, from the pot up. Provide an optimum growing environment to help your plants survive through the winter. You don’t have to buy new potting soil every year, but you should mix in new materials every year. Peat moss or sphagnum moss, when integrated into your potting soil, will act as a sponge, helping to spread water and nutrients throughout the pot (and your plants root system.) Also, remember when choosing your pot that its size will determine how big your plant can grow. If you want a bigger plant, use a bigger pot.
  • Water – it’s obvious, but crucial. A small, enclosed body of soil, with the exposed surface area on the sides and bottom of the pot, dries out much faster than the ground outside. As a result, watering potted plants requires more attention than plants outside. Plants outside can be saturated with water every few days; potted plants need water every day or two. If you can’t handle that daily committment, consider a plant waterer.
  • Square meals…not every day, of course, but you’ll need to mix plant food in with your water every week or two. In a small environment like a pot, the roots of a plant can suck all the nutrients out of soil sooner than you’d think. Whether you want to use Miracle Grow, a generic substitute, or an organic specialty feed, follow the directions.
  • Sunlight and warmth…both are just as important inside as out. Most indoor gardeners are smart enough to find somewhere sunny in their homes, but they forget about the heat. While it might not be economical to keep your whole living space warm enough for your plants, consider keeping them in a warm room. (The bathroom is great for this…and the steam from your shower helps, too).
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