The Great Outdoors


There are approximately 5-6 weeks left of very good weather in which one can use these ideal outdoor conditions to re-pot their indoor, tropical house plants and allow them to adjust outside. And it takes the whole time for this adjustment to be fulfilled. Don’t wait until forecasts start calling for cold night-time temperatures, or even frost before you re-pot…do it now, this weekend. Allowing your houseplants plenty of time under perfect outdoor conditions is the best way to get ready for the winter season ahead.

Getting ready to do this chore may take a couple of days as you will need to gather a few items for the task. Obviously you will need to get some soil, but make sure that it is a good blended, soil-less mix that contains peat, vermiculite, perlite and other ingredients such as bark or horticultural charcoal. Buying the cheap $1.25 Potting Soil or Top Soil is just not going to cut it. Those inexpensive soils are too heavy and will compact too tightly and hold too much moisture which in turn will make caring for your plant(s) a difficult project.

Finding the right pot is also very important and something that you may need to think about. Re-potting your plant into a pot without drainage holes is just plain wrong. First re-pot your plant into a pot with drainage holes and then set that into a larger, more decorative pot without drainage holes. So as you can see, it is important to find the first pot and then after, you must find the second pot that the first pot will fit inside with a little extra room. This way, if you over-water, you can take out the plant from the decorative pot and pour out the excess water then put them back together again.

While your plant is setting outside getting accustomed to the new pot and developing more roots, start a regular program of pest control. Spraying your plants with nothing more than just plain water or soap and water is very helpful as water chases away insects or soap and water smothers any insects on your plants. You can also mix up various ingredients such as water (qt.), garlic (t.) and Tabasco Sauce (2 t.) with just a little soap to discourage insects, or you can use insecticides purchased from your local garden centers. All of these things can be done easily and safely while your plants are outside re-adjusting to the new pot. Remember not to spray chemicals onto your plants during the day when the hot sun is out, rather spray in the evening as the sun is setting.

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Doug Hackbarth

Doug's is the former owner of Broadview Florist & Greenhouses in Waynedale. He authors a garden & landscaping article in the newspaper. In his adolescence he attended Hillcrest, Kekionga and Elmhurst HS. His expertise has been shared in print, tv and radio. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer