Protecting Frost-Sensitive Plants Indoors

Shirley is showing you how to protect your plants as the weather gets colder.

Storing plant as a “bareroot”:
For tropical plants that have a bulb, like a Canna lilly, “bareroot” the plant -- which means removing all the soil around the plants, cutting off the leaves, and removing the bulbs to let them dry out.

-- Cut off the canna leaves and put a label on the plant.
-- Place the plant in a dark plastic bag with moistened peat moss, tie and store in a cool dark place, (40-50 degrees) until spring.
-- Check the plant once a month. If the peat moss is dry, spray with water, minimally. In the Spring, pot up the Canna Lily and take outdoors.

Propagate a new plant to grow indoors for spring:

When you propagate a plant like a begonia or ivy-leaf geranium, you take pieces of the stems to start new plants. This allows the plant to start a headstart growing indoors -- in time for a spring replanting.

-- Take a 4 to 6"-inch stem cutting of ivy geranium below a node (take cuttings from stems without flowers -- or cut the flowers off)
-- Dip in rooting hormone.
-- Place in pot prepared with moist, well-draining soil.
-- Place pot on a warm surface or use a plant heating pad to encourage root growth..
-- Don't allow soil to dry completely.
-- Once the roots grow, place the rooted plant in a very bright room or use a plant light.
-- Take outdoors in the spring.

Display as a Houseplant:
I taught Cameron how to grow tropical mandevilla vines in the summer, but now they need to be protected from cold temperatures. Care for mandevilla as a houseplant in a bright room with temps in 60 degree range.

-- Before bringing indoors, spray water on mandevilla vine to knock off any insects from leaves.
-- Once plant dries, repot with new potting soil and place in decorative container with a saucer.
-- Cut the stems to 8 inches. Cut down the foilage. It’s also normal for some plants to drop their leaves when first brought indoors on their own.
-- Then, place plants in a bright window or under a grow light.
-- Water, when the soil feels dry, to touch
-- Bring back outside in spring

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