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Monday, April 10, 2006

Vacation And Summer Care for your Houseplants

Vacation Care

Making sure your plants receive enough water during your absence is the challenge. Cover the plants using a clear plastic bag that is large enough to accommodate each of them. Then place the enclosed plant in a shallow pan with pebbles and some water. This set-up should be sufficient for 7-8 days. For an extended vacation, ask someone to check on them regularly.

Summer Care

During the summer, many houseplants can be revitalized if placed outdoors. Do not rush the plants outside too early in the spring. Late May is usually soon enough. Cool nights may injure some of them.

Move the plants to a sheltered spot on a porch, beneath a tree or behind shrubs close to the house on a mild day, preferably when the weather is cloudy. After about one week of this adjustment, they may be moved to a more exposed but sheltered spot for the rest of the summer.

Plants with large leaves should be placed where they get good wind protection, since their leaves are easily torn.

Potted plants dry rapidly outdoors. Frequency of watering can be reduced by submerging the pots in soil. This also keeps pots from falling over. Lift the pots occasionally to keep roots from growing out of the drainage hole in the pot and to prevent the plant from becoming established outdoors. Fertilize monthly, and check occasionally for insects or diseases that may attack them outdoors. Move them indoors by mid-September before cool weather returns.


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