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applestar
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Bringing container plants inside for fall

OK, I've admitted several times over that I'm really bad at taking care of container plants. :wink:

Fall is here, my green ash tree is starting to shed it's leaves, frosty weather can't be too far away. In the years past, I'd wait until the last minute -- FROST TONIGHT! and hustle my containers inside.

I'm wondering if that might not be the best way... :oops:

Should they be acclimated? Reverse of hardening off? I'd like to keep the soil life active -- i.e. I don't really want to spray or soil soak until everything's dead, like some people do, somewhere in the middle ground?

I have: 1 orchid (LBC or some combo thereof - don't feel like looking/looking up spelling :roll: Ordinarily I also have several Phalaenopsis to bring in, but they bloomed all summer inside and I didn't get the chance to put them outside.), several Fuchsias, several citrus, avocados, 1 mango, a couple of pineapples, 1 Jalepeno, several rosemary, 1 night blooming cereus, 1 stevia. I *may* dig up the 2 pineapple sage plants and the other stevia plant, oh and a couple pots of rooted Stevia cuttings.

Any advice and nuggets of wisdom gladly accepted. :D

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Gnome
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AS,
Fall is here, my green ash tree is starting to shed it's leaves, frosty weather can't be too far away. In the years past, I'd wait until the last minute -- FROST TONIGHT! and hustle my containers inside.


Why are you bringing it inside at all? This is not a tender species that I may not be aware of is it? Assuming not, a light frost will not harm your tree in the least.

I leave all of my hardy and semi hardy (Chinese Elm & Pomegranate) outside to experience the early frosts. This is important in order to prepare them for their coming dormancy.

The semi-hardy ones mentioned above will later come into an unheated space for the majority of the winter but this is not until they have had a good taste of cold weather and have shed their leaves.

Unless I am missing something the Ash will be fine, concentrate on the other things that are more urgent.

Norm

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Bringing container plants inside for fall

applestar wrote: I have: 1 orchid (LBC or some combo thereof - don't feel like looking/looking up spelling :roll: Ordinarily I also have several Phalaenopsis to bring in, but they bloomed all summer inside and I didn't get the chance to put them outside.), several Fuchsias, several citrus, avocados, 1 mango, a couple of pineapples, 1 Jalepeno, several rosemary, 1 night blooming cereus, 1 stevia. I *may* dig up the 2 pineapple sage plants and the other stevia plant, oh and a couple pots of rooted Stevia cuttings.
I don't think applestar was talking about bringing the ash tree in, that was just a sign of fall.

Re the question of reverse hardening (unhardening?, tendering ?), it sounds like a good idea, but I never have. I just this past weekend brought in most of the house plants (corn plant, ficus, pothos, peace lily and others). I just told them oops, time to come in. They all seem just fine. People always say ficus doesn't like to be moved, but so far any way, it seems to like its new indoor home (and rejuvenated soil) better than when it was outdoors. I still have some things outdoors (jasmine, coleus, rosemary, basil) that I want to pot up and bring in. I have pepper plants outdoors that won't last much longer, but they are huge and I have no where inside that really has enough light for them, but in the interest of science I may bring one in as an experiment, since they've none so well, despite slug attacks.

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Gnome
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RBG,
I don't think applestar was talking about bringing the ash tree in, that was just a sign of fall.
I believe you are correct and my apologies to AS for misinterpreting. Perhaps I've become so accustomed to novice bonsai growers wanting to shield their trees from frost that I jumped to an unwarranted conclusion. I should have known better. :oops:

Norm

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applestar
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I love you guys. No need to explain. You've figured it all out. :wink:
I'm hurtin' ALL OVER -- I've been digging that pond I've been wanting (and need so I can move any goldfish remaining in the container-grown rice). Hooked up a heavy-duty pump to a waterfall/stream and did a test run. Still got lots of details to work out, but looking good. :()

Near future forecast lows look like mostly mid-40's. Definitely time to start bringing some of the container plants in. But not tonight. :roll: I'll look up minimum temps so I can figure out which ones need to come in right away. I'm pretty sure there are several that really don't like anything much lower than the upper 50's. :roll:

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hendi_alex
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I just drag mine in when its time. I bring in several sago's, avocados, pineapple sage, penta, lantana, banana trees, and a few others. Be sure to not overwater during the cold months, but keep in mind that the dry air does dry the plants pretty quickly. Also, some pests that are no trouble outside become quite a problem inside. Spider mites, white flies, scale are just a few. I found scale to be a particular problem on my citrus. Because of scale, I eventually tossed my entire citrus collection. Maybe give them a good oil spray before bringing them inside.

I'm fortunate to have a greenhouse for all of my tender perennials, but many of the trees and shubs go inside the sun room. It gets pretty crowded during the winter. My avocado trees have gotten so large, and my banana trees are getting so large that something will likely have to go. My largest avocado bloomed for the first time this past year, but no fruit set. If it doesn't set fruit next year, those trees will likely get tossed.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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applestar
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Ooh, Alex, you got this far with your avocado's -- don't toss them!
Did you know about the Type A and Type B (morning and afternoon schedule) pollen releasing flowers in avocados? I briefly mentioned it in [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=79164#79164]this post[/url].

Apparently, some avocado's absolutely need to be cross pollinated between Type A flowering and Type B flowering avocados, but some have both Type A and Type B flowers with overlapping schedule and can self-pollinate. I also read somewhere a description for saving pollen from one type and hand-pollinating with it. (I'll see if I still have that link.)

If I lived closer, I'd drive over and take them off your hands next year! :wink:

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hendi_alex
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The plant that bloomed has gotten as tall as ten or twelve feet tall, but I topped it at about six feet. It was very vigorous this past season when it bloomed, but is looking a little less healthy now, with less leaves. It could be getting root bound in its 15-20 gallon container. the other two plants are between six and eight feet tall, with a different kind of leaf than the other tree. there is just so much room to go around and three banana trees and three avocados are pretty large. My wife says to put them in the barn this winter and that maybe they will survive. It does have large clear panels at each end, near the roof. The oldest avocado go down into the low twenties one year, and it didn't seem to suffer at all from the low temperature. So maybe I'll leave the plants outside most of the winter and only take them into the greenhouse when the temperature drops below freezing. That could be one solution, since we don't usually have long strings of freezing temperatures.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

Selborne
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I've brought in my Christmas cactuses, all with a nice bud set (the ones I left indoors show only the earliest bud signs). Amaryllis are coming in to go dormant. I'll also be bring in herb pots and a bay bush, on which I am fighting a war of attrition with scale. I see a scale spray advertised in Logee's which I am going to try, having had only modest success with an oil-pyrethrum spray. I am definitely going to try the cinnamon treatment for fungus/fungus gnats.

Rosemary, clivia, cyclamen (just restarting now), begonias, amaryllis, orchid cactus, and geraniums thrive in my south-facing porch, which I warm with an oil-filled radiator as necessary. Bulbs forced in water or soil do very well out here too.

When I bring pots in I simply remove all dead leaves and wipe or spray down the pot. Anything that looks diseased or buggy gets a pruning and a spray with insecticidal soap, or it gets tossed. I find it is nigh onto impossible to eliminate all pests, but I keep them at a low level, and they get taken care of by predators when they go back outside.
"If you have a library and a garden you have all you need.--Cicero"

sweet thunder
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I'm torn about which plants to bring in and which to leave out this year. I put all the houseplants out this summer, and they all did well. In fact, some got so big that they may not all fit in my limited indoor space!

Fortunately, my climate is mild, so I think I'll be leaving the Norfolk Pine outside and one of the larger jades. The other big jade is in already, along with the ficus, the rubber plant and the snake plant. I'll probably bring in one or two of the baby jades, too, but I have a bunch of other succulents that stay outdoors all the time. I usually repot and give everyone a good hose down before they come in.

While most of those could survive a winter outdoors here, I would really miss having them inside. Healthy houseplants make me very happy!

The one I'm most worried about is the Meyer lemon. It is supposedly okay to leave it out in my zone. I have a protected, south-facing patio, so I left it out last year (its first) but it lost all its leaves. They came back and it looks nice and healthy right now (even has a few baby lemons) but I'm concerned it'll face another setback.

Selborne
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Sweet Thunder, I've been wanting a potted Meyer lemon, which I intend to bring inside in the winter and summer outdoors (I'm in Chicago). I don't know much about citrus growing but I assumed that the trees would be evergreen with some leaf turnover on a seasonal schedule. Is this correct? Do they have a blooming schedule as well or is that sporadic? I envy you your year-round warmth!
It's unseasonably cold here--we need a shivering emoticon!
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sweet thunder
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Meyer Lemons are supposed to be evergreen, but they will drop their leaves when stressed. [url=https://www.meyerlemontree.com/]This site[/url] has some information worth reading (just keep in mind that they are very interested in selling you a tree).

This is my first experience with citrus, so comparatively speaking, they may be very easy to care for, but I'm finding my little tree to be somewhat fussy.
Lots of people report success with them indoors, though, so hopefully you can raise a happy tree.

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