Have you brought your plants in yet?

paul_(z5 MI)September 15, 2013

So out of curiosity -- of those of you who summer some plants outdoors, have you brought your plants in yet? Night temps in my area have been in the low 50's and even the upper 40's. As rain is not uncommon this time of year, my cacti/succulents are definitely going to have to come in. "Recess" is over.

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I have mostly Jades on the back porch, facing east. They get sun in the afternoon, but more often we have clouds. I brought them in Friday night, lows in the mid 40s, but left them out last night, it was in the 50s here. They are protected from the rain, so I'll leave them out as long as I can. No room in the house. I've got to make some room, somehow.
I am disappointed, I had some I thought were Hummel's but they are still green, only red edges and no yellow. Big ugly leaves, and branching all inconveniently.
Lennie in Grand Rapids, MI

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 11:42AM
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Hey Paul,

Not yet.

Nights have been cold here, too. 40's and 50's. So, I will soon prepare areas plants will be wintered.

Before plants are brought inside, I have to wash windows and shelves, VINEGARIZE, LOL, areas plants will be wintered, add ant baits...

I checked the weeks forecast..they're now saying the temp will be in the 80's this coming Thursday..
What does one do in this case?

Some plants love the cold, especially succulents. It's said, Jades redden due to cold temps.
I thought they reddened because of direct sun...

My Thanksgiving Cacti are the last plants to come in..cold is supposed to promote budding.
This year, 'because of ants,' I only brought one TC basket out..If the others do not bloom........
Actually, there are other plants that come in later, too..Geranium, Gardenias, etc.

But, you're right, Paul...it's time to prepare indoors, so when plants are brought in, the areas are ready.

Before plants come in, each are sprayed with home-made insecticide, and watered with vinegar water..'I'm not suggesting others water w/vinegar.'

It's a big production...lots of work...less time spent on GW. lol.

Rain and succulents..another problem.
Paul, if your succulents are potted in well-draining soils, rain shouldn't harm them. In fact, rain is the best, chemical-free water one can provide.

Good luck hauling plants back in..Toni

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 11:45AM
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Years ago I read somewhere that it is best to bring houseplants in at least 2 weeks before the furnace comes on.
That way, they become accustomed to drier air and don't have as much leaf drop.
Works for me.
I started bringing them in yesterday (Zone 5)

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 11:47AM
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Good Question Paul!

For me it's of main concern to know what plants can handle temps below the 40's and the 50's and depending on the mix they are in..It is alwasy a choose and select game until the last one is brought in before the first frost...

My Citrus can stay out as long as the frost does not hit them in my fast draining mixes,,,It hardens them but I always make sure to bring them into a cold unheated room with lot's of light so they are use to that.
If I bring them in earlier than that, the ones I do I bring into warm sunny rooms or my greenhouse before it gets too cold.

My Gardenia's can usually handle cold night and warm days and even cold days with no issues.

My Orchids are all just about inside the greenhouse except those that need a cooling period to inituate bed set. That is why it's important to know each plant and their natural environments..
Some of my Orchids have to come in before the night ever drop below the 50's and even 60's..

Then there are the rather delicate tropicals such as my potho's, spider plants, rubber trees, dracanea, philodendrons, most hoya, certain gardenia and certain other plants that can decline rapidly if exposed to temps cooler then the 50's by night..Those I have already brought in.

TC and CC are brought in before it ever gets cold at night...
The flower colors on mine are brightest and true to their color, epseciallywith very warm nights..So those are kept in my greenhouse for the brightest yellow I can get.
If I leave them exposed to the cold, I get a lot of pink tones in my whites, oranges, and yellows..They are truly tropical ones.

I also bring plants in to get use to the declining sunlight and lower temps in my house...hoya's are especially cared for this way..

Palms MUST come in before the temps drop into the 50's

Succulents and Jades? Those stay out as long as I can keep them there. They are in a very gritty mix that dries out on most sunny days in morning sun. I make sure they are in an area that gets sun very early drying the pots and and providing warmth with the sun. So they color up ten times better with cold nights and very sunny days this tim eof the year right into October. It's the only way to enjoy colors on these plants. They will come in when temps by day do not get any higher than the 50's.

Clivia stay out until almost frost.

Banana and Cana get dug up right before a frost.

Fig trees are left out until a frost hits the leaves and then they drop..Then they go dormant and I bring the into an unheated garage..

All perrenial potted plants will be grouped together and covered with felt materila and stored either in teh garage or behind it out of the sun..

ALL plants are sprayed down with Fish Emulsion to bring them in clean and bug free every week from the Labor Day weekend until they are all inside..


This post was edited by meyermike_1micha on Sun, Sep 15, 13 at 13:41

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 1:25PM
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spider plants can be left outside until it's mid 30s at nite. i do it ev year. they are fine. when they warm up - they start growing again, no problem. unless it's very windy - and they start breaking. but i keep them rather dry when below 50F and under overhang.
so jades, ivy, spiders, rosemary stays out until it goes below 35F at nite. i keep jade very dry when below 45F - under overhang, so no raining on it.
sansi, calamondins, cyclamen, amaryllis i bring in when it goes below 42F. i keep sansi, amarylis very dry when below 50F - again overhang and no rain.
calamondins, cyclamen get some water, but on the dry side too.
crotons - when it drops below 52-55F. but if the days are still warm in the mid 60s i might wait till 50F at nite. it's what's worse: mites or leaf drop? also drier, but not totally dry.
i wind up caring some lighter plants back and forth for a few weeks.
and i do put indoor systemic on all 2 weeks prior. and also give them a neem/insecticide soap rinse.
i keep my thanksgiving cacti strictly indoors, in the western window, no lighting in the evening at all , just natural light during the day and cooler window temps - they flower every year profusely. so that's enough chill for them.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 2:47PM
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It could go as low as 35 at night here in Northern Ontario in the next few days, so I'm tempted to bring in my huge Cactus, Flapjack plant and Rosemary (at least into the garage as I slowly acclimate them and debug them for indoors).

The Mandevilla and Begonia are on the front step, somewhat sheltered from the weather, so I'll wait to go through the process of pulling them in as well. They are in rather large pots, so it's going to be a chore for sure.

Ultimately, I'm hoping the frost holds off as the long-range forecast looks promising until the end of September: sunny and mild.

I keep my holiday cacti inside year round and they bloom on a routine basis for me, despite being rather small plants at the moment.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 4:27PM
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It could go as low as 35 at night here in Northern Ontario in the next few days, so I'm tempted to bring in my huge Cactus, Flapjack plant and Rosemary (at least into the garage as I slowly acclimate them and debug them for indoors).

The Mandevilla and Begonia are on the front step, somewhat sheltered from the weather, so I'll wait to go through the process of pulling them in as well. They are in rather large pots, so it's going to be a chore for sure.

Ultimately, I'm hoping the frost holds off as the long-range forecast looks promising until the end of September: sunny and mild.

I keep my holiday cacti inside year round and they bloom on a routine basis for me, despite being rather small plants at the moment.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 4:28PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Lennie, it might be that the jades aren't getting stressed enough. *shrug* I have one jade, not a Hummel, that has actually had some color all summer long. I have little doubt that it is largely due to the stress of intense sun with some haphazard watering.
May(cool temps but good sun)

June (the baking begins...)


Toni, tis frustrating with the temps bouncing up and down. For most of my plants, once they come in they stay in. Don't have the drive to cart them in and out repeatedly. Hope it doesn't warm up to the 80's at this point. (I took down the sun shade in the large half-moon window spanning my sliding glass doors today ... that's where some of the plants overwinter. My apt will get really hot if temps hit the 80's outside which means the AC will have to run like crazy.)

Also Toni, IME, cool temps bring out the reds in jades, while intense sun and heat often causes yellows.

With the succs/cacti, it's not the rain I worry about but the rain AND chill. That is a recipe for disaster, I find.

Mike, unfortunately I have no truly cool place to keep plants once they come in ... the trials of apt dwelling. :) If it stayed cool and dry I'd worry less about cacti/succs, but as I mentioned, rain is common this time of year.

Gave up on Clivia long ago. I simply cannot provide them with the conditions they need to bloom (and the foliage bores me so I had no desire to keep them around just for that). So I just live vicariously through others like yourself. heh

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 9:57PM
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An embarrassing question, how do u clean the bird's drops on the leaves before you bring them in. My summer camped plants took a lot of $hit from the birds. :)

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 10:22PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Still in the 90's here. I had to move a lot of pots yesterday because of the shifting angle of the sun - back into more shade. They're usually outside until November here. All y'all up north have my sympathies!

Greendale, magic eraser? LOL. Just get the leaves wet, that should come off easily.

Daturas just started blooming (although they are not house plants.)

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 7:23AM
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I think I am going to break down and bring everything in today or at least this week. I think the plants (mostly succulents) would be fine into October here in western new York. but, its getting too cold for me to be outside messing with gallons of water.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 12:25PM
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Hey Paul,

This years temps are frustrating. Four days at 90, then three days at 50F!! Make sense? :)

I don't blame you for keeping plants inside once they're brought in. Can you imagine lugging plants in and out every other day?? No way.

Although, once plants are cleaned, sprayed and set in their winter spot, if temps warm up, 'even as late as Nov,' I drag out my Gardenia.
It's very little work, and 'denia loves it..Gardenia is wintered near the front door, so all I do is open the door, and haul 'denia on the front porch.
Sometimes, Geraniums go out, too.

Oh I agree..it's not the rain itself that harms plants, but rain and cold temps will do a plant in, especially succulents.

Your Jade is so pretty. You said it's not Hummels, but did you know there's a Sunset Hummel, too?
Sunset Hummel is green, yellow and orange/red.
I'm not saying your Jade is definately Sunset Hummels, but it sure can pass for one. Anyway, I like...

Paul, I know you were talking to Mike about Clivias. I too feel green, Clivias are boring. lol
Same with Amaryllis. sp.

I had several variegated Clivias...so unlike their green cousins.

Here was one of my favorites.

I think you'll agree it's pretty.

I had several variegated Clives, (many from China) until a mealybug outburst. I went from 15 or so to 1. The one is green, 'sigh' but started from seed in 1982/3, so it's hard to rid.
I did promise a friend one division.

Greendale..no need to be embarrassed. :) Birds poop. lol.
Hosing leaves off should do it. You might need to hose a few times before all is gone.

Think positive...Poop makes great, organic, foliar fertilizer. :)

Purp...although Datura are gorgeous plants, leaves stink. lol. They're so invasive here. I keep plucking the babies, otherwise, they'll fill the garden, sides of house, and back yard.
I can't stand leaf odor while plucking or even walking by.

I agree, Datura flowers are beautiful..they appear to glow at night..Have you noticed?

Nope, they're surely not house plants. I tried wintering Datura one winter. Before I knew what hit, the plant was filled with mites. It went in the trash. ASAP.

Even its cousin, Brugmansia, is difficult over-wintering indoors. 'Without contracting mites.'
But, that's another thread.

I wish plants could stay outdoors, year round...There's a ton of work involved, moving back indoors. 'even ridding critters, (ants, spiders & earwigs) take time..
I'll be happy when plants are all inside..Over and done with.
Then there's cleaning and taping plastic over windows where air leaks in, setting up the humidifer and indoor fountains, and finding SPACE for each plant.

Fun, fun, fun.


    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 12:27PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Toni, see how the flower is hanging down? I bought this plant as a tiny $4 thing. It's a shrub that's not hardy up north, trumpet flowers. Not sure which Datura it is, the tag didn't say, but they are pretty common as a landscape shrub around here. Trumpet flowers. Thought it was supposed to smell really good but I'm not getting any scent, from leaves or flowers. At least it's not peach colored AND unscented. Oh well, I got several others the past few years that still don't look like they are ready to bloom this year. Hopefully one of them has this elusive smell, eventually, or I'm going to have to walk into some stranger's yard and start whiffing their blooms!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 6:09PM
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Man, can I feel all of your pain everyone..

I don't mind bringing them in and out, it's just that I wish It could be done when we are suppose too..

You should be able to put plants out in May and bring them in by October...My place is a joke!
I was nice when we had that winter that never went down to the 30's once...Remember that feaky winter two years ago when it felt like spring?

As for DEBUGGING? That's a hard one for me.
If I see them I kill them. If I don't I don't worry about it.
Yet on certain plants that I know spider mites have no desire for, I treat with systemics before they comein.

Then there are plants that if treated with systemics, that actually act like candy for mites....Such a careful balancing act every year.

But, but , ALL my plants get flooded with Fish Emulsion on the leaves and in the mix which seems to take care of most if not all the insects until the mites decide to show up on a few of my plants by December.


    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 7:21PM
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Hey Paul!

...definitely before saturday! :)

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 7:26PM
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I'm dreading bringing mine in. Right now I move most of them into the greenhouse we have in our back yard for the night but in the morning I have to move the sensitive ones or else they will bake if the sun comes out (learned that the hard way with my Norfolk). I did bring my orchids in today however, one has been growing buds for over a month now and I'm excited!!! Also brought in my Norfolk tonight.

The ones I still have outside and the temp is supposed to be 1C tonight are my large plumeria, asperigus fern, kalanchoe, gardenia, gold crest, pothos, and mini rose. The plumeria will probably be wrecked but its just too big right now with all it's leaves to take inside and it's had worse.

I'm hoping the weather can be nice until the weekend when I'm off work so I can tend to them and bring them inside.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 11:02PM
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Not yet here. Mid October is our first frost but my eye is on the forecasts. I have 4 Dendrobiums and a few amaryllis to bring in. And some Amorph. Konjac corms to dig up when the leaf stalk flop over. s

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 1:37PM
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Purple...I think we have the same Datura. Yes, they say the flower is sweetly scented. Datua may be fragrant, but foliage stinks..lol.

Sometimes, my Datura flowers droop, too.

When Datura is allowed to grow as soon as they sprout, flowers are much larger. 9-12"...
But. we get too many..if I didn't pluck, we'd have a Datura field.

This pic was taken last year. Again, I kept plucking, but near the end of summer said, 'the heck with it.'
Flowers opened, but nowhere as large.

Know how I got mine?
One summer I was reading the local paper.
While browing classified, I came across an ad that said 'Cheap Plants.'
Dh and I drove there.
An elderly man sowed seeds in his basement, during winter as a hobby. This man had a couple hundred annuals/perennials in Dixie Cups.
I paid a whole .10 for a baby Datura.
At the time I had NO idea Datura was so invasive. I felt so sorry for that man, he was proud of his hobby.

Hey Mike...yep, I remember the winter that felt more like spring. Except for 2/3 weeks, plants could have stayed out all year.

Will, out of the plants you mentioned, I'd be most concerned with Plumeria.
I lost half-a-dozen several years ago due to frost. They died so fast, I didn't know what hit.

Tommy. I usually watch the WC. I believe NY is a little warmer than IL.
So far, except for cold-sensitive plants, we have a little more time. Toni

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 2:00PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Datura,? Invasive? Tell that to my sis -- she tried growing a few one year and they all died. LOL

That was an interesting Clivia, Toni, too bad you lost them all except the boring one. The one I had was started from seed. After over 7yrs without flowers though, it got evicted. A person from my old os adopted it.

Debugging? Hard part for me will be catching all the little orb weavers and putting them outside. I really don't want to kill the little guys off.

Greendale, if the temps are warm enough outside, mist the leaves thoroughly with a weak dishsoap solution. Let sit for a few minutes and then rinse off with the hose or take a damp cloth/paper towle to the leaves.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 6:39PM
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grrr4200(z3 MI)

Here in upper michigan i had a night time temperature of 30 degrees last night/this early morning. I brought in the plants that i didn't want to die. But due to the terrible summer i've had here everything i left outside including a 9 foot angel trumpet survived the cold snap! i couldn't believe. Ficus trees, a couple jades and an agave along with some awesome papyrus in my pond show no damage. yay! to hardening off! im hoping that the weather will hold out a bit longer so i dont have to repeat the cycle

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 11:05PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I brought one plant in the house, but I have two Gardenias still out that need to be repotted before I bring them in and I haven't gotten to it yet. It was 50 degrees on the back porch this morning, so that wasn't bad, but hope I get to it today!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 8:53AM
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marquest(z5 PA)

I never bring any of my plants in until the temps are below 50 through the day and 35 at night temps. This helps not to bring in any bugs. In the 30 years of bringing my plant in and out I have never had any bug problems in my houseplants.

At this time of the year I am getting the plants ready to come in. Our Fall weather at this time of year is lots of rain. So I walk around with a spray bottle mixed with a drop of alcohol, and 5 drops of dish soap, and half bottle of peroxide in a gallon of water. With that mixture sprayed on the plant and our heavy rains there is no bugs hanging around when they come in.

(If you do not have a rainy season create one. Pull out that hose and wash and wash it is the best thing you can do to not bring bugs in leave them outside)

If I have any plants in the gardens in pots. Those are soaked in a bucket of water until the bugs that are in the soil float to the top.

Tropicals like my Cannas are put into plastic bags. and go in the laundry room and are watered once a month with just a half a glass of water keeping them almost alive. I get a leaf or two but nothing special. When I take them out in the summer because they have never been totally asleep they take off quick.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 12:48PM
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