A few pics and a temp question.............

elkay_gwSeptember 5, 2010

My philodendron bipinnatifidum



And the 2 red aglaonemas I got in May

The temp is supposed to go down to 50 or maybe even a little lower between 3 and 5am tomorrow, then back up to 70 by mid morning. Will the philo and ficus be ok if left outside? They have been outside since june and last night it was almost that cool - but not quite.

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I have 75-100 tropical & subtropical trees in containers, plus my houseplants, so it's not feasible for me to move them in and out according to Mother Nature's whims. ;o) We're close in zones, so you might be interested in how I decide when to bring them in. I watch the calendar and the weather. If it's before Sep 15 and we're going to have a couple of nights below 55*, I don't worry about it. If it's after Sep 15, and several nights of below 55* temps are predicted, I bring the tender stuff in.

The ability of most tropical plants to carry on photosynthesis is inhibited at temperatures below about 55*. The return to normal ability is slow, measured in days, not hours. Essentially, when you expose your houseplants to cold temperatures, it switches off photosynthesis and puts them on battery power - they're operating on their stored reserves instead of current photosynthate. So, when your plant gets chilled, they're going backwards (from the perspective of energy outlay) until they regain their ability to carry on photosynthesis normally.

A night here & a night there won't matter, but if you have several cool nights in a row, with only a night or two above 55* before the next cool spell hits, it's probably time to be thinking about bringing them in. I spent a good part of the day getting the basement grow area all spiffed up for when I bring plants in.

Also - I treat with neem oil over labor day, and again at the middle of the month, or when I bring the plants in as a prophylactic treatment against hitchhiking bugs.


    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 7:42PM
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Thanks much for the info. Just curious....what is involved with your basement grow area - grow lights, or what?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 7:48PM
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I have to say Thank YOU Al too for this advice...I have tons to bring in and I love the guideline..:-)

I know what I am doing tomorrow!


    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 8:59PM
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Elkay, by the way, GORGEOUS plants! Where did you get the pick ones? I love those...


    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 9:01PM
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Thanks! The pink ones? Someone on this board mentioned that they bought some from a place in Thailand. I really wanted some of these and couldn't find a place in the US that sold them, so I bought 'em from Thailand, too.

I love them, too!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 9:29PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

The basement growing area has 2 chest high 4x8 growing tables that are covered with a thin sheet of white FRP panel (Fiberglas reinforced panel. The tables are sloped toward a hole in the center with a drain, so I can water copiously, & the water drains through the hole. Each table has 11 - 4' fluorescent fixtures with two 5100K bulbs in each with the fixtures adjustable on hanging chains for height. They're adjusted so they are inches above the plants. The temperature stays at about 65-68* and I maintain humidity between 55-60%. I have a fan over each table that blows across a reservoir pan (rests on top of the lights) filled with stones & water to keep air moving & humidity up. When the fan/pan setup can't keep up with humidity requirements, a humidifier picks up the slack.


    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 10:33PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

I thank you also Al. I have been bringing in my houseplants and tropicals for years. I did notice they could take below 55 and would bring them in when I thought they could not take it any more. LOL. Many times they did not make it inside until November.

I did not know about the technical growing and slowing of growth. I guess they survived in spite of me. I refuse to bring them in and out because of old age and I have to many to do all that work.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 2:23PM
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