bring houseplants indoors for winter?

parker806(zone 8 GA)September 21, 2007

need help please. i have many large hanging baskets that i bought this year and want to bring them in for the winter. they are approx. 2 1/2 + ft across in an 8-10 inch pot. should i take cuttings and start new ones for next year to put outdoors in summer? or should i just keep pruning these to keep them compact. thanks for the help as i am new to this

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Anything tropical (not cold hardy) has to come inside. But they should also be checked to see if they're rootbound, and if necessary put into larger pots with more soil around them. I say that because now is not the time of year to be pruning roots (or branches) if they've been living outside all summer - that should be done in early spring, then you could repot properly into either the same pot it's in (minus old woody roots vs new young feeders higher up - about 1/3-1/2 of root mass) with new soil, or into some other pot even smaller if you choose (then you'll have a potential bonsai :-)! The point is that continual clipping of foliage isn't enough - you have to address the whole plant at some point.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 6:27AM
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Would help a lot to know what they are. Hanging plants can be almost anything. The only hanging plants I have outside this year are my regular houseplants--spider, asparagus fern, and pepperomia. Lots of others in pots on the porch, though.

But if you bought some annuals that you'd like to restart for next year, that's a completely different question. And it depends on what you have. I've had good luck with Coleus and once even kept hanging Impatients going long before I read "you can't do that." So what have you got? Sandy

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 5:03PM
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I too was wondering the types of plants you're growing in baskets. Tropicals or annuals? Or something else? Tropicals vs annuals is a whole different ballgame. Toni

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 6:22PM
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parker806(zone 8 GA)

sorry, i forgot to name the plants. they are: (2)swedish ivy, (2)spider plants, (1)bolivian jew, (3)golden pothos,
(2)boston ferns, (1)purple wandering jew, (1)tahitian bridal veil and i may have a few more to bring indoors also. thanks for the help

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 10:33PM
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Swedish ivy (Plectranthus nummularis) tends to get kind of strange pretty quickly. I'd advise taking cuttings for cosmetic reasons, regardless of what you plan to do after that. The hanging basket will overwinter just fine without any special treatment from you, though; it's just a matter of what it's going to look like.

Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) will also overwinter just fine indoors. You shouldn't need to do anything special to them unless they're potbound, which they might well be -- it doesn't take them long.

Bolivian Jew (Callisia repens) I'm not directly familiar with, personally, but its closer relatives (Trandescantia, Zebrina) overwinter just fine without special treatment; I don't know why it would be different. Pruning might help keep the plant compact but it's hardly mandatory.

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) will overwinter just fine indoors without special treatment.

Boston ferns (Nephrolepsis something) I have no firsthand knowledge of. My understanding from reading about them is that yours will probably need to be repotted, because they grow quickly, but that may be better done in the spring anyway (?), and aside from keeping them out of hot dry areas, they don't need anything special during the winter.

Purple wandering Jew (Zebrina pendula?) has no special requirements during the winter and may not even acknowledge that it's not outside anymore. A related species (Tradescantia pallida) was one of very, very few plants to put on any significant growth for me during the winter last year, which is why I will love T. pallida forever and ever.

Tahitian bridal veil (Gibasis spp.?) is another one I have no firsthand knowledge of, but I'm told that it can be repotted in winter, if necessary. It should also be kept away from hot, dry air (as from central heating).

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 11:37PM
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I too would appreciate some help. We were closing our pool today and I had a geranium and an impatiens hanging from the steps on the deck. A butterfly bush took off this summer and shaded the plants. We recently had a good rain and it's been fairly warm and both the geranium and the impatiens are doing beautifully. They are in full bloom. I'd like to bring them indoors for the winter. Any advice?

Also, should I cut the butterfly bush now or wait till spring. It's still in bloom. (I do not have a green thumb but would like to so I'm learning too!)
Brenda in Maryland

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 4:57PM
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Take cuttings of the Swedish ivy, the cuttings always take off for me and turn into Monsters by the end of the next outdoor season, the parent plant usually just limps along for me in Winter.
If you want the Bostons to stay looking good the bathroom is the best place, they love the humidity in there (so does the swedish ivy for that matter) you will start to see some brown, and if you don't like it you can trim those strands, I myself wait til they fall on the floor, lol, Just make sure they are not over or under a heat register, that they do not like.

Brenda, I kill geraniums and impatiens, so I can't help ya there, on the butterfly bush it is suppose to be trimmed in the fall before the new growth begins:)

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 9:05PM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

Brenda, I always wait until spring to cut back my butterfly bush. With the weird weather we get in Maryland, it is safer to wait until around March or when you see the very beginning of the little leaves.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 10:54PM
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