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Plant Environment

Posted by tifflj 6 Pitts, PA (My Page) on
Mon, Oct 22, 12 at 15:24

Here is a long awaited question that I have been meaning to post for sometime. Actually, it might contain several related questions in one.

Please try to answer them all, sometimes when I post multiple q's together they all dont get answered. :) Its my fault...I know it is because I talk alot. I am sorry. :)

Wondering how you can have your house plants outside for the summer without attracting a ton of bugs. Seems impossible...

Does the rain ever make an over watering situation? Sometimes it rains for 2-3 days, that is way more than anyone would water their plants at once.

I read that plants dont like to be disturbed from their "normal" environment, is this true and how can you take a plant from a low lit place to a brighter lit place without causing harm. For instance, eventually we will buy our new house...I plant to have a well lit home as I love the sunshine. My plants now live in a lower-medium lit home, how will they adjust?

At first when I obtained these plants, I would bring them all to the kitchen somedays. The kitchen has a sky light and provides nice medium to higher indirect light, not high but bright. I thought this would help them but then I read they dont like to be messed with...???

(I cant wait to move) I hope spring comes FAST!

Tiff


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Plant Environment

Hey Tiff..

Don't be sorry because you like to talk..lol. Who doesn't?

Rain. If soil is well-draining, and since plants are outdoors, rain shouldn't be a problem.
There are a few succulents that would die in non-stop rain, although, drowning roots goes back to soil.

Bugs.. It's inevitable a spider, ant or earwig will hitch-hike along with a plant. One reason I keep plants outside until temps are cold, flush soil several times, then spray w/home made insecticide.
I detest spiders, and as much as I love my plants soil is first hosed w/cold water, inside, hot water. Spray is then applied. Non-chemical sprays and vinegar.

Placing plants in brighter/full sun should be done gradually..In other words, start out by placing 'x' plant in shade, then increase light each day.
Same applies to bringing plants back indoors.
I prefer hauling plants out when skies are gray...rainy days.

High light plants, example cactus can burn if placed in direct sun after being indoors all winter.

Congrats buying a new home!

Your plants will adapt. Even with a skylight, most plants are shipped from sunny Fl.
No matter how many windows a house happens to have, homes are enclosed. They'll never get the amount of light they once had or when summered outdoors.

More than likely, your plants will like enjoy upgraded light.
I don't know the amount of sun your plants are now getting, but the more the merrier. Even shade plants need some light. Unless you're growing mushrooms. lol.

Congrats again..!!! Toni


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RE: Plant Environment

I think Toni hit them all but my favorite place to put my plants was on a deck. (I don't have one at this house). I find that when I put them outside even if its on a palate they get bugs. One plant had an earthworm. LOL I did have a problem this past summer because it rained so much my plants are still drenched. I had to re pot some because they were starting to fail. I figured they are going to die from rot if I don't. (I tried the wick, it didn't do enough)I put them into soil that drains better.
It is good to condition your plants to the change but for me, I have big plants, it would be to much to take them in and out every day or move them around. SO when they go out, thats it.same in the fall.
Cant wait to see your plants in their new house.


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RE: Plant Environment

Tiffany:

This isn't related to houseplants outside, but I still thought my response might be useful to you.

For now, I consider my houseplants and my outside plants to be separate, since I'm only a few months into becoming a houseplant gardener. I have about 20 containers outside, and I've had some for a year and a half. I've never brought any of these "outside plants" indoors (though a few have made it into the garage on super cold nights!).

I wanted to respond to your rain concern. I don't worry about too much rain or plants in pots drowning. Making sure they aren't too thirsty during the summer is the biggest issue. Honestly, I haven't had to water them outside since... August. My plant maintenance now is mostly clover/acorn/leaf removal.


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RE: Plant Environment

It's true that some house plants are touchy about being moved around. Often those are just left inside permanently, avoided completely, or you just pick up the leaves off the carpet and wait patiently for new ones to grow as a matter of course.

Most of the more common, readily-available plants are famous for being able to just go with the flow, that's what makes them good house plants.

Ease of re-growth is my main factor for the speed at which plants can be exposed to more sun. A Dracaena or palm that's never going to regrow a missing leaf should avoid sunburn for sure.

But if I'm putting out Coleus cuttings, sweet potato vine, or making hanging pots of Tradescantias, they can grow new leaves faster than I care to acclimate the indoor leaves to outside conditions. So I don't really care if something like that gets burned, and consider it par for the course. You'll get a feel for this kind of thing after spending more time with them and watching what they do and how fast they do it.

The way the shadows keep moving as the seasons change, and the plants change size at different paces, I move plants around all the time, all year long, inside and out.

Similar to what Toni dies, before any potted plant comes inside, the soil gets submerged in a tub of water. Anything alive in there will evacuate. If something that could have laid some kind of egg in there evacuates, I might repot.

Since becoming familiar enough with pests and symptoms to recognize a problem to a plant in its' infancy, or at least to ask people here to take a look, I haven't had any problems with pests that make me want to use any type of preventative substances, but don't begrudge those who do.

I'm the type to just catch almost anything that might crawl out and put it back outside, a few possibilities might just get smushed under my shoe or a tissue without fanfare. Since implementing the total dunk method, I haven't had anything crawling out of pots though. Manually removing pests from a plant doesn't bother me and I prefer that to 'cides or sprays. The more bug-squeamish folks understandably have a more hard core attitude about this stuff, and I'm not saying I wouldn't buy chemicals if I decided a situation warranted it.


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RE: Plant Environment

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 22, 12 at 18:11

Wondering how you can have your house plants outside for the summer without attracting a ton of bugs. Seems impossible... You really can't, but consider: A home isn't bug-proof by any means, but you find few predators indoors, so infestations get out of hand easier indoors than out. Outdoors, plants that attract parasites also attract predators, so there is hopefully balance. Also, plants respond very favorably to being outdoors, where they ALL naturally occur, with a higher metabolic rate. The plant's ability to defend itself against parasitic attack is linked to its metabolism, so plants that are outdoors have much greater potential to repel pests that feed on them.

If you're talking about the occasional prowler that burrows into the soil and hitches a ride indoors in the fall, I'll leave you to decide how big of a deal that is to you. Pots can be quickly rid of virtually all pests that live in the soil with a quick soil drench of an imidicloprid solution the day before bringing them in.

Does the rain ever make an over watering situation? It doesn't for me. I leave my cacti and succulents out for days in the rain, even those in very shallow containers, which are far more susceptible when there are prolonged periods of rain. The answer is - it depends on what you use for soil. Sometimes it rains for 2-3 days, that is way more than anyone would water their plants at once. There are some 'tricks' you can use to help you through those rainy days if you're concerned.

I read that plants dont like to be disturbed from their "normal" environment, is this true and how can you take a plant from a low lit place to a brighter lit place without causing harm. For instance, eventually we will buy our new house...I plant to have a well lit home as I love the sunshine. My plants now live in a lower-medium lit home, how will they adjust? All plants are better able to adjust to higher light situations, and some plants react to decreased photo-period or photo-intensity by shedding foliage. The reason is directly linked to the effect of decreasing light on the flow of a growth regulator that is REQUIRED to flow across the abscission zone at the base of each leaf to PREVENT abscission (leaf loss).

Leaves are only adaptable over a certain range of light exposure. Let's say a leaf emerges at a light level of 5, on a scale from 1-10. That leaf might be able to adapt to a brighter light level of 8 or 9, but might only be able to adapt to a decrease in light to 3 or 4. It will vary by plant, but the important part is leaves are only able to adapt within a certain range of brighter-darker before the plant sheds them and produces leaves better adapted to take advantage of the current photo supply.

At first when I obtained these plants, I would bring them all to the kitchen somedays. The kitchen has a sky light and provides nice medium to higher indirect light, not high but bright. I thought this would help them but then I read they dont like to be messed with...??? See immediately above.

Al


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RE: Plant Environment

  • Posted by tifflj 6 Pitts, PA (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 22, 12 at 21:33

Toni, Thank you very much, I will have to save this thread with everyones helpful advice for when spring/summer comes back along. I didnt buy a home yet though. :( We sold our home and moved in with father in law. (blah) We are working to save up some good money and pay off some debt and get the home we really want to stay in for many many years. Hoping to move this coming spring. Fingers crossed. I might lose my mind if we dont. (these past few months with the FIL and his 10 yr GF are about enough for anyone to handle.)

Polly, eeww, I hate worms. Although I might fish with them, I typically have my husband do it. Guts dont suit me well.

Purple, This submerging thing doesnt make a bit of sense to me. I feel if I would do that pieces of my plant medium would come out of the pot...I dont get it. LIke the bark. I see it all floating right out of the pot...

Rachel, I havent done much outside gardening yet. I planted a few things like petunias at my old house and pruned azaleia (sp) bushes, but that is about the extent of it. I am really looking forward to gardening outside at the new house. Veggies, flowers, plants. YAY! This will spark a WHOLE NEW BUNCH OF QUESTIONS FROM ME.

you all thought you would eventually get rid of me...bwhahahaha...im just getting started. hehehe

Al, imidicloprid solution WHAT??? ;)
This leads me to ask you is this where the ProTekt will come into play?

ONE MORE Q:

When repotting/potting up/changing environemnts...how long can you expect a plant to be "in shock" for? Whats typical in shock behavior, leaf drop?...yellowing of leaves...etc?

Thanks all. You guys are THE BESTEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


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RE: Plant Environment

Hmm... I've never had any issues with floating particles, but can imagine the possibility. If roots have been roaming a pot for a while, at least a month, they should have a pretty good grip on the contents of the pot. If you try it and have this result, please let us know. I might water from the top right before if I was worried about this. And if it did happen, I'd just put more stuff in to replace that which floated away.

I'll be doing a lot of this very soon, I'll take some pics this time. The plants don't necessarily like it, but I'm not bringing any ant colonies in and like to be able to evict them with just water.

Look forward to seeing you in "annuals" and "perennials" and whatever other outdoor forums you might crash when you get a place to garden in the ground!

LOL worms! That's about the only thing my aunt Martha, whole life on a farm, is squeamish about. When her and my uncle would take me fishing when I was a kid, I'd put her worms on and she'd take my fish off the hook. We'll have to work on your wormitude if you're going to be gardening outside...


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