Season 2 Episode 22 - October 28, 2023

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The fall is a time of transition and that is true for your indoor plants, too. We met with Jarid at the Portland Nursery on Division Street (503-788-9000) to talk about that transformation. Jarid told us that passage from fall to winter is a critical time for your plants. You could be bringing in bugs and diseases if you don't take the right steps. First, you will want to give them a good cleaning. You can mist them with water and wipe them down, or you can use a "leaf shine" product on the larger-leafed plants to knock off the dust and dirt. While you are doing that, check for bugs or diseases. If you notice something you may want to check with your local garden center to narrow down what you find. The winter is when all your indoor plants could start showing signs of pests and diseases from their summer vacation outside. Judy mentioned that her first steps are to acclimate the plants by moving them into the garage or shed for a couple of days to get them used to the temperature change. She also mentioned that you could give them a good spray with a hose to knock down most of the bugs and clean them before you bring them in. Jarid then covered a couple of few synthetic and natural products that you could use. For the natural products you could use an Insecticidal Soap spray. This is a natural product that will smother the eggs and young insects. If you have a problem with mites, you might want to use the Bonide Mite-X product. The last natural product is Bon-Neem. This will deliver a double hit to bugs. The first effect is a quick knock-down action for the insects and then the sulfur in the product will help control fungus and mites.

For a quicker and more synthetic approach, Jarid had the Systemic Houseplant Insect Control. This product is sprinkled around the base of the plant and is taken up through the "system" of the plant. It takes care of those critters in the roots and the leaves. The final product was the "Eight Insect Control." This is a foliar application so you spray it on the leaves to knock down those nasty bugs.

Of course the difference between the natural product and the chemical product is the times for application. Natural and Organic products have to be applied more often than synthetic and chemical products. Natural and organic products tend to break down quicker in nature than the others. Also, remember that the label is the law! Always follow the printed instructions for proper use and don't use a product for a problem that isn't listed on the label.

Regarding fertilization, you can give a light fertilization when you bring your plants in. Also be aware of your plant placement. Some plants will need to be closer to windows for sun exposure and others will be able to handle a little shadier place in your home. Also be aware of drafts in your home. A heating vent may be your enemy if your plant doesn't like to be baked by the hot air. Other plants may welcome the warmth. Watering can also be a problem. Remember to not overwater your plants just because they are inside. Get them on a schedule and keep checking foliage for pests or diseases that can pop up. If you have questions, either location of Portland Nursery has the experts to help you with answering them. If you are looking for a new winter plant companion, check out the selection at either location, though the Division store has a larger selection to choose from.

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