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GARDENING: Go to pot; Give plants a bit of warmth.

Byline: PIPPA GREENWOOD

LATE November may not be the time of year you normally think about houseplants, but it is important to pay them a bit of extra attention right now.

Over the coming gloomier and colder months, the sight of a bit of greenery around the home will be very cheering.

So what do houseplants need at this time of year?

Make sure that they are kept at the right temperature. Temperatures outdoors have fallen recently and damage is easily done.

Move pots well away from windows unless they are double-glazed, and never close the curtains, leaving the plants sitting between the glass and the curtain. Things could get extremely chilly in there.

However, direct heat from a radiator, a real fire or other heater could equally cause leaf scorching and excessive leaf drop.

Make sure that plants are not placed too close to any heated appliance and, ideally, allow them to acclimatise gradually to the change in conditions when you decide to switch the central heating on regularly.

Dry air can be a menace, so try to mist houseplants frequently with tepid water.

Create pebble trays and part-fill these with water, creating a miniature steam bath of damper air around the plants.

When it comes to foliage maintenance, trim off any obviously dead or damaged leaves now and, at the same time, check for any lurking pests or diseases and deal with them promptly.

Next, take a soft cloth, moistened with tepid water, and clean up the leaves, removing dust or other debris.

If left, this will reduce the amount of useful light reaching the foliage.
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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 
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Title Annotation:Review
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 23, 2002
Words:268
Previous Article:GARDENING: Kinder Garden Plants.
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