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Indoor plant troubles?

Indoor plant troubles? For indoor plants, winter is a stressful season. There is apt to be less light coming through windows, so plants grow slowly or not at all. with reduced air, dust particles can coat leaves, clogging their pores, and furnace-heated air reduces humidity.

This month, after plants begin to slow their growth for winter, is a good time to give them a tune-up.

As a first step, check for any of the common problems shown in the small photographs at left. Repot plants that need a larger container, following the method described in the caption below. (If you need to divide a multicrowned plant, wait until spring growth begins, usually in March or April.) It's best to repot just before plants outgrow their containers.

In a bathtub or shower, give plants (except those with fuzzy leaves, such as African violets) a gentle but thorough rinse with tepid water. You can bathe them outdoors if it's warm enough for you to be comfortable; let a gentle rain do the job or use a hose with a missing nozzle. On plants with insects or mites, apply slightly more force.

Allow foliage to dry and excess water to drain from pots (but don't put plants where direct sun may burn leaves), then cut off withered growth as directed in caption at far left. Don't attempt major pruning, such as cutting back main stems, because plants slowed during semidormancy may not recover; wait until spring, when a new growth cycle is about to start.
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Nov 1, 1986
Words:252
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