2017-01-25 / Columns

Care For Houseplants

Garden Scene with Peggy Bolton

In winter, many wish to sit back and enjoy their flowering houseplants. A few general tips for growing houseplants will promote beautiful blooms and foliage all season.

If you have brought plants in from outside, check again for insect problems. It often helps to rinse houseplants with the sink water sprayer. This will usually knock off any aphids that have managed to cling to the leaves. Should pests remain, try using an insecticidal soap spray. It is important to check for insect problems weekly. If plants such as geraniums were brought in from out of doors, they may benefit from being cut back to just an inch or so. This will rejuvenate them, and make them fuller for the spring.

Most houseplants want lots of sun. Many plants currently look leggy due to the lack of sunshine. If so, cut them back above a set of leaves. Avoid putting any plants where they touch the glass of a window, as this may cause them to freeze. Water sparingly during the winter months. Let plants dry out between watering. The number-one killer of an indoor plant is too much water. If watering plants in a sink, water until moisture comes out of the bottom of the pot. Allow the plant to sit in the sink until it is well drained.

Make sure plants are kept out of drafts. Buds will often drop from a plant that is placed in an area which is too close to an outside door, or too close to a heat source.

Follow the fertilization recommendations on the product you use. Over fertilizing may cause a plant not to bloom.

Send specific questions to: Country Grown Perennials LLC, Peggy Bolton, 4801 Pines Brook Road, Walton, NY 13856. Enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope if you wish to receive a personal reply. Visit us on the web at

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