December 7, 2018
As winter knocks on the door, many of us sadly bid farewell to our outdoor blooms and colorful foliage plants that only grow when temperatures permit. Perhaps our hanging houseplants have vacationed outside this summer, and we’ve brought them back indoors. Maybe we’ve gotten creative and potted some of our foliage plants, like coleus, into hanging containers to grow indoors.
Whatever indoor plants we grow this winter, there are some guidelines to make the experience more successful and help avoid problems. Following these simple steps can help our plants in hanging baskets grow happily and make it until next spring when we can put them outside again.
Before bringing plants inside for the winter, be sure to:
- Check for pests and treat appropriately. Look on the underside of leaves, a favorite hiding spot of damaging insects.
- Water thoroughly.
- Prune off dead or dying blooms and leaves.
- Freshen soil, as needed, but leave the repotting until spring.
- Avoid feeding, as most plants enjoy a period of dormancy during winter, necessary for proper growth in spring. The exceptions are plants that blossom in winter, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas cactus. If a favorite plant is looking unhealthy and you can’t bear to throw it out, try a half-strength feeding of houseplant food or top-dressing with compost in November. Resume feeding in late February or March.
When locating plants inside, remember to:
- Avoid drafts and blasts from the heating system
- Water thoroughly when the soil is dry a couple of inches down.
- Use a saucer underneath to catch water
- Provide humidity by misting and using a pebble tray nearby.
Plants for Indoor Hanging Baskets
Some plants are more forgiving of indoor conditions than others and hold up during the winter months. Research new plants to learn their light requirements. Plants listed below come in many different varieties. These include:
- Pothos Ivy
- Heartleaf Philodendron
- Airplane Plant
Get Creative with Hanging Baskets
If you’re adding new plants indoors, keep in mind the famous rule of using a thriller, a spiller, and a filler. These various plants add interest to a mixed container. Plant the thriller in the back or middle of the pot. This is normally a taller plant, such as a Kalanchoe, or Snake plant that adds height to the pot.
Plant the spiller around the edges. This should be a hanging plant that drapes over the sides. Pothos ivy spills quickly and is not picky about light requirements.
The filler is a plant to take up the remaining space in the pot. Consider an echeveria or another succulent specimen. In no time, you’ll have an attractive indoor hanging basket that will last through winter with proper care. Be sure to use plants with comparable light and water requirements.
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