Mitch Baker: Hi! I am Mitch Baker with American Plant in Bethesda. We are talking about winterizing your ornamental garden. Now its time to bring the houseplants inside; having your houseplants outside for the summer months, is great. These houseplants really thrive on that additional light and the humidity and the air circulation, but as temperatures begin to fall, its time to get them back inside and rather than just bring them inside, its a good idea to have a look at them closely, to make sure that you are not bringing any unwanted guests inside the house. So you want to examine the underside of the foliage, this is a Clivia that has enjoyed the time it spent outside but now its time to bring it in. So we are looking at the underside of the leaves to see if there are any insects, any scale insects, caterpillars, aphids, anything that might be hitch-hiking on there. Now, if you dont see anything, thats fine, but as some additional insurance, you may want to spray with some low risk horticultural oil or even insecticidal soap to make sure you are not bringing in. But test the small portion of the plant first; just to make sure that there is no adverse reaction. Then, you can go ahead and bring these plants inside.
In addition to houseplants, you may have a number of tropical plants that are outside that you want to bring inside and keep for the winter as well, something like the dwarf banana that you might have outside would be cut back -- in my house, I am going to bring it into the basement where it will continue to grow slowly over the winter until it can be brought back outside again next spring. We usually cut it back again in the spring, so it starts with all new growth in the spring. So lots of these plants enjoy being outside during the summer months, but again as those temperatures start to fall, lets get them back inside before the winter. Coming up next, we will talk about planting bulbs for the fall.