Friday, February 12, 2010

Keeping Houseplants Cozy in Cold Climates

Many, if not most, houseplants are tropical, and they dislike having cold feet....a cold windowsill or floor in a snowy winter region will give them that. If you live in such a climate, and have, say, a potted citrus or banana or hibiscus, and they struggle through winters, put their drainage tray and pot on top of a heating pad set to Low or Medium to warm the soil mass and roots. One winter in Denver I dumpster dived a heating pad and did WONDERS for my potted banana that had always sulked. Once that lesson sunk in, I used to line my window sills with thick slabs of styrofoam I dumpster dived at a door factory, then put my plants atop them...that did wonders to keep the soil in the pots from being SO chilly all winter. You can buy big sheets of thick construction foam at Home Depot and Lowe's and use a sharp knife to cut them into strips to line your window sills with. You can wrap the foam slabs with fabric to make them more attractive, or, my preference, wrap them in aluminum foil to reflect scant winter sunlight back up to the leaves.

I learned of and devised some very effective winter survival and gardening techniques my fifteen years in Denver, and will be sharing them now and then. John

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