February 2018

Cuttings from summer annuals color winter windows

<p>Take a cutting from the coleus for a spot of color in the winter window. Store cannas indoors, too.</p>

Take a cutting from the coleus for a spot of color in the winter window. Store cannas indoors, too. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

A lot of us move our houseplants outdoors for the summer and now is the time to move them back inside. Before moving them indoors, give them a quick shower from the garden hose or in a bathtub or sink to make sure we don’t carry in any insects.

Houseplants may drop a few leaves as they move from outdoors to indoors, because of less light. Over the next few weeks, the plants should adjust to their new location.

Tender plants also can be moved indoors after a frost or two. This includes cannas, rain lilies, dahlias, pineapple lily and many others.

Here you have a couple options. Dig the bulbs or tubers, rinse off the soil and allow to dry. Store them in a mesh produce bag, nylon stocking or a box of dry sand in a spot that will not freeze or get to warm for the bulbs to sprout.

Or you can store the tender bulbs, pots and all, in the same kind of location — not too hot, not too cold. The area can be a dark. This process allows the plants to go dormant for the winter. If the foliage is still green, allow it to say on the plant until it turns brown, then cut it off as close to the base as possible.     Do not water or fertilize these dormant plants until you move them to more light in spring.

Take a few snips from coleus, impatiens and begonias for a bit of color indoors. These plants can be stuck in a jar of water until rooted and then transplanted into pots and placed in a bright window.

Or you can plant the cuttings immediately into pots of soilless potting mix, water and place in a bright window. Keep evenly moist, but not wet, until the plants root. If there is some resistance when trying to pull the plant gently from the soil, it is rooted. Water as needed and fertilize as you would a houseplant.

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