Gardeners spend alot of money purchasing annuals and bulbs at the start of the gardening season only to toss them away right about now. But you can be frugal even when it comes to gardening. Many annuals, along with tender bulbs, can be recycled year after year.
These last few nights in Philadelphia have brought temps down to the mid to upper 40’s. Before you know it, Jack Frost will sneak up on us. Don’t fret fellow-gardeners; believe it or not, you can salvage some of your colorful annuals by bringing your garden inside before the frost appears. The only two essential requirements are that you choose the annuals that are most successful for moving inside, and you have a sunny window with southern exposure. Remember, here in the Philadelphia region, annuals such as lantana and geraniums are perennials in the tropics; so a sunny window is critical. Don’t forget; you may have a sunny window downstairs in your cellar.
Annuals that do well indoors during the winter are limited to Coleus, impatiens (including New Guinea), Nasturtium, Pansy, Petunia, Verbena, Wax begonia, Lantana, and Geraniums, with coleus and geraniums being the easiest. You can try any annual you’d like. Gardening is about experimenting. You don’t have to worry if they don’t survive; because that was their fate come frost anyway.
The annuals listed below can make good houseplants. If they are in the ground, you can dig them up, re-pot them, make sure you bring indoors before the frost; and place in a sunny window. You can bring in geraniums and just cut them back; but for other annuals, such as coleus; it’s better if you begin by taking stem cuttings from the plant. For stem cuttings; first, water your annual plant well a few hours before cutting; then cut a few stem about 2 inches long; place cuttings in sand, vermiculite, or perlite; keep plants moist; fertilize at ½ strength; transplant them to individual pots when roots are about two inches long; and put them in a window with southern exposure. Don’t let them dry out.
Here’s a short list: of annuals that are easy to grow indoors:
Alyssum – Dig up, re-pot, bring inside and place in sunny window
Pansy – Dig up, bring inside, needs sun, yet a cool area of the house
Petunia – Dig up, re-pot, bring inside, place in sunny window, or try stem cuttings and root
Fuschia – Dig up, re-pot, bring inside, cut it back half way, place in sunny window
Coleus – Take stem- cuttings and root in sand, vermiculite, or perlite
Verbena – Dig up, re-pot, bring inside, place in sunny window
Wax begonia – Dig up, re-pot, bring inside, place in sunny window, or try stem cuttings root them
Geraniums – Dig up, re-pot, bring inside, cut it back half way, place in sunny window
Impatiens – Take stem cuttings and root them in sand, vermiculite, or perlite
Lantana – Dig up, repot, bring inside and place in sunny window
Sweet Potato Vine – Dig up tubers and store or grow in water
Also: Winter Storage of Geranium, Canna, Gladiolus, Caladium, and Begonia
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