Houseplant InformationHouse plants often suffer from accumulation of dust during winter. This is difficult or tedious to remove by hand washing-when such method is feasible. The easiest way to get rid of it and also red spider (which thrives in dry air) is to spray the plants forcibly with clear water. This is usually impossible in the house. The best way to do it is to take the plants out of doors on mild, sunny, breezy days between eleven and two o'clock and spray them, especially on the under sides of the leaves. The force must be gauged to the nature of the plants themselves. For instance, palms and rubber plants will stand far more than will begonias and fuchsias. After the plants have ceased to drip take them back to the house.
Evergreens in outdoor window boxes, urns, tubs, etc., suffer much less during winter from freezing than through lack of water. To bring them through the cold months successfully drench the soil every time it thaws. Both trees and soil may freeze without damage - if always wet. In spring transplant the specimens to open ground where they may remain permanently and start the boxes for the following winter with a new set of evergreens in fresh soil after the summer plants have failed-in September or early October.
Plants to be removed to the house from the garden in late summer or early fall may be potted then but kept plunged rim deep outdoors until frost threatens. Tender ones must be taken into the house sooner than hardy ones. The latter are benefited by being left out rather late.
Plant lice on house plants may be controlled by spraying with a solution of two teaspoonfuls of nicotine sulphate and two tablespoonfuls of soap flakes in a gallon of water.
Potting plants is often done incorrectly by amateurs with the result that the plants are often more or less disappointing. When the soil is not packed firmly enough around the roots too much air enters, the water quickly evaporates and the plants suffer from thirst, fail to develop properly and die.
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