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Bringing in Your Deck Plants: What You Need to Know

PeppersThe moving of deck plants is synchronous with the passing of seasons. Once the hot summer days have passed, homeowners must bring in the plants from their cedar decking to protect them from the harsher elements.  While bringing in plants for the winter may seem like a simple task, there are a few tips you should follow to make sure the plants thrive in their new indoor environment:

Move plants to a shady area first. The transition from full sunlight to an indoor environment can be tough on the plants that complement your cedar deck. Vancouver and Portland green thumbs should keep tropical plants, ferns, poinsettias and other delicate plants in a shaded outdoor area for a week before bringing them indoors. For instance, if you have an umbrella over a table on your cedar decking, Washington homeowners, you might amass your houseplants under the umbrella for a week before moving them into the house.

Move plants when the indoor and outdoor temperatures are similar. Move your delicate potted plants from your cedar decking to your home’s interior before cold weather hits. A frost will only kill the kind of lush plants that do well on a cedar deck. Vancouver and Portland homeowners are lucky in that the Rose City area has an extremely long growing season of 236 days; still, it does frost here with enough regularity to kill many potted plants, including geraniums and begonias. It’s best to move your plants indoors when the indoor temperature matches the outdoor temperature.

Treat infested plants with a mild insecticide. While they’re out in the summer sunshine, the plants on your cedar decking may become infested with insects such as spiders and beetles. As you stage your winter houseplants, check for and gently remove eggs, bugs and webs. A simple solution of 1-2 tablespoons of liquid soap to one quart water can act as an insecticide spray; apply to infested plants to ensure that your garden hitchhikers won’t find a winter home in your living room.

Moving your houseplant indoors for the winter is also a good idea for the durability of your cedar decking, Washington and Oregon residents. Here in the Pacific Northwest, it rains so much in the winter that water often collects underneath heavy pots. Over time, this pooled water can weaken your cedar decking and eventually lead to permanent damage.

[ photo by: Digital Sextant ]

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