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View Diary: I'm Gonna Say It Til I'm Blue in the Face (Or Sick With Salmonella) (206 comments)

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  •  Just remember: It's the *lows* that count. (1+ / 0-)
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    Ignore your daily highs and only look at the lows. Most tropicals should not go outside until the lows are consistently above 10C / 50F.

    And remember: when moving any plant outside, never place it directly in the sunlight.  Plants produce natural sunscreens in response to UV light.  After being indoors all winter, they have almost none of those chemicals in their leaves.  If you put them straight out into full sun, they'll get scalded.  They need time to transition from shade to full sun.  The same hardening process needs to occur for wind and temperature, although sunlight is usually the bigger threat.

    And when you take tropical plants in for the winter, excepting shade-tolerant ones like coffee, you need to make sure there's lots of light where you keep them.  Even bright room lights won't do the trick.  This means some combination of lots of sunlight and/or grow lights.  I need my grow lights anyway so that I can get my fresh herbs in the winter; make sure you make good use of any lit areas  :)  One advantage I've found with tropicals is that they tend not to be as big of magnets for spider mites and other greenhouse pests as, say, eggplant or peppers.  Still, a good organic spray routine -- weekly, and don't miss it! -- should be considered a must.

    •  Thank you (0+ / 0-)

      Nobody ever explained to me before why plants need to be hardened.  I knew it needed to be done, but I never understood the reason - they get sunburn!

      "We *can* go back to the Dark Ages! The crust of learning and good manners and tolerance is so thin!" -- Sinclair Lewis

      by Nespolo on Fri Apr 16, 2010 at 12:08:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep -- putting an overwintered plant straight (0+ / 0-)

        outside is like leaving an albino out on the beach for a couple weeks without sunscreen   ;)  Plants don't have melanin, but they have other chemicals that play the same role, and their production is triggered by UV.

        Isn't nature neat?  :)

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