WITH the coming of short days, fog, damp weather, and low temperatures, the house-plant gardener faces their greatest challenge. It is comparatively easy to keep plants in good condition during the spring and summer, but winter is the testing time.
The main problems can be grouped under the headings of temperature, light, and water, although these are all interdependent. If you can provide high temperatures and additional light the plants will take more water, so though it may be convenient to consider each aspect separately, remember that they will interact with each other.
Let us consider temperatures first. If you have the best central heating you will have no problems with subjects from the tropics, but plants such as ivies and fatshedera will be peevish at not having a winter dormant period, so they should be removed from the warm rooms and put in some cool position. If some of the rooms are unheated, these will be the place to put them. They should not be exposed to frost. Although they will tolerate this outside, having been kept indoors all year they are far softer than plants that have been grown outside would be, and they will succumb to a few degrees of frost.
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