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Saving a Few Annuals for the Indoor Winter Garden

Part of the fun of gardening is trying new plants and pushing the growing limits. This fall try moving a few of your favorite annuals indoors to brighten your indoor garden.

You may have tried growing geraniums in a sunny window and been rewarded with a few colorful blooms. But have you tried ageratums and pentas? And don’t stop there - wax begonias, rose periwinkle, impatiens, heliotrope, torenia and even petunias may surprise you with a few blooms.

Start new plants from cuttings to minimize the risk of bringing insects in with the plants. Root the cuttings and grow in a well-drained potting mix. Or move small potted plants into a sunny window. Add artificial light as needed to encourage healthy growth and flowers.

Water thoroughly whenever the top inch of soil is slightly moist. And only fertilize if the plants are actively growing. Use a dilute solution of flowering plant fertilizer.

A bit more information: Reduce the risk of insects moving in with your plants by quarantining plants in a spare room for several weeks. Check the upper and lower leaf surfaces and stems for mites, aphids and other pests. Treat with organic insecticides like insecticidal soap or Neem if needed.

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