Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

Some Houseplants Like it Cool

septembre 2
Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x)

A few days back, I suggested it was time to bring any houseplants you’d put outdoors for the summer back indoors, but there are a few exceptions.

There is a small minority of houseplants that are not truly tropical in origin, but rather subtropical. In other words, in their original environment they experience cool temperatures part of the year, but not frost. These plants, unlike most houseplants, will prefer to spend the autumn outdoors and can tolerate temperatures as low as 33˚F (1˚C). Bring them only when frost is announced. Even when you do bring them indoors, if possible keep them in a cool place (below 60˚F/15˚C) all winter. In this category you’ll find the Indian azalea (Rhododendron simsii), some orchids (especially Cymbidium cvs), the Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera cvs), most other cacti and the lily of the Nile (Agapanthus).

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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