The arrival of cooler weather usually means the end for frost-tender annuals, but several end-of-season flowers will continue to bloom when brought indoors. Pots planted with geraniums, begonias, coleus, impatiens or petunias provide cheery company and color indoors for several more weeks when placed near a sunny window.
Annuals brought indoors for a last blast of color do not actually grow. Instead, they push out the last buds and blooms the plants are holding when they are rescued from the cold, giving you an up-close look at their intricate flowers. The exception is geraniums, which have a knack for adjusting to indoor conditions and may continue to grow.
Bring Potted Flowers Indoors for a Last Blast Of Color:
- Choose plants you want to bring indoors. Move them to a shady, protected spot where they can adjust to reduced light while being protected from cold winds. Use pruning shears or floral snips to trim off lanky stems and faded flowers.
- Fill a spray bottle with lukewarm water, and gently wash down the foliage to remove dust and soil on a mild day.
- Clean the outside of the containers with water and a stiff scrub brush. Dirt becomes more noticeable in clean indoor spaces.
- Water plants thoroughly, allowing excess water to drip away.
- While wearing gardening gloves, treat plants with insecticidal soap before bringing them inside to eliminate tiny insects such as whiteflies, spider mites and aphids that can sneak a ride inside. Follow directions for dilution rates. Insecticidal soap makes some plants sensitive to strong light, so it is best to keep plants shaded for a day or two after applying insecticidal soap.
- Place plants on saucers or trays after bringing them indoors and provide enough water to keep the soil lightly moist.
- Compost the plants when the last flowers fade or when they’ve lost their luster. Geraniums that look healthy and show signs of new growth can be repotted into fresh potting soil and grown through winter on a sunny windowsill.