Place a curved pot shard or large rock over the bottom drainage hole of your pot so excess water drains out but the soil stays in place. Put the plant in the pot at the depth it was growing in the shipping pot. Fill with potting soil up to 1/2-1" below the container rim. Water generously. Press soil down to eliminate air pockets but avoid packing so tightly that drainage is blocked. Repot plants when roots poke through drainage holes.
Each plant has different moisture requirements. Overwatering is the biggest mistake indoor gardeners make. As a general rule, water when soil is dry to the touch.
Most flowering plants need bright indirect light. A south or southeast window is usually a full-light location. Foliage plants require less light, especially those with dark green leaves.
Most houseplants and patio plants thrive on a monthly application of water-soluble plant food. Be sure to follow the feeding instructions on the package.
For items such as Patio Blueberry, Patio Strawberry, Patio Apple, Elephant Ears, Bougainvillea and Angel Trumpet, providing winter protection is very important, especially when outdoor temperatures drop below 29°F. Before freezing weather arrives, move your containers to an unheated garage or cellar where temperatures stay above freezing. Withhold fertilizer and water just enough to keep the soil slightly moist. When the danger of frost has passed, bring the containers outdoors again and water thoroughly.
Winterizing Tender Patio Fruits
In early fall, when night temperatures drop below 50°F, plants such as Citrus, Dwarf Banana, Dwarf Fig and Dwarf Pomegranate need to be moved indoors. Provide as much sun as possible; a south- or west-facing window is ideal. Avoid areas with hot, dry air, such as near heat registers. Growth will slow down in winter. Withhold fertilizer and only water as needed. Return to a patio setting once danger of frost has passed.
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