Garden Calendar - Fall

For the Indoor Gardener

The Fall Garden Calendar provides essential houseplant information, how-to steps, and helpful advice for the Indoor Gardener for September thru November.

As leaves change color and drop from branches and as the last blossoms of the year burst open and then fade outdoors, your indoor plants go through changes as well.

They are, after all, part of the natural cycle also.

To keep them healthy and happy, an Indoor Gardener needs to understand their changes, respect them, and choose carefully when and how to override Mother Nature.

Remember that each month starts about 10 days back in the month before, and that the Indoor Garden Calendar is based on the Northern Hemisphere and at least some seasonal climate change.

Autumn changes reflected in the Indoor Garden Calendar

Outside, such late-bloomers as asters and coneflowers spread their petals and surrounding hillsides turn crimson and gold. Inside, your plants also enter a readying-for-winter stage. And believe it or not, it's time to start preparing your plants for the holiday season.

  • Start bringing in plants that have been summering outdoors. Check for insects, trim back dead branches, and give them a shower before settling them into their indoor winter habitat.

  • Vibrant ivy on buildings reflects garden calendar changes.

  • You can start potting spring bulbs indoors so they'll be blooming throughout the holiday season. Keep them in the dark until you see some green above the soil line, then they need lots of sunlight.

  • If friends or relatives have admired your bulb garden, now's the time to start growing their holiday gifts.

  • Speaking of the holidays: Poinsettias and Christmas cactus both need a strict regimen started so they'll be at their best when December rolls around.

  • Amaryllis needs an annual nap, and September's a perfect time for it. Stop watering them for about a month, but don't forget them! They'll need you again in October.

  • If you have a greenhouse, make repairs, clean it up, and make sure the heating system works before filling it with wintering plants.

  • September's also a good time to check your houseplants' pots and trays. Plants don't like being repotted during the cooler months, so if they have cracked or leaking pots and trays, stains on the outside, or need to be cut back for bugs, now's the time to get these things done.

Let's call this the Fool Mother Nature Month on the Indoor Garden Calendar. You can get away with tricking her with bulbs, Christmas cactus, and Poinsettias, but don't push your luck with other types of houseplants!

  • Bring in the rest of the houseplants that have been vacationing outside.

  • Halloween pumpkins join the Indoor Garden

  • Expect some reaction from your houseplants if you've taken them indoors: moving stresses everyone. Clean any leaf loss out of the planters to prevent bug infestations.

  • Check all plants for insects regularly.

  • Cut back on fertilizing.

  • If you didn't start potting up your bulbs last month, do it now. Try crocus, gloxinia, hyacinth, tulips, daffodils, and Lily of the valley. A good bulb catalog will note which varieties will fare the best.

  • After you turn the heat on, be sure to spray houseplants regularly with a water mist. Set up glasses of water nearby, or place planters on trays that contain wet pebbles. Consider it like moisturizer for your skin: everything gets dry from house heating systems.

  • For the same reason, the soil may dry up more rapidly than in the summer, especially as it adjusts, so change your watering schedule as needed.

  • If you're planning on giving an indoor herb garden gift during the winter holidays from your own collection, now's the time to find some nice pots and plant your cuttings.

As we head into cold weather and the cold season, the Indoor Garden Calendar reflects the slowing down of the natural world. If you're not interested in bulbs and holiday plants, there isn't a lot to do. Even regular maintenance decreases. You can relax and enjoy your break, or be adventurous and try some new winter plants or kitchen herbs.

Bounty of gourds for the Indoor Gardener decor

  • Decrease fertilization of houseplants.

  • Decrease watering schedule - unless your house is very dry from your heating system.

  • Keep the humidity level high around your plants through misting and pebble trays.

  • As the sun shifts in the sky, move plants into brighter locations, but not too close to windows that get cold at night.

  • If you want to force bulbs, this is your last chance to plant Amaryllis and others if they're going to be ready for the holidays.

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Look ahead to the Winter Garden Calendar
for houseplant care
from December thru February.

Go from Fall Garden Calendar to Indoor Garden Calendar

Go to Indoor Gardener Home Page

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