Winter vs. creeping jew

chuckamySeptember 5, 2006

I have two beautiful wandering jews; one in a hanging basket and another in a large planter. They were both placed in my FULL SUN backyard and survived the 115 degree days with very little work (just a watering now & then). I would love it if these plants could come indoors and survive the winter so we can enjoy next summer; however, the basket weighs over 50lbs and the planter is huge as well (nearly impossible to move let alone bring inside). Does anyone have any suggestions on how to keep these living? I do not have a green thumb but have loved having these plants around the pool for decoration- they do not even mind chlorine water being splashed on them. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to keep these living during our cold Midwestern winters? thank you for any assistance!!

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Cady(6b/Sunset34 MA)

You might not be able to move the whole pot or basket inside, but you can take part of each plant. Divide the rootball into manageable chunks and pot them up in containers you can put in bright but indirect sunlight in your home. You will have to cut back the foliage by a third. Don't worry, it will grow back. Give away the rest to neighbors and friends.

Now is the time to do it.

Also, to aclimate the plants to moving into a house and out of direct outdoor sun, you need to put the divided plants onto a shady porch now and leave them there until fall. Water lightly as you have been, and don't be surprised if the plants drop some leaves -- they are adjusting to a new setting.

Check them for bugs and give them a hosing off or a spray of horticultural soap/oil before bringing them in, then move them to their winter home before nights drop below 50 degrees F.

They will go into semidormancy in a cool, bright room, and won't require much care. In the spring, when night temps are above 50F, you can move them back onto the porch for a couple of weeks, then back into part sun, and then full sun. They will start filling out, and you can pot them up again in their original containers. They will fill it before midsummer.

Or, you could board the plants as they are now, with a friend who has a greenhouse or sunroom, and save yourself the trouble!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 10:22AM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Make it even easier on yourself, and just take some cuttings of the plants, stick them in a vase in an east or north facing window sill, and they should be just fine. You can then replant them outdoors in the spring, once it has warmed up again. Do wash them carefully to make sure you aren't bring insects inside as well. Wandering Jews are amongst the easiest of plants to root in water, and can stay rooting in water for months without harm...

    Bookmark   September 10, 2006 at 12:45PM
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