How do I prep my plants for Winter Inside?

The beginning of fall is an important time to bring your houseplants inside that were vacationing outside all summer. They are most likely bigger and better than when they were this spring. Lots of leaves and roots have developed in the ideal conditions of outdoor life. First check to see if you need to repot. The rule is 2-3” wider than the pot they were in. You can divide up plants at his time. Repotting also allows for checking to see if there are any insects in the soil like worms or ants.

If you are not repotting, submerge your tropical plants in water to drive out ants or other insects in the soil. Treating the foliage with a soap or oil spray will help control any insects on the foliage and stems.

Prepare your spots inside your home before you bring in your plants. Make sure saucers or plant dollies are in place to avoid water spills. Check light conditions and heat sources before you place your plants. It may be necessary to store extra plants under grow lights in a warm basement or attic as your collection expands.

Slow down on the fertilizer this fall as plants are preparing to for a period of less growth.

Many tropical plants like hibiscus, banana and brugmansia should be watered sparingly in the winter as they are resting. They do not need prime floor space in your home this winter but a cool or warm basement area would work well.

Continue caring for and grooming your plants inside. Watch for insect activity as this can become a problem quickly.


Peter Bieneman, General Manager

Best True Bulb, Corm, and Rhizome Planting tips

The best spring garden you will ever have starts this fall with true bulb, corm, and rhizome planting. Garden centers and bulb houses will start selling inventory in September but wait to plant. October through early December planting in Maryland will give you the best results. This also allows for summer annuals to finish their show.

Choose the largest, firmest bulbs and corms with their tunic (skin) still attached. Avoid bruised, soft or dry looking specimens. To temporarily store, remove bulbs from plastic bags and store in open boxes or paper bags in a cool dry place. Avoid storing bulbs with ripening fruit nearby.

To plant, measure bulb or corm height and plant roughly 2-3 times that deep. A 1” bulb would be planted 2-3 inches deep. Plant rhizomes (such as iris) on the surface covering only the bottom half.

A well-drained location will work best. Add sand, grit or perlite to your beds along with compost to insure good drainage. Add bone meal or Bulb tone to provide nutrients. Most bulbs will need a bright location. Plant in dry locations for better longevity, underneath hedges and near trees are naturally dry areas where bulbs thrive.

To discourage pests from finding your bulbs, dust with repellant. Cayenne pepper can be used to dust with. Temporarily cover with screening till the ground freezes and remove before they emerge to stop digging.

Remember to leave spent foliage up until it flops and turns yellow in the late spring.

Peter Bieneman, General Manager


Crape Myrtles: How to select the right variety for you

With blooms lasting nearly all summer, beautiful exfoliating bark, and showy fall color, Crape Myrtles are an unparalleled addition to small residential gardens. They will adapt well to poor clay soil and thrive in a full day of hot summer sun. There are many different sizes and shapes to choose from, making selecting the proper variety to suit your landscape needs very important. In this blog we’ll cover a few basic tips to get you off to the right start. Read more

Redbuds, Whitebuds


Redbuds are an attractive native tree that blooms in early spring alongside dogwoods. They are quite showy with fuschia colored flowers displayed tightly against the branches in late April or early May. Cercis canadensis is the most common species and is a Maryland native.  There are several non-native varieties and hybrids that are also available. All Cercis have distinctive cordate (heart-shaped) leaveswith that turn bright yellow in the autumn. Read more

When to Prune Your Hydrangeas


The showy blooms of the genus Hydrangea are hard to beat for reliable color in the garden, but when do you trim?  We get this question a lot! There are basically old wood bloomers (bloom on last year’s wood) and new wood bloomers (bloom on wood produced this season).  For the old wood bloomers, I would only prune to control size or shape. Also don’t forget to remove spent flowers from your plants. This will keep them tidy looking. Read more

Beating Winter Blues

I love my houseplants all year long yet I especially appreciate their presence in the fall and winter! The majority of my plants spend summer outside in various locations around my yard. I bring them in by mid-October and they instantly enliven my house once again. I grow a variety of plants including large leaf tropicals, cacti, and even some tropical cacti! Many have been with me for decades. Read more