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Tropical Trees and the Great Indoor/Outdoor Debate 7 months 6 days ago #67963

  • Ivan Mann
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Most of us agree that tropicals should not be subjected to temps below 50F/10C. If weather were constantly at least 10F/5C above all summer and then magically jumped to the same below all winter, that part of tropical care would be easy.

What if lows have been way above 50/10 for a couple of weeks and you have moved them outside, then the forecast is 36/2 for one night. Then they probably should come in. What if 36/2 tonight, 60/15 tomorrow night, then 36/2 again? Well, I would just leave them in for three nights.

If there would be two warm days maybe I would leave them in. How many nights would temps be above 50/10 between low nights to make it reasonable to move them out for the sun, etc., then back in? Day time temps, BTW, are being 75F/24C, so the sunshine, warm air, and air movement would probably be good for them.

Weather in spring can be crazy here. I have seen it drop from 80/26 or so to 20/-7 in a couple of hours. In February I did not let the warm weather fool me, but in March I moved them out. Then I moved them in two weeks later. Then I moved them out two weeks ago. Tonight the low is 36/2, back in they come. Tomorrow 46/6 for a couple of nights, then maybe the weather will be sane.

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Tropical Trees and the Great Indoor/Outdoor Debate 7 months 4 days ago #68041

  • Galactosyl
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This is probably a dumb question but couldn't you just leave the tropicals inside all year? Maybe keep them in the basement/garage in the winter with a grow light? I only ask this question because this is my current plan for the winter.
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Tropical Trees and the Great Indoor/Outdoor Debate 7 months 4 days ago #68042

  • Tropfrog
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I just have 2 seasons experience. But first winter they were inside all winter in fairly stable temperature around 8c in my basement. They didnt do great but survived. This winter they were in a heated overwintering room inside my greenhouse. Minimum 5 degrees but heated up a lot more during the days. They have been doing much better,but still not good enough to convince me that they ever will be nice bonsai. I like the challenge to grow plants not hardy to my area. For bonsai development I think it is better to stay away from species not hardy to ones area.

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Tropical Trees and the Great Indoor/Outdoor Debate 7 months 4 days ago #68047

  • Ivan Mann
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Several years ago I had 6 indoor/tropicals and now I have three. They struggle indoors because of bugs and humidity. I could never water them adequately because indoors only so much water can pour through before the floor is covered.

Bring them in and the leaves fall, bugs appear, there isn't adequate humidity, and the leaves don't regrow very well until spring when the plantgo back out in the sun.

I doubt I will get any more tropicals.

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Tropical Trees and the Great Indoor/Outdoor Debate 7 months 3 days ago #68049

  • leatherback
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I hear loads of arguments why tropicals would not do well. I just cannot help but disagree. I have been growing all sorts of tropicals for all my life. As bonsai but also as houseplants. Whenever possible I bring them outside, because the light, wind etcetc make it all a lot easier. But also indoors.. My jabuticaba pre-bonsai has been trimmed twice in winter. My raintrees once. We have one ficus benjamina which every winter adds nearly a metre on all the branches.

I feel people worry too much about rootrot and end up watering too unevenly. Pretty much ALL plants indoors get watered to the point that the tray below the pot is halfway full with water. Most of them then get a top up so that the dish is full. When the tray below is empty and dry (So normally about a day after the plant drains it) I water the plants again. This time of year, that is at least twice a week. Of course, some plants do not do well when the air is dry. But that is certainly not the main reason things do not do well. I would put most of it under incorrect care.

My prebonsai all sit behind a window either east or south facing; That is all I have available. They all sit on top of the heaters, as that is what I have. They do not mind.

Main problem is lanky growth and, especially with BRT, loss of internal foliage. But they budd out again after trimming & placing outside.. So I normally trim the plants once they go outside. Mostly only the first two nodes of wintergrowth can be kept.

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Tropical Trees and the Great Indoor/Outdoor Debate 7 months 3 days ago #68052

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My south facing bay window gets too much shade for the trees to grow very well. The ficus is in a pot that is about 26 inches long, about 2/3 meter and I can't find a dish that big. The baobab is too tall for the window and gets even less sun on the leaves. I have solved the bug problem with systemic.

I will probably get lights next winter, but the effort to bring outside inside is too much work for too little result, for me.

There is better sun in a room upstairs, but the room was put off limits last year, and the issue of watering remained with the tree upstairs.

Like I said, I doubt I will get another tropical.

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Tropical Trees and the Great Indoor/Outdoor Debate 7 months 3 days ago #68053

  • Ivan Mann
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My south facing bay window gets too much shade for the trees to grow very well. The ficus is in a pot that is about 26 inches long, about 2/3 meter and I can't find a dish that big. The baobab is too tall for the window and gets even less sun on the leaves. I have solved the bug problem with systemic.

I will probably get lights next winter, but the effort to bring outside inside is too much work for too little result, for me.

There is better sun in a room upstairs, but the room was put off limits last year, and the issue of watering remained with the tree upstairs.

Like I said, I doubt I will get another tropical.

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Tropical Trees and the Great Indoor/Outdoor Debate 7 months 3 days ago #68054

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I think my problem is the lack of light as well. November 2020 had 3 hour sun and december 5 hour. That is really hard for tropical species to cope with.

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