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Heat-Loving Container-Garden Plants

The dog days of summer can turn your gorgeous container gardens into a crispy mess. Try these plants that take the heat for color all season long.

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Summer Garden Maintenance Checklist

Summer is a gardener¿s busiest season. If you¿re short on time or not sure what to do, follow this easy summer gardening checklist to keep your lawn and garden in great shape all season long.

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Throw a Garden Party

Greet the season with friends, flowers, and ice cream floats! Featuring pretty paper blooms and a blushing peach punch, this lovely garden gathering will have you celebrating summer in style.

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Creating Succulent Containers

Succulent gardens are low maintenance and make great container gardens -- they can withstand heat, neglect, and direct sunlight. Learn tips and tricks to create a gorgeous succulent container garden.

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Top Plants that Thrive in Clay

Clay soil makes gardening tough. It's slippery when wet, and it bakes solid when dry. Here are 25 beautiful plants that grow well in clay.

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Tips for Moving Plants Indoors

Here's a handy guide for moving your favorite plants inside once the weather turns cold.

Pick a Good Spot

Many gardeners know that heartbreaking feeling that comes with autumn frosts. The end of the season does not have to mean a painful parting with plants, however. You can move many of your favorite container annuals and tropicals inside, where they'll survive as houseplants until spring.

Before you move your plants, be sure you have the right location. The majority of varieties need a bright spot (as most grow in full sun outdoors). They also like extra humidity; indoor air is typically dry and the leaves will turn brown and crispy if there's not enough moisture in it.

Although most plants prefer a cool location -- in the 60s during the day and 10 degrees lower at night -- they will tolerate warmer conditions.

Watch for Pests

A little extra care before you move the plants in will help them cope with the transition. First, check carefully for pest problems and spray if you spot any.

Acclimate Plants

Once pests are under control, acclimate your plants by putting them in a shady spot for a couple of weeks before moving them inside. When you bring them inside, cut them back slightly; this helps control size and encourages new growth that will be better adapted to life indoors. (Repeat the process in spring when you take the plants back outside, to help them acclimate to being outdoors again.)

If you want to bring a plant that was growing in the ground (versus in a container), you will need to pot it first. Choose a container with drainage holes and fill it with a potting mix designed for containers. Do not use regular garden soil. It does not drain well and can harbor insects or disease. Knock off the garden soil from the roots to discourage pests.

Winter Care Tips

Once your plants are indoors, water them enough so they do not completely dry out. Remember they do not need as much water as during the growing season. They typically will not need fertilizer, either. Think of their indoor time as a rest period.

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