The Q&A Archives: Manettia

Question: How and when do I bring this plant in the house, and when do I cut it down? It is going to get freezing temperatures this weekend and the flower is blooming really pretty. Should I leave it on the porch this weekend? Just send me some information about it.

Answer: Manettia, or Firecracker plant, prefers temperatures above 50F and will bloom indoors most of the winter if given proper lighting conditions. It's always best to make a slow transition from outdoors to in, or indoors to out, so plants aren't too stressed by the change in temperature, light and humidity. Since you expect freezing temperatures and your plant hasn't been indoors yet this season, you can protect it by moving it to an unheated garage or basement at night. If daytime temperatures are still above 50F, take the plant in at night and back outdoors during the day. Do this for the next several days, keeping it indoors for longer and longer periods of time until it's in 24 hours each day.

General indoor care includes average household temperatures, bright light with some direct sunlight, moist potting soil, and daily misting of the leaves (to compensate for dry indoor air).

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