As cooler temperatures settle in, it’s time to bring houseplants back indoors. Here are some helpful guidelines to make the transition successful.
45°F is the tipping point. When nighttime temperatures start to dip consistently you need a plan to tuck in your houseplants indoors for the winter.
Wash plants and pots thoroughly. Hose off all foliage, sides, and bottom of the pot.
Attempt to remove any unwanted pests or critters that have taken up residence in or on your plant. If you are finding some soft-bodied pests like aphids, spider mites, or mealy bugs, spray the plant with Safer brand insecticidal soap while it’s still outdoors; concentrating on the underside of leaves, and allow it to dry well. Reapply in two days to be sure any new pests receive a treatment.
Top Tip: Keep some insecticidal soap in a small spray bottle under the kitchen sink to address pest issues quickly if they appear.
Remove all old, dropped, leaf debris and prune off any damaged or diseased stems or leaves.
While still outdoors, water with a high enough volume so water drains out the bottom of the pot. Take caution as to not over-water while plants are indoors. Allow the soil to be dry to the touch between watering, and if you’re not sure, error on the dry side.
Avoid fertilizing, so as not to promote any new growth. If the plant’s foliage is showing obvious signs of nutritional deficiency, you can fertilize with a well-balanced, water-soluble food, like ALGOPlus All-Purpose Fertilizer (6-6-6) at half the recommended strength. While indoors, plants will appreciate feeding once every 6 weeks.
Find the bright spot. Help acclimate plants to reduced light by moving them to a shady location one week prior to moving indoors. This will help reduce significant shock and the shedding of all its leaves. But remember, some leaf drop is completely normal. If your plants have been in full sun all summer, consider creating a space under a high lumen grow light to keep them happy indoors for the winter.
Top Tip: Plant growth will suffer if the grow lights are left on constantly though, so be sure to set a timer for at least 8 hours of dark per day.
Placing a gravel layer in the saucer creates air space between the pot and saucer. This not only allows water to drain better but the drained water will evaporate to help raise the humidity in the house and keep leaf tips from browning out. Most plants will be happiest in a bathroom, if there is good lighting, because of all the extra humidity created from the shower or bath.
Top Tip: In the house, be sure to protect any shelves or wood surfaces with a non-moisture wicking trivet or coaster underneath the saucer. Condensation and water wicking from the pot or saucer can be damaging to wood.
Other Reading Recommendations
- Fall Gardening: End Of Season Tasks
- Fall Composting For Beginners
- 4 Simple Steps For Fall Garden Tool Clean Up
- 7 Tips For Winter Houseplant Care
- Guide To Winter Mulching
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