It’s time to bring house plants inside, for winter weather is right around the corner. Sorry to be reminding you of winter weather, but if you’ve been giving your house plants a vacation out on your patio this summer, it’s time to prepare to bring them in. And I do mean prepare, since there are some things you’ll need to do before bringing them in according to an article written by Kim Cowherd. Kim gives the reader some good information on how to bring house plants inside for the winter.
Most tropical plants will suffer damage at temperatures below 40 degrees F, a few at 50 degrees F. Because conditions differ widely between inside and outside your home, a gradual reintroduction to the indoors is best. This change is called acclimatization. Sudden changes in temperature, light, and humidity can be traumatic to plants, resulting in yellowed leaves, dieback, wilting, and even death. Bring your plants in gradually to accustom them to the much lower light levels found in most homes. Setting them under a porch, carport or shady place during the day to reduce time in the sun will help before bringing them in for good as temperatures drop. It’s best if they’ve been outside in high light to put them in similar light indoors like a south window or under plant lights on a timer for up to 16 hours a day.
Even before you bring your plants in, Kim suggests that you check them for any type of insect infestation. Depending on what you find, several options are open to you, including disposal of the plant if necessary. She says that you could consider pruning out infested parts, literally picking of insects or diseased plant parts, using an alcohol swab on critters, pressure spraying the plant and last resort using insecticides meant for indoor plants. She gives some good advice on how to make sure you do not bring any critters into your house.
Check the outside of the pot for dirt, cobwebs, or unwanted inhabitants. Spraying down the pot will remove debris from the summer. Soaking the pot in a tub of lukewarm water for about 15 minutes will force insects out of the soil. Be sure to let the pot sit to dry and drain well before bringing it inside. Wiping off the outside of the pot with a wet cloth (be sure to wipe off the bottom too!) will help remove critters that might be hiding in cracks and crevices and emerge later on.
Kim cautions that you don’t overwater your plants when you bring them in, though you may want to give them a mild boost of indoor plant fertilizer. You may want to let the soil dry out before watering after you bring the plants indoors, and use lukewarm water to avoid any shock to the plants. I’ll pass this information on to my wife before she starts to bring house plants inside for the winter. Read Kim’s article by clicking here or on the link below. Have you been able to make the transfer from outdoors to indoors successfully? Let us know, and LIKE us on Facebook.