Prepare Your Houseplants For Their Move Indoors
Did you move some or all of your houseplants outdoors during the spring and summer months? If so, then it will soon be time to transition them back indoors for the cooler months ahead.
First question is when to move them. The nighttime temperature will dictate when they should be indoors. Once nighttime low temperatures reach 50 degrees your plants will fare better inside than out.
Don’t wait until Mark Scirto tells you the low temp tonight is under 50 degrees to gather all your plants. You’re then bringing in not only your plants but everything living on them or in the pot….(spiders, lizards, and other creepy crawlers).
Determine where each plant is moving to indoors.
- Make sure there is enough light for the plant – if not, maybe a grow light is necessary.
- Protect furniture or flooring from watering mishaps with saucers under each plant. (Don’t leave water standing in the saucers since this is not healthy for your plants)
Check your plants for Pests
- Look for mealy bugs and other pests on the underneath of leaves or at the joint of leaves and branches.
- Use a magnifying glass and examine the plant – leaves, stems, and soil.
- If you find pests then treat the plant with the appropriate product while the plant is outdoors and follow up with another application within 7-14 days to kill any freshly hatched bugs.
- Even if you don’t visually see pests, I suggest using an insecticidal soap or organic insecticide to prevent any “surprise visitors”.
- Apply while the plants are still outdoors and repeat within 7 to 10 days to kill any newly hatched bugs.
Minimize shock to your plants
- Your plants indoors will not receive as much light as they did when outside. To prevent shock from the move, slowly acclimate them to lower light while outdoors. Move them to a progressively darker area over a 5 day period of time and then move them indoors.
- Be prepared to see some leaf drop once the plants are moved inside.
- Your houseplants growth will slow once moved indoors and they will not require as much water.
- The dryer air inside your house will affect your plants. Spraying or misting plants can provide additional humidity along with grouping plants together to increase the humidity level. Create a humidity tray by adding gravel to the saucer and filling it with water to just below the top of the gravel. As the water evaporates it humidifies the air around the plant.
- Your houseplant won’t require as much fertilizer once indoors either. Apply a slow release, gentle fertilizer when they are first moved inside – something like Schultz All Purpose Extended Feed Plant Food.
By following these few steps your houseplants will fare much better over the winter months. Once the nighttime lows remain 60 degrees or above you can safely move them back outside next spring.