Expert Advice

How to Bring Houseplants Indoors for Winter

Posted on September 26, 2018

Bromeliad Houseplant

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If your houseplants enjoyed their summer on your patio or porch, it’s about time to bring them indoors for winter. Here’s what you need to do to ensure a successful move:

HouseplantWhen
You will need to bring your plants indoors for winter before nighttime temperatures dip below 45 degrees. Most tropical plants will suffer damage at temperatures below 40 degrees and some below 50 degrees so it is important to keep an eye on the weather.

Making the Hard Decisions
Before you start winterizing your plants, make sure that you have enough room in your house to fit them! Plants need light and space to survive. If they are placed too tightly together they will eventually get insects or diseases that can infect other plants. Take a good look at your plants and decide which ones you are really invested in. Sometimes it is hard, but if a plant is never going to look as good as you would like, then you must leave it outside to die in the cold. It’s better to save a few great plants than to save them all and have sickly plants.

Prep Work

  • Your plants need a space inside the house, near a window where it will get light.
  • Clean the window so you can be sure it will get the most light possible. If you don’t have enough light, invest in a plant light.
  • Check to see if your plant is root bound – meaning that when you pull the plant out of the pot you see more roots than soil. If this is the case you will need to re-pot it. Do not re-pot flowering plants, instead wait until they are done flowering for the season, then re-pot.
  • Now it’s time to move plants to an area that is less sunny outside. This gives the plant time to acclimate to the lower light conditions it will encounter once you bring it indoors. I’d suggest starting this process about 2 weeks before you plan to bring the plant indoors.

Insects & Diseases
Insects love to live in the soil and it is important to rid the plant and soil of any insects or disease prior to moving it indoors.

  • Check the plant for insects and purchase the appropriate spray. Hicks carries a number of organic solutions that are safer to use around children and pets.
  • One week before you are going to bring the plant inside, spray the plant thoroughly with an insecticidal soap to kill all of the insects.
  • Then, the day before or morning of the day you are planning to bring the plants inside, drench the soil with the insecticidal soap to kill any bugs that are living in the soil.
  • Give the plants a second spray on the leaves to make sure all of the bugs are dead. Be sure to coat both sides of the leaves.
  • Let the plant sit outside for a few hours to let the soil drain and then bring the plant inside to its new home.
  • Reduce your watering once you bring the plants inside. Your plants are no longer getting direct sun, hot weather and windy conditions so they will require less water.

Bringing your favorite houseplants and tropicals indoors during the winter months allows you to enjoy your plants every day of the year. Give it a try, we’re here to answer any questions you may have.

Additional Information:
Foolproof Houseplants
All About Orchids

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