With the weather finally getting cooler, many of you may be thinking about bringing houseplants back indoors for the winter. It’s a great way to keep going, but there are a few steps you need to take to ensure success.
Because most houseplants are tropical in nature, they won’t tolerate cold temperatures or harsh winter conditions if left outdoors. location. If your home is very dimly lit, adding grow lights and cleaning your windows might help.
Decide whether to keep the plant in its original pot or repot it for the winter. If you are not repotting the plant, scraping 1-2 inches of soil from the top of the pot and replacing it with new soil will go a long way in removing any insect eggs that may have been laid during repotting. It was outdoors.
Making sure it is free of disease and pests before you bring it in will keep your other houseplants healthy and free of infestations. Examine you. They may be inconspicuous when outdoors, but once in a warm environment, the eggs hatch and the population explodes.
When nighttime temperatures start to drop into the high 50s or low 40s, bring them indoors in the evening and bring them back outdoors each morning to start acclimating. This allows the plants to gradually acclimate to changes in sunlight intensity, humidity, etc. Gradually increase indoor time over several weeks until full-time. Leaves may drop, which is normal as plants adapt to changing conditions.
Once they’re full-time indoor residents, light levels will be lower and they won’t be exposed to windy conditions, so they won’t need as much water as when they were outdoors, so brighten up the water. However, if you use a wood stove as your heating source without providing other humidity, regular watering may be necessary. The best gardening tools you have are your fingers. Test for moisture by sticking your finger into the soil. Remember, plants are like people, not like wet feet in winter!
For general care, keep the plant clean by removing dead or dying leaves and flowers. You’ll want to keep fertilizing through the winter, but use a one-third or half-strength solution and apply only once a month.
Taking the time to acclimate and relocate houseplants for winter is well worth the effort. There is nothing that makes you feel the arrival of spring like a houseplant that blooms brightly and energetically on your desk in the middle of winter.
Contact Gail Vanik at 970-565-8274 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.