Those of us who live in climates with very distinct seasons love to bring our houseplants outside for the summer months. Whether we place them on balconies or patios or around the garden, our houseplants thrive as they absorb the extra light and humidity. But unless we live in USDA Hardiness zones 10 or above , those same houseplants will have to come back inside as summer wanes. Then there are those of us who decide our flowering annual plants are just too lovely to throw in the compost bin and decide to winter them indoors. Whether we are returning houseplants to their rightful place indoors or wintering annuals, there are several things that need to be done to ensure the proper health of our plants.
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: Debuging and Bringing Plants Indoors for Winter - Overwintering Tropicals in CanadaContent:
- When NOT to Bring Your Plants Indoors for the Cold Season
- Bring Plants Indoors for the Winter
- Safely Bring Your Plants Indoors for Winter
- Moving Houseplants Indoors
- Bringing Plants Indoors for Winter: 4 Essential Design Tips for Houseplants
- Successfully bringing plants indoors for the winter
- Acclimating outdoor plants to the indoors for winter
- 8 Rules for Overwintering Plants in a Garage or Basement
- 5 Tips For Bringing Outdoor Plants Indoors For The Winter
When NOT to Bring Your Plants Indoors for the Cold Season
Spending the summer outdoors can help houseplants grow healthier with the higher temperatures, constant air circulation and bright light. It's time to bring the plants back indoors when nighttime temperatures begin dropping to 50 degrees Fahrenheit and below. Preparing the plants first ensures they continue to thrive indoors and prevents problems from occurring later. Houseplants receive brighter, more direct sunlight outdoors than they do inside most homes.
Acclimate your plants slowly, beginning two weeks before you bring them indoors. Oklahoma State University suggests wintering plants indoors by moving them closer to the house and place them where they receive bright but indirect sunlight for part of the day. When you bring the plants indoors, first place them in the sunniest spot in the house. If their permanent place receives less light, gradually move them to their permanent spot over the course of six weeks so they can adjust to the reduced light.
You'll also want to make some adjustments to your home to accommodate the winter houseplants indoors. The University of Vermont Extension recommends installing ceiling hooks for hanging plants and building shelves in front of the windows in your home that receive the most sun.
The institute of higher learning points out that these shelves should be on the wider side, so you can group like plants together. Insects often burrow into the soil or take up residence on the leaves of houseplants when they're outdoors. Fill a tub with lukewarm water before you bring the plants inside. Submerge the pot up to 1 inch below the rim in the water for about 15 minutes.
The water forces pests out of the soil. Lift the pot from the water and allow it to drain thoroughly for at least an hour. Inspect the leaves and stems for pests while the soil drains. Check underneath the leaves and where the leaves meet the stems. Pick the pests off, wipe them off with a cloth or rinse them off with a sharp spray of water.
Spraying this mixture will eradicate any pests without harming your plants. Some plants put on leggy growth during the summer. You can pinch back overgrown stems back to the desired height. If a plant becomes badly overgrown repot it before bringing it indoors. Prune back the top growth by up to one-third of its height. Lift the plant from the pot and trim back the roots an amount equal to the top pruning.
Repot the plant into fresh potting soil in the old pot, after giving the pot a thorough washing. Plants grow slowly during the winter, so they don't require fertilizer until growth resumes in spring. Continue to water the plants as often as necessary for the plant variety. Most houseplants need watering when the top 1 or 2 inches of soil feel dry.
Continue to inspect the plants weekly for pests. Wiping them off or rinsing the foliage with clean water eradicates most pests. Related Articles.
Bring Plants Indoors for the Winter
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You can attempt to bring potted herbs inside, but they are very difficult to survive indoors unless you've got adequate light and humidity.
Safely Bring Your Plants Indoors for Winter
With the cold weather setting in, my houseplants have all returned inside and are snug in their winter locations. A few days before they came in, I closely examined them for visible pests, such as aphids or scale, which like to hide under leaves or in leaf-stem intersections. My houseplants were pest free, due to the dry summer. However, there is one obnoxious hitchhiker I did not detect until the plants came inside—the fungus gnat. These gnats thrive in moist soil and love potted houseplants. Fungus gnat larvae usually are located in the top 2 to 3 inches of the soil, depending on moisture level, and primarily feed on plant roots, fungi, and decaying plant matter. Gnats are not strong fliers and emerge from soil when disturbed. Adult fungus gnats actually do not damage plants nor do they bite people. But the adult gnat's presence is considered a real nuisance and its larvae can actually damage a plant. In addition to seeing adult gnats flying around, you may see symptoms of this infestation in your plants, including sudden wilting, loss of vigor, poor growth, and yellowing.
Moving Houseplants Indoors
We started doing just that this week at the gardens. Many of our orchids, begonia and other tropicals suffer damage if temperatures dip below 45 degrees F. Roly Poly Bugs Armadillidium vulgare eat dead vegetation and mulch. Coleus ready for propogating for next spring and summer color. This is an easy and attractive plant stand you can make with plastic trays that hold gravel and water for humidity and an old ladder.
September is the month to bring tropical and subtropical plants indoors, but make sure you inspect them properly first before bringing in unwanted pests.
Bringing Plants Indoors for Winter: 4 Essential Design Tips for Houseplants
But how about the outdoor plants? Are they still content and should you leave them alone or do you need to prune and give them shelter? Here are a few tips for preparing happy outdoor plants for the winter. Hardy plants are perennials, shrubs or conifers that you can leave during winter. Their roots can cope with frost, and sometimes the parts aboveground - such as their leaves - can as well. Some hardy plants shed their leaves, but they grow back again in spring.
Successfully bringing plants indoors for the winter
Why so early? Because plants adapt better to the transition from outdoors to indoors when conditions are similar. If you wait until cool nights set in or, worse yet, frost threatens, the shock of leaving a damp as outdoor temperatures drop, humidity tends to rise and cold outdoor environment to a warmer, drier indoor environment can easily lead to a massive drop of leaves and flowers. At the very least, plants so treated will tend to sulk and look unhappy. But how can you bring houseplants indoors without bringing unwanted critters in along with them? For plants that I know have chronic insect problems, like fuchsias and pelargoniums whiteflies love them! I give them a thorough spray with an insecticidal soap solution too. Then come the hard cases.
Keeping your plants healthy in winter. Give your plants the daylight, temperature and humidity conditions they need. You can consult the Green Pages to find out.
Acclimating outdoor plants to the indoors for winter
For some, this is a time of rest after a long harvest year, but for others, we miss the beauty and tranquility of our green, leafy friends. If you are like me, you surround yourself with houseplants and potted herbs so you can simply be around plants. But, did you know there is a whole field of landscaping called interior plantscaping? From moss walls to tropical plantings, interior plantscapes are a great way to bring the garden indoors and enjoy its serenity year round.
8 Rules for Overwintering Plants in a Garage or BasementRELATED VIDEO: HOW AND WHEN TO BRING HOUSEPLANTS INSIDE FOR THE WINTER!
Do you know the best times for transitioning potted plants indoors? Well, here are the worst. You probably already know that you can extend the life of some of your outdoor plants by bringing them indoors for the winter. However, it is not as simple as picking up your patio pots and setting them down in your living room. In fact, if you do not follow some simple steps, you could not only end up with dead plants, but your home could be filled with unwanted insects and other garden pests.
Here are some practical tips to make sure your plants stay happy and healthy inside your home until next spring …. Impatiens, zinnias, petunias and other annuals that are easy to obtain can be disposed of once their time is finished ….
5 Tips For Bringing Outdoor Plants Indoors For The Winter
How and when do I bring my houseplants back indoors after spending the summer outside before winter? If you placed some of your indoor plants outside for the summer, you will need to move them back indoors before temperatures get too cold. Most houseplants are native to tropical areas and will not tolerate freezing temperatures. Watch the weather forecast and bring plants back indoors well before nighttime temperatures get too cold. Before bringing them inside, check for insects.
If your houseplants have spent the summer outdoors, now is the time to end their vacation and move them back inside. Bringing tender tropical and subtropical houseplants back indoors once outside nighttime temperatures dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit protects them from chilling injury and death, and allows you to enjoy them throughout the fall and winter months. Maintaining healthy plants indoors requires that you provide them with ideal growing conditions. Prior to transitioning your houseplants, ensure that they will receive adequate light by cleaning nearby windows.