This week, we answer, “When should I bring plants indoors for the winter?”
If you’ve been growing your tropical and non-hardy plants outdoors all summer, as summer fades and fall is on the horizon, it’s time to prepare them for winter.
Begin this process in mid-September, so the plants will be ready to go indoors before the weather gets too cold. And, always keep an eye open for that early frost!
10 Tips to Prepare Your Plant for Indoors this Winter
- Move your tropical or non-hardy plants into a shady location outside. Then, leave them there for ten days to two weeks. By doing this, it helps to acclimate them to the lower light conditions they’ll be receiving indoors.
- Be cautious of possible cold temperatures and frosts, where your plants will need extra protection!
- Before bringing your plant inside, remove any insects by hosing your plant off with strong stream of water. I recommend doing this a couple of times.
- Immediately before bringing them inside, give your plants’ leaves, stems, and trunks thorough spraying of insecticidal soap. Again, trying to get rid of any hitchhiking bugs! (If you do this the same day you’re bringing them inside, let the spray dry, then bring the plants indoors.
- If possible, lay the plant on its side, slide it out of the pot, and inspect the root ball for any unwanted bugs or anything else that may be hiding in the bottom of the pot. Rodents, even snakes have been found hiding here. One way to make sure nothing is in the soil is to fill a large tub with water and then submerge the plant pot in the water for several hours. Anything in the soil will either drown or will float to the top of the water. It’s also a great way to soak the soil. Make sure you allow it plenty of time to drain before bringing indoors.
- Move your tropical plants to a well-lit area indoors, and away from heat vents and cold drafts. Place a saucer under the pot.
- Water the plants well with lukewarm water, let dry, water again. And never let water sit in the saucer.
- Expect leaves to drop as the plants make their final acclimation to the indoor lighting. It’s natural since the sunlight is as strong as outdoors.
- Reduce feeding to an occasional shot of water-soluble fertilizer, which increases once the days start to get longer, come next spring!
- Lastly, we suggest a good rinsing off several times through the winter, and the shower is the perfect place to do it! It knocks off many bugs, cleans the leaves, and the plants love the water and the humidity in the shower. Use luke-warm water, and let them shower for 5-10 minutes.
Follow these 10 tips, and your plant will be ready for your spring garden!
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