It's that time of the year...your houseplants need to come back inside!
With the forecast calling for temperatures in the low 50's at night, it's time to bring your plants in. Follow these quick and easy steps to help keep your plants happy and healthy as you move them back inside:
1. Beat the Bugs!
Spray insecticidal soap or use a granular systemic to protect from bugs like aphids, whiteflies, mealybugs, and scale. Having been outside for a while, bugs may have taken a liking to your plants and have possibly made it their new home. But it's true! Even if you don't see them, they're still there. That's why we recommend spraying all of your plants before you bring them inside. It's better to be safe than sorry! According to the University of Vermont, you can also soak the pot in a tub of lukewarm water for about 15 minutes, which will force insects out of the soil.
Below, we've listed just a few of our favorite houseplant products to help keep the bugs at bay so you don't have to worry:
2. Clean, Clean, Clean!
Take time to love and care for your houseplant before it comes inside. Prune off any yellowing or dead leaves as this will give the plant more energy to shoot up new growth. And don't be afraid to prune the plant back to a more manageable size for inside. If they have gotten leggy, take the plant out of its container and prune the top and roots in equal proportions. Be sure to clean the pot and add fresh potting soil before putting the pant back in.
Check out this video to see Stephen Barlow pruning back a hibiscus bush!
This also may be a good time to re-pot your plants! Your houseplants may have grown significantly over the summer and may be a bit rootbound. If this is the case, you can trim back the roots a bit before repotting. If you have a sturdier tropical plant like a hibiscus you want to keep over the winter, you can trim the roots back significantly.
Here's a video of Stephen demonstrating root pruning on the same hibiscus:
3. All About Location!
Typically, most houseplants thrive in high to medium light areas (southern or western facing windows). To prevent houseplant shock, you'll want to expose the plant gradually to its new location. Usually, if they've been in bright light and you move them into much lower light, you may notice some leaves fall off. As it acclimates to its new environment, the plant should start pushing out new growth.
It’s best to try and mirror the same lighting situation inside as they've faced outside. For instance, if they've been outside in high light you'll want to make sure they are near a southern-facing window or under plant lights to get that same exposure. Always avoid placing near any drafts or heat sources (heaters). And remember, hold off on feeding them until March.
4. Watch Your Watering!
Once the plant is inside, you'll want to monitor its watering for the first few weeks as it acclimates to its new environment. The amount of times you watered it outside will vary while it's inside due to the change in climate. It's always best to underwater than overwater! Let the soils surface be dry to the touch before watering again. If it's cloudy or raining outside, hold off on watering as the plants won't get enough light to dry out and this can lead to symptoms of overwatering.
If you have houseplants that require high humidity, like Ferns, then you might want to place the pots on a shallow tray (or saucer) that is filled with pebbles and water. This will keep the plant's roots from sitting in water. As the water gradually evaporates, this will boost the humidity around the plant. You can also try putting your houseplants next to one another to increase the humidity, or try misting them!