If you are like most houseplant owners that have some form of outdoor space, chances are you have plants that have spent the summer outdoors, soaking up some nice sun and fresh air.
Sadly, those summer days are winding down as we head into fall which means it’s time for your plant pals to come back inside. This should be done before temperatures drop below 7 C (45 F). You may think it’s as simple as just moving the pot from point A to B, but here’s a few things you should keep in mind to keep your plants thriving:
First things first - check your plants for small insects like mealybugs, spider mites, and aphids.
Your plant could be acting like a Trojan horse for unwanted house guests that could be damaging to your other plants. Before bringing them in, do a visual scan to check under leaves and on the stems where leaves join or where there is new growth.
If you spot anything that looks suspicious, it’s best to take precaution and isolate the plant before it spreads. A quick google search will help you identify the culprit and give you tips on how to deal with them.
Secondly, your plants have likely gotten bigger with all those rays of sun. You may want to do some pruning and/or repotting if this is the case. Prune any dead or damaged leaves, and trim the foliage back about one third of the plant size at most. Don’t forget to give the roots a trim as well.
Repotting is only recommended if the plant has outgrown it’s current pot and really needs it. It can be traumatizing to both move a plant indoors and repot it at the same time. If you are going to repot it do so in a container that is at least 2 inches larger than the current pot.
Third - avoid extreme temperature changes. This can put your plant into shock, causing your plant to be sad and start dropping leaves or wilting. A good start is to bring plants in at nights for the first few days to help acclimatize them. Once you’re bringing them in for good, be mindful of where you are placing them so they aren’t next to furnaces or heating sources, as well as areas that have cold drafts.
Also think about how the sunlight hits certain spaces indoors throughout the winter. This can be drastically different from the summer, and you may need to do a bit of rearranging for your plant to get the proper light it needs. Plant lights are also a great option to give an extra boost through the darker months.
The last thing to remember is plants don’t need as much water in the colder months! Since there isn’t as much sun, they aren’t growing as much and using up energy like the summer months. Because of this they don’t require as much water, so be careful not to over water which may cause root rot.
Follow these tips and your plants will stay happy!