Bringing Houseplants Indoors for the Winter

 

Weiland-Karen-150x150

 

by Karen Weiland

 

 

If you place your houseplants outdoors for the summer, it’s time to be bringing them indoors.  A gradual reintroduction to the indoors is best as conditions differ widely between indoors and out.  The sudden changes that take place with humidity, temperature and light can have detrimental effects on plants.

houseplantFirst, if any of your plants need repotting, this is the time to do it.  Scrub clean the larger pot you will be using, then add some potting soil, not garden soil (which may have diseases).  If the plant has gotten leggy over the summer, remove it from the pot and prune the top and the roots in equal proportions, then replant.  I like to give my repotted plants a little boost by adding a root stimulator to my water.

Expose plants gradually to reduced lighting to lessen the stress of the move. Once they are inside, a full spectrum light hooked up to a timer set on sixteen hours a day is a good way to help plants with less than optimal lighting. Expect some of the leaves to fall off, this is normal and most plants will adapt in time to their new home.

Inspect plants for insects and diseases.  Give them a bath with insecticidal soap if necessary.  If you are concerned about insects in the soil, soak the pot in a tub of lukewarm water for 15 minutes.  This will force those nasty critters out.  Some folks like to quarantine their plants for a few weeks just to make sure they are free of pests.houseplant-stones

To keep humidity at a pleasing plant level, add a layer of small stones to a waterproof tray, add water to the stones and place the pots on top of the stones.  One of those plastic boot trays works quite well for plants that are placed on the floor.  Resist the temptation to over water.  Plants being kept indoors need less water and may only need to be watered once a week.  An easy way to check is to stick your finger into the soil about an inch or so to see if the soil is dry.

This would be a good time to take cuttings of some of your annual plants, like coleus, begonias and geraniums.  I like to root mine in moist sand or a rooting compound, then after roots are about one half inch long I transplant them into small pots and overwinter them on shelves equipped with plant lights in my basement.  Come spring, my cuttings are ready to be placed in window boxes, pots or in the landscape.  Tender perennials such as rosemary can be dug up and placed in a pot to overwinter in the house.

 

As always, Happy Gardening!

More information about gardening and related subjects is available online at www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/garden_pubs  The Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service can be reached at 499-6334 in LaGrange Co., 636-2111 in Noble Co., 925-2562 in DeKalb Co. and 668-1000 in Steuben Co.

 

 

 

Pet Friendly LaGrange County

There’s always one downside for going on vacation. I know, you’re thinking there can’t be a downside, you’re leaving your work, bills and responsibilities behind, but you’re also leaving that furry little friend to wonder why you’re not home at 5:42 like a usual day. So, why not just bring Fido along for the ride? …

Read More >

Eliminating Weeds in the Garden

by Karen Weiland, Advanced Master Gardener       What is a weed?  People have different views on what is and is not a weed.  I see mullein as a beautiful plant with its fuzzy, silvery leaves and tiny yellow flowers.  I like to use them in my landscape around my potting shed.   My farmer …

Read More >

Why Plants Fail to Bloom

  by Karen Weiland, Advanced Master Gardener     Flowering plants that don’t bloom as expected can be a big disappointment.  There are a handful of reasons from which to choose, but a little detective work can usually pinpoint the cause. Nutrition-Too much nitrogen can cause plants to produce a lot of leaves and stems …

Read More >

Get your official copy of our

Destination Guide

Request Printed Guide

View E-Guide

Stay informed and sign up for the

Shipshe E-Newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.