Taking in Houseplants

As night temperatures start to dip it is time to bring in houseplants and tropical plants inside. When the night temperatures are predicted to dip below 50°F, you should bring your plants indoors. To ensure a successful transition there a few considerations you want to make.

 

First, consider which plants you are going to bring indoors and what locations they will occupy within your home. Indoors often has lower light levels, due to shortened days. The humidity is lower inside, especially if you have forced hot air. Tropicals, which are often sold as houseplants, are great candidates for bringing indoors. These plants can often deal with harsh indoor conditions. Certain annuals, such as coleus and geraniums, can handle indoor conditions, but are a bit more challenging. Most annuals, such as petunias and zinnias, are very difficult to grow indoors and it is not recommended to do so. Trees, shrubs, and perennials will not do well in a home and should be planted in the ground for the winter.

 

Second, ensure your plants are insect free. A general insecticide, such as Bonide Eight, will help ensure critters do not travel into your home. Three applications of the insecticide is recommended. The first application should be made one week prior to bringing the plants indoors. The second application should be made the day you bring the plants indoors. The third application should be made one week after bringing your plant indoors. If you are concerned about spraying in your home try moving the plant to a shower or bathtub and spray it there. You can relocate it once the insecticide has dried. 

 

Third, decide whether the plant needs to be trimmed. All diseased or damaged material should be removed when moving the plant. Some tropical plants, such as hibiscus and mandevilla, benefit from being pruned in half. Use a sharp knife or a pair of pruners to ensure you get a nice clean cut. 

 

Finally, care for the plant in its new indoor location. Many plants will lose all their leaves when they are brought indoors. Don’t be alarmed, as the plant will grow a new set of leaves more adapted to the indoors. Be sure to stop fertilizing your plant during the winter unless rapid growth is experienced. Add humidity to the area around the plant by misting it or using a humidifier in your home. Another option is placing the pot on a tray filled with pebbles; you can pour water in the tray up to the tops of the pebbles and rest the pot on them so that it is not in the water. The air will absorb the water from the tray, raising the humidity around the plant.  Avoid repotting your plant when you bring it indoors, as this adds unneeded stress to the plant. If you have any specific questions pertaining to your plants please feel free to call us at 860-872-7291 or stop by.

 

News Date: 
Monday, September 22, 2014