If your houseplants have spent the summer outside, this “vacation” has probably improved their size and health. Now that it’s getting cooler, vacation is over.
Gradually move houseplants inside when nighttime temperatures are consistently at 50 degrees Fahrenheit or below, well before the first frost threatens. Moved too quickly, the changes can stress or even kill plants.
Ready Houseplants for the Move:
- While nights are slightly cool, move plants to a shady, sheltered spot outdoors.
- If frost threatens, cover them with sheets or row covers.
- If you don’t have too many plants, bring them in at night and put them out in the morning, increasing the time they spend indoors daily.
Right Before the Move:
- Remove dead and damaged leaves, faded flowers and plant debris from the soil by hand or with a firm blast of water.
- Clean each pot to remove dirt and debris.
- Soak each plant in a bucket of water for 15 minutes to force any insects to the surface. Remove insects and let the plants drain.
- Examine the plant, especially the undersides of leaves, looking for insects. Treat with horticultural soap or an insecticide, and be sure plants are insect-free before bringing them inside.
- Don’t overwater. Water only when the soil is dry 1″ below the surface. Be sure each pot has excellent drainage and never sits in water.
- Don’t worry if a plant drops a few leaves from the stress of the move. New ones should soon replace them.