Temperatures are dipping, and the outside is getting colder in preparation for the long winter season ahead. Soon our mornings will become frostier, and our days will turn chilly. While you may enjoy mugs of hot coffee, cozy blankets, and warm fires, your leafy friends might have a hard time surviving.Â
So, this is the best time to move any vacationing plants back indoors before the cold season sets in. Here are some tips to guide you through when moving your outdoor plants, indoors.
1. Plan for the Best Moving Time
You need to know the best time to bring your plants indoors. As weather patterns and climate vary across the country, the time for you to bring the plants indoors will also vary.
A general rule of thumb is that, when making the move, ensure that the temperature is not below 60 degrees F. Just like people, most plants are comfortable in day time temperatures of about 65-75 degrees F.
2. Sort Out Your Plants
Decide which plants you are going to bring indoors before the actual moving day. Consider the health of your plants and make a decision of the plants to move in and the ones to put in the compost pile.
Donâ€™t think that bringing an ailing plant indoors will rescue it. Plants that have been struggling to survive outdoors might still find it hard to keep up with the dry air, low humidity, and low light levels. Be selective and try giving priority to the healthy plants.
It also helps to avoid taking some large plants in. Small or medium-sized plants have the highest chances of surviving.
3. Prepare Your Plants for the Move
Before moving, thoroughly check the outside of the plant pots. Check out for signs of mold or moss. Scrub the pots thoroughly to remove moss, mold and even any dirt that might have accumulated on the pots during their stay outdoors.
Also, avoid shocking your leafy guests with a sudden change of environment.
An abrupt change of temperature and humidity can put the plants in a state of shock and cause it to wilt or even die. For the first few days of moving, you can bring your plants in the evening and move them back outside during the day. This will help them transition seamlessly to indoor life.
4. Look out for the HitchhikersÂ
Inspect your plants for any signs of aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and the like. These bugs tend to hitchhike on the outdoor plants, and when on the inside, they rapidly multiply and spread to the other indoor plants.
Examine the shoot, stem intersections, and the underside of the leaves. They tend to hang out there secretly before spreading to other areas.
Make sure to spray insecticidal soap or neem oil a few days before moving to when you notice any signs of pests or their eggs.
5. Prepare your Indoor Space
Plants that tend to go dormant during winter will require little to no attention after moving them indoors. So letâ€™s move the tender subtropical and tropical plants that probably make up the bulk of your bulk collection.
Helping your plants acclimate successfully to indoor life can be a challenging task. Make sure to do the following when preparing your indoor space;
– Light up your Indoor Space
Itâ€™s probably no surprise that light tops the list of the essential things to do when preparing your indoor space for your plants. Light is truly an essential part of your plantsâ€™ growth.
Most plants will require about 6-8 hours to grow comfortably. However, during the winter season, it can be a tall order if you will be relying on natural light to illuminate your indoor plants.
We recommend that you place your plants closer to a window, install reflective materials like aluminum foil, or get some LEDs to maximize the amount of light indoors.
– Check on the Temperature in your Indoor Space
Some indoor spots can be very cold and consequently, deadly for your plants. Therefore, always ensure that your indoor temperatures fall between 65-75 degrees F.
A thermometer can come in handy when measuring your indoor temperature, when looking for the best spot to place your plants. It also helps to make sure that your plants are not in an area that they will get hit by blasts of cold arctic air when you open and close windows and doors near them.
– Moisture and HumidityÂ
The average humidity levels in most homes during winter hovers around 40 percent or less. Your plants need almost twice that humidity. You, therefore, need to come up with an approach to increase the amount of humidity in your indoor space.
An old fashioned approach to do this is by placing a pebble-filled dish near each plant pot. As the water evaporates from the dish, it contributes to the humidity in your growing area.
A conventional humidifier or misting equipment can also help for very low humidity levels.
Most of your plants might not be good candidates for this winter season. But just because it’s getting more chilly and frostier, it doesnâ€™t mean you have to part ways with your leafy plant friends. With a bit of effort and the above tips, your plants will not only survive indoors but will thrive.