When to Bring Houseplants Inside
As the weather starts to cool down and the days get shorter, it's time to start thinking about bringing your houseplants inside for the winter. While it might be tempting to leave them outside a little longer to soak up the last of the warm sunshine, it's important to remember that most houseplants are tropical or subtropical and need to be protected from the cold. Here are some tips for when and how to bring your houseplants inside to ensure they stay healthy all winter long.
First and foremost, it's important to pay attention to the temperature. As a general rule, most houseplants should be brought inside when the nighttime temperatures start to regularly dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This will vary depending on your specific region and the types of plants you have, so be sure to do some research on the specific needs of your plants.
Once you've determined that it's time to bring your plants inside, it's important to prepare them for the transition. This includes gradually acclimating them to lower light levels by placing them in a shadier spot outside for a week or two before bringing them in. You should also inspect them for pests, as outdoor plants are more prone to infestations. Use a gentle soap solution to wash the leaves and stems and check for any signs of pests, such as small webs or egg masses. If you do spot any pests, use a natural pest control method to get rid of them before bringing the plants inside.
When it comes to finding a spot for your houseplants inside, there are a few things to consider. First, choose a location that gets plenty of indirect light. South- or west-facing windows are often the best choice, as they will provide the most light during the shorter days of winter. Avoid placing your plants in front of windows that get direct sun, as the hot sun can scorch their leaves.
It's also important to think about the humidity levels in your home. Most houseplants prefer a humidity level of around 40-50%, which is higher than the average humidity level in most homes during the winter. To increase the humidity around your plants, you can use a humidifier or place them on a tray filled with pebbles and water. Just be sure to keep the water level below the bottom of the pot so that the roots aren't sitting in water.
Finally, be sure to water your houseplants appropriately during the winter. While it's important to keep the soil moist, be careful not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot. Stick your finger about an inch into the soil to check for moisture and only water when the soil feels dry. It's also a good idea to let the top inch or two of soil dry out between waterings to prevent excess moisture.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your houseplants stay healthy and happy all winter long. Happy planting!