Best Tips to Bring Your Plants Inside for the Winter
Posted by Moore Home Services
Indoor Air Quality
Bringing plants inside for the winter can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors all year round. Not only is it convenient and easy, but it also gives you more control over your plant’s environment, so you can give them just the right amount of light and moisture.
When to Bring Plants Inside
Plants are sensitive to temperature changes. If temperatures get too cold, they can cause the plants to lose their leaves, go into dormancy or even die.
If your plants are exposed to cold temperatures for more than a day or two, they may become damaged beyond repair. Some plants can tolerate sudden exposure to cold, but most will not.
The best way to prevent frost damage is to bring your plants inside before the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bringing plants inside can also help make your home more inviting during the winter months when it’s cold outside, and there’s not much color around.
Where to Place Your Plants
When bringing outdoor plants inside for the winter, it’s essential to give them the right amount of light and temperature to keep them healthy. Otherwise, they may become stressed and even die.
But don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to give your plants a place where they can thrive indoors.
First, make sure your plants get enough light. If you live in a cold climate and don’t have access to a sunny window or patio during winter, consider putting them under grow lights. Grow lights provide bright light. This mimics natural sunlight and allows plants to photosynthesize as they would outdoors during summer.
Secondly, protecting them from drafts and other harsh weather conditions is important. Protecting plants from the cold means just that – be it outdoors or indoors.
Debug and Clean Plants
There are several different types of common indoor plant pests: aphids, mealybugs, scale insects, thrips, and whiteflies being just a few.
Start by removing infested leaves or branches from the plant. Make sure not to touch any bugs while doing so — and destroy them in an outdoor garbage can so they don’t spread more bugs indoors.
It’s safe to submerge the whole plant, pot and all, in a very mild soapy solution before bringing it into the house.
However, if you still end up with bugs inside your home, there are a couple of things you can do.
Insecticidal soaps and neem oil are two options that are safe for use around pets, children, and people with allergies. They kill bugs but don’t harm plants or animals. Other natural repellents include rosemary or peppermint oils, garlic spray, and dried chili pepper flakes scattered on the soil’s surface.
Check your home and get rid of any bugs hiding in dark spaces. Keep an eye on your plants and act quickly if you spot any further signs of infestation.
Cut Back on Watering
If you’ve ever killed a plant, chances are good that it was because you over watered it. If a plant’s roots are submerged in water for too long, they will rot and die.
Plants absorb water through their roots and transport it to where it’s needed in the plant body. However, if there’s too much water around the roots, those cells can actually burst — killing the plant cell and potentially spreading this damage up into the rest of the plant.
The best way to tell if your plant needs water is the weight of the soil in the pot. If it feels light, then it’s time for a watering! If there are any dry spots on the surface of the soil, that’s also a good indicator that you should water.
Make Sure There’s Light and Humidity
If you have plants inside your house, they may not get enough light if they’re growing near windows with blinds or curtains blocking the sun. To keep your indoor plants inside and healthy, choose a spot where they’ll get plenty of natural light.
In most cases, a bright room with ample windows is enough for most houseplants. However, if you live in a home with few windows or your windows don’t let in much light, you may need to supplement with artificial lighting like grow lamps.
Plants need the right amount of moisture in the air around them in order to thrive. If the air is too dry, they will wilt and die; if it’s too wet, mold can grow on their leaves and stems.
Most plants need humidity to be between 40% to 60%. Home humidity can be measured with a hygrometer. You can also use a soil moisture meter to measure soil moisture. Leaving bowls of water near a heat source can help boost humidity.
Keep your home’s temperature and humidity comfortable this winter by booking a furnace tune-up with Moore Home Services.