Gardening Projects

Bring your Houseplants Back Indoors

When the daytime temps are between 50-60°F its time to get your houseplants ready to come back inside.
First move them to a shady location to get them used to lower light levels. Even the brightest spot in the house is nowhere near as bright as it is outside.

Clean up the plant remove any dead or damaged leaves and clean up the pot as well. 

Check for pests. Check the tops and bottoms of the leaves, on the stems, the crown of the plant and the bottom of the pot. You can submerge the whole pot in water to drive bugs out. This works especially well for spiders as they can't swim and will flee the plant. Let the plant dry.

Spray the plant with insecticidal soap on tops and bottoms of leaves and lightly spray the soil. This will get rid of small pest problems. You can also water the plant with a 10% bleach solution: 9 parts water to 1 part bleach. This will kill any eggs that maybe in the soil. Soak soil for 15 mins then rinse the plant throughly with fresh water.

If you have the space keep newly brought in plants separate from established houseplants just in case any pests are still on the plants. 

Cut back on water and fertilizer as the plants won't be growing as much indoors.

Special cases: With some tricky tropicals such as Hibiscus and Bananas. Hibiscus tend to go into shock when moving in or out, go slowly with the process of accumulating them to lower light levels. If the Hibicus do drop a lot of leaves, it's messy but the plant will make new ones. You can cut the plant back and allow it to make new leaves in the lower light situation. Of course this means starting the moving in process earlier in fall.

With bananas move these to a porch or covered location an cut back on the watering and stop fertilizing. This will help prevent the trunks from getting soft and rotting which is a common problem.

-Ann Wetzel