Can you believe how warm it's been this Fall in the Atlanta area? I'm sure our plants and animals are just as confused as we humans are. Before we know it, the winter winds will begin to blow and it will be the time to take care and start the process of moving your houseplants that have enjoyed the summer months on the deck or porch into the house.
Bring in the Plants!
When the evening temperatures reach the low 50’s it’s time to bring in your houseplants that have thrived all summer outdoors.
If you plan ahead, both you and your plants will be happier throughout the winter.
2-3 weeks before the cold temperatures arrive give your plants time to adjust to living indoors by moving your plants to the shadiest spot you have even if they’ve been in the shade all summer long.The light in the house is much lower than under the densest shade tree. Try to pick a spot where the plants won’t receive any rain since you want them to be on the dry side when they come inside.
Now comes the “triage” part of the move. Inspect your plants for insects. They can be under leaves, on the stems, in the soil or even on the pot. Use this time to clean off the pots and then treat your plants with insecticidal soap to ensure the critters do not follow you indoors.
Check the soil level in the pots. Rain and watering can leach soil from pots and leave roots exposed.Add more soil if needed.
After you move your plant indoors, place them in the best light for their growing requirements.Be careful to not place them near heating vents as the warm, dry air will draw moisture from your plants. Be aware of drafts from windows and doors, your Dracaena may look wonderful in the foyer by the front door but when the door opens and the cold air hits the plant it could cause damage.
Do not fertilize your plants between November and March since they won’t take it up as efficiently as they do in the growing season and it may cause damage to the roots and leaves.
Not every plant will adjust well to moving indoors and some will react to the lower light and drier soil by dropping their leaves. Don’t worry as this is perfectly normal. If a plant becomes too unattractive to keep in your living space move it to an area in your home with moderate temperatures and a bit of light such as a basement or garage with a window. Keep your prettiest plants as part of your décor. Only water indoor plants when the root ball dries, maybe only 2-3 times during the winter season, the plants won’t grow but the root system will remain alive and when spring comes they will start growing again.
Ideal interior plants for your winter decor include Christmas cactus, forced Amaryllis and Paperwhite bulbs, Norfolk Island Pines and of course, nothing welcomes the winter season like a pretty Poinsettia!
Have more houseplant questions? Call our staff; we’d love to help you take care of your plants.