In most areas of the US, during the summer we can give our houseplants a little special treat—we can take and leave them outside. As the fall weather starts to move in and the nights get cooler these tropical plants generally don’t do well in lower temperatures. It’s best to bring your houseplants indoors before nighttime temperatures dip below 45° Fahrenheit.
Here’s some tips and steps to help get that houseplant accustomed to being back inside.
Slowly adjust to new light
One important thing to note that the sudden change from being outside in the bright, warm sun to inside a home with less light could be traumatic to a plant. So, it’s best to slowly reintroduce your houseplant to being indoors.
The change in lighting conditions is going to be your biggest challenge. No matter what the light your plant gets outside is always going to be greater than what it gets inside. To prevent shock when bringing your houseplants indoors, expose plants gradually to reduced lighting. Usually, if they’ve been in bright light and you move them into much lower light, expect some leaves to fall off. However, new ones should form as the plants re-adapt to the lower light. It’s best if they’ve been outside in high light to put them in similar light indoors, like a south window or under plant lights on a timer for 6 – 8 hours a day.
Repotting for more growth
Depending on the growth your plants received outside some of them will likely need re-potting. It’s important that you plan this out because once the plant comes out of its existing pot it won’t be easy to get it back in without complications.
First, make sure you have well-draining potting soil like Fertilome Ultimate Potting Soil. That way you are giving you transplanted plant new soil, giving it the best chance to take root. It’s sometimes helpful to loosen up the roots so they aren’t as compacted. A general rule of thumb is that your new pot should be at least 2” larger than your existing one to support the new growth. Come check out our ceramic pots’ selection for beautiful new pots that fit any home décor.
When re-potting your plants, it’s also best to give them some fertilizer to help them become more accustom to their new surroundings. Simply follow the directions on the label to make sure you are giving the correct amount of food.
You can also bring any houseplant into City Floral Garden Center and we can help you get that plant into another pot and keep it growing. Call us to schedule a time for us to do it for you. We can also load it in and out of your car for you. All the benefits of repotting with none of the mess or hassle.
Spotting Pest and Disease
The one downfall to putting your houseplants outside during the summer is they become more susceptible to insects and diseases. Soaking the pot in a tub of lukewarm water for about 15 minutes will force insects out of the soil. If snails, earthworms, or other insects burrowed in the soil, you might want to re-pot the plant.
Pro Tip: Placing a piece of wire screening over the drainage hole to keep these creepy crawlies out of your container next year.
As added insurance to make sure you aren’t bringing outdoor pest into your home, consider treating with a systemic pesticide like Bonide Systemic Houseplant Insect Control.