Overwintering Potted Plants
Enjoy a bit of green indoors this winter by bringing in your favorite potted plants! Here’s a quick and easy ‘what to do’ to get you started:
Make a Plan
Most house plants need to be brought inside when temperatures begin to drop into the mid 40s (mid 50s for some tropical). The sudden shift from the sunny great outdoors to your less-sunny interior often shocks the plant. Mitigate the damage by moving pots in stages. Start by shifting potted plants to a shadier spot of the yard about a week before you plan to bring it indoors.
Clean it up!
Take a few minutes to remove any dead or damaged portions of the plant before bringing it inside. These areas are most likely to harbor unwanted house guests like pests and diseases. secure web hosting Washing the plants with a gentle spray from the hose (or a damp sponge) may also be a good idea to remove small insects.
Examine the Container
Over time pots can begin to show wear and tear, cracking as they age. Check pots for damage and ask yourself: Will it survive the winter? While you’re at it – check for any stow-away critters hiding under rims.
Where should you tuck your new housemate? Consider the plant: Is it a shade loving fern? a moisture loving orchid? Perhaps a Christmas cactus? Look for spaces that can accommodate each plant’s individual needs for light and temperature. Keep in mind that spaces near windows are frequently colder, while spaces above air registers will be hot and dry.
Did you know? Christmas cacti bloom in response to cooler temperatures, so place near a window (and far from the heating vent!) to encourage mid-winter flowering!
Less is More
Indoor plants often grow slower than their outdoor companions because there is less light for photosynthesis. A side effect of this is that they need less food. Cut back your fertilizing regime to avoid over fertilizing. For plants that naturally go dormant in winter, place your fertilizing routine on pause until spring.
Dry Air = Dry Plants
Your skin knows when the furnace kicks on and your plants do too. Many plants appreciate having a bit of moisture in their air, so consider giving them a quick spritz with a spray bottle to mimic humidity. Or, create humidity by filling a tray with pebbles and water – as the water evaporates, it naturally raises the humidity immediately around the humidity immediately around the plants.
Much like with fertilizing, individual potted plants tend to have different watering needs during cloudy, cool winter months. Observe your plant’s habits during its first weeks inside and adjust accordingly!
One Final Tip:
Plants are often stressed when moved into a new environment, and will often drop a lot of leaves in response. Don’t panic! This is normal – give your plant about a month to acclimate before assuming you’ve killed it!