Last Updated on October 31, 2021 by Phil
One of the things we love about container gardening is that you can easily move the plants from one place to another. This is crucial is you live in a city where winters can get cold, an environment that isn’t suited for most plant life.
Come winter time, it’s often a good idea to bring plants indoors. But, before doing so, it’s important to take a few precautionary steps. At the top of this list the how to debug plants to bring inside the house.
Plants living outside often have all sorts of bugs and small critters living or moving within them. This includes worms and other creatures you may not like to take into your home.
So, it’s important to get rid of these bugs and pests before taking any pots or plants inside your home.
When to Bring Plants Indoors?
For us, we start bringing in plants indoors when the temperature at night reaches 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Usually, this signals that things are about to get colder soon.
This keeps them away from the hasher nighttime cold that can destroy most plant life.
However, it’s important to note that not all plants can or should be moved indoors. Just because they reside in a pot doesn’t mean they good candidates, even if you could bring them inside.
The reason is, not all plants are suited for indoor conditions. Those who require a lot of sunlight or require warmer temperatures will have a harder time surviving even indoors. Similarly, the humidity in your home is very different from what they’re used to.
That said, you can bring in healthy houseplants to help them get through the colder climate.
You do want to bring them in earlier rather than later. That’s because you’ll want to debug them beforehand. And, like people, plants need some time to get acclimated to their new environments.
Also, leaving them out too long in the cold may cause them to already get damaged by the cold. Usually, tell-tale signs of this is leaves dropping.
Come spring time when the cold weather has passed, it will then be time again to bring the plants outdoors.
How to Debug Plants to Bring Inside Your Home – Easy Steps to Follow
When it’s time to bring in your plants, it’s a good idea to bring them in a bit at a time. This allows you to take your time in checking and cleaning them. It places less strain on you to have to clean so many plants in one sitting.
Similarly, doing it slowly isn’t as tiring to do. Transferring your plants indoors may not be too difficult if you only have a few to move. But, if there are more than 5 or 6 of them, it can become very exhausting to debug and then transport them.
Before Bringing Plants Inside for Winter
One of the most important things you should keep in mind is to debug your plants thoroughly before bringing them indoors. Once they’re in, the bugs can be very hard to contain. So, it’s a good idea to prevent this from happening in the first place.
- The first step in bringing any plant inside your home is to check it to make sure it doesn’t harbor any pests. Many different critters often tag along for the ride. So, do take your take to make sure.
- Worms, bugs, mites and aphids are some of the common pests that are present in plants. Thus, it’s a good idea to wash your plants before taking them inside your home.
- For larger plants or those with longer stems, pruning is a good idea. This reduces the amount of space they take up. And, it makes them look less messy indoors.
Here’s how to clean plants before bringing them indoors to get rid of unwanted bugs.
- Find a tub that will fit most of the pots you plan to bring in. You may have some really big pots that will require a different method. Those, you can leave for later.
- Fill the tub with soap and water. We often use liquid soap which makes it easy to mix. Avoid using detergent because they can be harmful to some of the more sensitive plants.
- Soak the pots into the soapy water. The goal is the cover the entire pot with soap and clean it to get rid of anything on it. Leave the pot in the water for 10 to 20 minutes to kill all the pests and bugs.
- For leaves that aren’t submerged into the soapy water, you’ll need to clean them yourself. A good way to do this is to use a spray bottle containing water and liquid soap.
- Once done, you’ll need to scrub the pots clean. This takes out stuff that have stuck onto the pot’s surface and weren’t removed by the water.
- Finally, rinse the pot and let it dry.
When done, the plant is ready to bring indoors and you can move on to the next plant to debug.
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Acclimating Plants from the Outdoors to Indoors
By the time the nighttime temperature outside gets to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, we usually have all the plants we want inside the home. This is a good benchmark to shoot for because nighttime climates can change from day to day. And, most plants have a hard time surviving when temperatures get to 45 degrees.
Once inside, the next step is to get them acclimated to their new environment. This prevents from them experiencing shock which can mess plants up like it does people.
You’ll be able to tell when this happens as their colors can change for the worse and their leaves may wilt or fall off.
Because the amount of sunlight and level of humidity is different indoors and outdoors, we often bring the plants in during the night. This prevents any drastic change in lighting conditions. If you have grow lights, this is less of a problem.
Ideally, place the plants in areas near windows or openings so that they get the same or similar amount of sunlight during the day. This prevents the sudden shock in change of environment.
If your home does not have a sunny areas, a good idea is to bring the plants outside during the day and inside during the night. Gradually reducing the time it spends outside helps it get gradually get acclimated to the indoor environment.