The crisp fall weather has finally arrived. While this may mean the end for your summer annuals, it’s time to start thinking about your indoor garden and bring plants inside for winter. Many of the plants that brought color to your patio during the summer months can liven up your indoor space throughout the winter.
Which Plants Can Be Brought Indoors?
The first and most obvious are any houseplants you transitioned outdoors in the spring. Bring them back inside before the temperatures drop below 50 degrees at night. You’ll want to move bromeliads, spider plants, pothos vines, and any other houseplants indoors.
Citrus trees also need to be brought indoors. To help them thrive, place them in the sunniest spots in your home and make sure your home isn’t too dry. Citrus trees, and many other tropical plants, prefer high humidity. During the winter, it can be helpful to run a humidifier in the room where they’re growing. Tropical ferns, as well as other tropical plants like birds of paradise, dracaenas, and sago palms, should also be brought in.
Lastly, most succulents should be brought inside for the winter. While there are a few hardy succulents such as sedum or hens and chicks, many succulents need a frost-free environment. Succulents that you used in patio planters can be repotted to use as houseplants.
Related Blog: Caring for Houseplants in Winter
While early spring is the ideal time to repot plants, some may need to be repotted before you move them inside for winter. Plants should be repotted if they're showing signs of having outgrown their pot, or if you need to use a different planter for indoor use. Your plant probably needs a larger pot if it needs to be watered more frequently than normal, if you can see roots above the soil or growing out of the drainage hole, or the pot feels light or tips over easily.
When repotting plants, look for a new pot that’s about three inches larger in diameter for small plants, and six inches larger in diameter for large plants. Oversized planters can slow plant growth. It’s also important to use a good-quality potting mix (not outdoor garden soil) and use your hands to loosen the roots if your plant is root-bound. Water your plant thoroughly after repotting.
To avoid bringing pests into your home, you can use houseplant insecticide or insecticidal soap on the plants. Repotting is an optimal time to take these precautions.
Why Is My Plant Dropping Leaves?
Don’t worry if your plant drops a few leaves when you move it inside for winter. Plants often drop a few leaves when they’re quickly moved to a new environment. They have to adapt to different temperature, light, and humidity levels, which stresses them out a bit!
Pet owners need to take precautions when moving plants indoors. Many common houseplants, such as pothos, aloe vera, sago palms, alocasias, and ZZ plants, are toxic to pets. Always keep houseplants out of reach of your furry friends unless you know for certain that they’re non-toxic.
Fall doesn’t have to bring an end to gardening. It just means that it’s time to bring the garden indoors. Move your houseplants, succulents, citrus, and tropical plants indoors to ensure they survive the winter and green your home. Fall is also an excellent time to share houseplants with others. They make wonderful gifts for college students to bring life to dorm rooms.