by Beth Cook, Mammoth Cave Transplants:
Many people take some of their indoor houseplants and move them outside during the summer months so they can enjoy the fresh air and sunlight. Once it turns cold though, those plants must be brought back in when it turns cold. If you haven’t already done this, you need to now. But it is not just as simply as moving the pot indoors. Here are a few things to consider:
One of the most important things before moving your plant back inside is to inspect it for inspects. Check your houseplants thoroughly for small insects like aphids, mealybugs and spider mites, and remove them. These pests can hitchhike on the plants you bring in for the winter and infest all of your houseplants. You can use lukewarm water to wash them off depending on the type of plant. Cold water may spot the leaves. This will help knock off any pests that you may have missed. Treating the plants with neem oil can help as well. Neem oil with smother out any pest on the plant.
The second thing you need to consider doing before bringing your plant in the house for winter is repotting it. During the summer it may have grew considerably larger. It is a good idea when replanting to repot the plant in a pot that is 2 inches larger than the previous. When repotting you may also need to break up the root memory if the plant has become root bound in the pot. You can take your hands, knife, or pruners to prunes some of the roots to break their root memory.
We have had several low temperatures in the last few weeks, but once the temperatures outside reach 50 For less at night, your houseplant must begin the process to come back into the house. Most houseplants cannot stand temps below 45 F. It is very important to acclimate your houseplant to the environment changes from outside to inside. Your plant may experience shock, wilting and leaf loss if you move it in suddenly. The light and humidity changes from outside to inside are dramatically different.
When acclimating your houseplant, start by bringing the houseplant in at night. For the first few days, bring the container inside in the evening and move it back outside in the morning. Gradually, over the course of two weeks, increase the amount of time the plant spends indoors until it is indoors full time. Remember, plants that are indoors will not need as much water as plants that are outdoors, so only water when the soil is dry to the touch. Consider cleaning your windows to help maximize the amount of sunlight your plants get through the windows.