This Bolivian begonia will continue to bloom indoors for a few weeks before losing its leaves for the season. For many years, we have maintained the tubers in the same pot.
Many of my annuals, herbs, and tropical plants will continue to grow all winter long, and some of them may even give me a bloom or two as a treat. These don’t appear to mind the low temps, but they will need an excellent location in the sun.
- Bulky begonia
- Geranium (if given plenty of light)
Before bringing the plant completely indoors, it is preferable to let it get used to a lower lighting level for a few days. For instance, relocate a plant that is outside in direct sunlight to a more shady location. Try to place your plants in similar light indoors if they are accustomed to strong light, such as a south window or under timer-controlled plant lights for 16 hours per day. As the plants adapt to the circumstances inside, there is no need to worry too much about leaf drop; they will recover.
Additionally, prune your plant before bringing it inside if it needs to be cut back temporarily to lessen its size.
This hibiscus gradually droops and loses its leaves, yet springtime brings it immediately back to life.
Since the fuchsia tend to attract bugs, I remove their leaves and only water them enough to keep their roots alive. When it’s time to go back outside in the spring, they will start up again with brand-new growth and be in bud.
As soon as we bring the cymbidium indoors, it immediately sprouts a flower stalk and continues to bloom throughout most of the winter.
We also keep the geraniums blooming throughout the winter, but if you don’t have a sunny spot for them, you may let them fall dormant by pruning them back by roughly half, covering them with a bag, and only watering them if they start to wilt. Some people even take the bare-root plants out of their container and hang them upside-down in a cool, dark location while misting them with water every so often to keep them from shriveling up. In the spring, give the bare roots a few hours of soaking to rehydrate them before repotting.
Take some cuttings if a combination worked well and you wish to use it again the next year.
Get Rid of Pests
I vigorously spray all the leaves with water to remove any potential pests, and I thoroughly inspect the pots for bugs, snails, cocoons, and egg masses on all sides, especially under the rim.
Use an insecticidal soap or another insecticide that is labelled for these pests to eradicate an infestation as soon as they are discovered. I use a non-detergent soapy spray that I make by combining water and 1 tsp of liquid lavender Dr. Bronner’s soap since it smells so lovely. I attempt to spritz all the leaves with this solution. Due to their 7–10 day life cycle, weekly spraying usually stops the proliferation of spider mites. I’ll put up some yellow sticky cards to catch whiteflies if I see any. Don’t forget to spray the area at the bottom of the container as well as under the lip, where insects like to hide.
Indoor Plant Care Tips
Avoid overwatering! Since indoor plants don’t really need much water in the winter, this is the most frequent reason why they die. Before watering again, allow the top 1/2 inch of the soil to feel dry to the touch. When in doubt, avoid watering. When the soil has been dry for a few days, water succulents even less frequently. In overcast or wet conditions, avoid watering plants because they won’t receive enough light to dry out.
Due to reduced levels of light intensity, plants need little or no fertilizer in the winter. In the spring, right before new growth starts, fertilize.
By storing some of your pricey tropical plants throughout the winter, you can save a ton of money. Offer your extra plants to a gardening friend if your window space is limited.
This pink mandevilla was a gift from a friend who could not bear to throw it out because it was too big to put on a ledge.
I also take cuttings of some of my favorite plants, including coleus, geraniums, impatiens, begonias, and iris. This is just to be safe. All will produce lovely houseplants and easily take root in water.
Cuttings are a fantastic and reasonably priced technique to produce new plants if you don’t have enough room to store pots over the winter.
To cut something:
- Just below a leaf node, pick healthy shoots and prune them by 2 to 3 inches. Any lower leaves and blossom buds should be removed.
Place the cutting in a wet rooting media, such as sterile potting soil, vermiculite, or coarse sand (which typically contains both peat and perlite). Add at least one leaf node beneath the medium surface as well. Advice: Although it is not required, think about soaking the cutting in a rooting hormone before planting. It might raise your chances of success.
Place the cutting in direct light that is bright. Ensure a constant moisture level. The amount of moisture lost will be decreased if the container is covered with a clear bag or plastic hood.
Depending on the plant, rooting normally takes one to three weeks. The roots can be transplanted to a larger pot once they have grown well.
Moving Plants Back Outside in Spring
Your plants will begin to sprout new growth in the spring, at which point you can move those pots back into direct sunshine and restart watering them. I will provide them with a new pot and fresh soil if necessary.
Move them back outside after the final frost to be on the safe side.
A Few More Winterizing Tips
- Containers made of wood and plastic may be kept outside over the winter. Clay vessels made of terracotta, however, should be taken inside because they can shatter.
- Remove garden hoses from any outside faucets before it gets below freezing (32F or 0C). To keep out any bugs and dirt, completely drain the hoses and clamp the ends together. Then keep them in the garage or beneath the deck.
- Good tools are not cheap! Take the time necessary to properly care for them. Sharpen the surfaces and use a wire brush to clean the tools. WD-40 or another light oil can be applied as a coat to metal surfaces. Use an all-purpose cleaner to clean hardwood handles, and then lightly treat them in wood preservative. Learn about maintaining and sharpening gardening tools.
How can you move indoor plants from outdoor ones?
Your houseplant has to start the process of returning inside once it is 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) or less outside during the night. Most houseplants cannot survive temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 C.). Acclimating your houseplant to the climatic changes from outdoors to inside is crucial. Although the methods for acclimating plants indoors for the winter are simple, failing to follow them could cause shock, wilting, and leaf loss in your plant.
Inside versus outside, the fluctuations in light and humidity are noticeably different. Start bringing your houseplant inside at night to get it used to the environment. Bring the container inside in the evening for the first few days, then reposition it outside in the morning. Increase the plant’s inside time gradually over the period of two weeks, until it is entirely indoors.
Remind yourself that indoor plants won’t require as much water as outdoor plants, so just water when the soil seems dry to the touch. To assist maximize the quantity of sunshine your plants receive through the windows, think about cleaning your windows.
How may outside plants be brought indoors for the winter?
Some frequently asked questions about preparing your plants and containers to bring inside for the winter are answered by Laura from Garden Answer. She outlines her step-by-step guidelines for maintaining healthy, happy plants even while they are housed indoors.
Gather the items you want to save by walking about your garden. Consider your garden’s perennials, herbs, and succulents. With a little assistance, even window boxes, displays, and smaller pots may survive indoors.
Consider the containers they are in right now once you’ve gathered everything you wish to bring inside. Do they function inside your house? Will you remove something that requires a new container from your garden? You can obtain the necessary supplies by asking yourself these questions.
Having a single defined workspace makes things simpler. You won’t be able to move your materials throughout your garden and the mess will stay in one place.
A trowel, a shovel, snips, pruners, gloves, and containers are a some of the tools you might require. If the containers have been used before, be sure to sanitize them using a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water to get rid of any hidden insects or infections. The proper type of soil will be your last requirement. African violets, orchids, succulents, cacti, and common houseplants all require different types of soil to grow successfully.
Make any esthetic cuts or prune any lanky branches. Trim any dead leaves and spent blossoms as well because that is how insects and diseases enter buildings.
Avoid bringing insects inside your house if possible. Make sure to inspect the soil’s surface as well as the tops and undersides of the leaves. Everything that is scurrying around inside ought to remain outside. This will ensure that later on no other indoor plants get the infection.
If you’re not repotting, equally remove the top inch or two of soil—whatever will come up without much effort—and replace it with brand-new dirt. This will assist in removing any bug eggs from the soil.
Repotting any containers now is a good idea if you want to complement your interior design or if they need to be larger. Additionally, this is the time to plant everything you have taken out of the garden. Use the proper soil for your plants, always. There is soil at Espoma for many kinds of plants.
Although it is not necessary to perform this before bringing your plants indoors, it is highly advised. Give your plants a good sip of water while they can still drain outside. It will aid in establishing them in their new containers and let the newly added top soil to release its nutrients.
Consider how much light each of these plants requires, then position them accordingly. Find a window with bright light that they will love residing in for a few months if they prefer full light. For the best chance of catching any spills, it is recommended to set a saucer beneath each of the pots.
When ought to plants be brought indoors?
Depending on the type of plant, you should decide when to bring it inside. However, it’s important to keep in mind that many common flowering container plants (such as begonias and hibiscus) are truly tropical natives and dislike chilly nights. A chill can significantly slow down an organism’s growth, even if it doesn’t kill them.
When nighttime temperatures begin to fall below 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, it is preferable to bring indoor plants (12-15 C.). Look for pests that may be hiding in the soil of container plants before bringing them indoors. For 15 minutes, immerse each pot in warm water to force any insects or slugs to the surface. If you notice a lot of activity, spray your plant with an insecticide and repot it.
This is also an excellent time to repot any of your plants that are outgrowing their containers.
The plants that require the most light should be placed in windows that face south or under grow lights when you bring them inside. Plants that require less light can be placed in windows that face east or west. The light will probably be dimmer than it was outdoors no matter where they go. This shock may cause some leaves to turn yellow and fall. But after it adjusts to the new light level, your plant ought to produce fresh, wholesome leaves.
Water your plants less frequently than you did when they were outdoors so that less of it evaporates. On the other hand, the air inside your home is probably less humid. This issue should be resolved by setting your pot on a dish on a layer of gravel that is maintained consistently moist. Simply watch out that the water level in the gravel doesn’t rise above the level of the container or you run the risk of root rot.
Can you maintain an annual plant inside?
Many true annual plants are capable of indoor cultivation. Some varieties of herbs are among the most well-liked annual plants. Dill, basil, and cilantro are a few examples. Numerous smaller flowers, such as impatiens and annual begonias, can also be cultivated indoors in containers. Nasturtium and other outdoor plants that are typically cultivated as annuals can also be grown indoors all winter long.
While a comprehensive list of annual indoor flowers may be hard to come by, gardeners are frequently taken aback by the adaptability of these plants. Temperature, day length, and the requirement for additional illumination are all important factors to take into account while growing annuals inside.
What is sprayed on plants outside before bringing them inside?
Remember that even if you take all the necessary precautions to debug and clean your houseplants before bringing them inside, you may still experience plant insect issues.
Mealybugs are particularly difficult to catch because they may survive for several months without a host plant and conceal themselves in teeny-tiny fissures.
You might thus treat the infected plant with a Neem oil solution, a pre-mixed organic horticultural oil, or a hot pepper wax spray if you discover any plant bugs after moving houseplants inside for the winter.
Yellow houseplant adhesive stakes are non-toxic and effective against flying insects like soil gnats and white flies.
These natural remedies for killing plant bugs are what I advise because they are more effective than synthetic ones.
Additionally, I’m sure you don’t want to apply pesticides that are hazardous inside your home. Read about my natural pest control home remedies for houseplants to find out more.
Can perennials be kept indoors?
You may rest confident that many other gardeners still have plants in containers, whether you never got around to planting or are unsure of where to put your perennials. Perennials in containers are susceptible to significantly harsher winter conditions than those in the ground, even if they are hardy in your zone. The root systems of plants that are grown in containers are particularly vulnerable to damage from freezing air temperatures and drying winds. It frequently happens for the soil to heave, which can disrupt the roots and leave plants vulnerable to harsh weather. Thankfully, there are a few efficient ways to keep containerized plants alive over the winter.
Store Your Perennials Indoors
Perennials can overwinter in a perfect environment in a shed, garage, or basement that is not heated and has temperatures between 30 and 40 degrees. When it is warmer than 40 degrees, dormant plants should be brought inside and occasionally watered.
Dig Containers Into The Soil
Perennials in containers can be buried in the ground if you don’t have a suitable indoor space. Perennials should be buried so that they are level with the surrounding ground. As a result, there won’t be as much freezing and thawing of the soil in the containers.
Group and Protect Your Containers Outside
Containers should be gathered and positioned in a safe spot away from strong winds and harsh sunlight if digging into the earth is not a possibility. Put mulch made of bark, leaves, or straw all around the containers. As long as the temperature is over 40 degrees and the soil hasn’t frozen, watering should continue. Your perennials should be ready to plant in the spring if all goes according to plan.