The first step in successfully overwintering plants indoors is selecting the correct kind of plant. Contrary to common assumption, not all plants can live (or, at the very least, not all plants can thrive) under indoor growing conditions, particularly if your home has insufficient light, temperature, or humidity. Since there are probably fewer sunny spots inside your home than outside, you’ll need to decide which plants are worth preserving for the season and whether you can provide them with the care they need within.
While it may be appealing, it is not possible to bring all outside plants home for the winter. Before choosing which plants to bring indoors, go through the following checklist and bring the ones that adhere to the requirements.
- only maintain healthy plants. Even in ideal circumstances, a plant that has been struggling all summer is unlikely to thrive indoors. It’s time to accept reality and consign it to the plant cemetery for eternal rest (also known as the compost bin or trash).
- You should never bring a sick or pest-infested plant indoors. Even if you take great care to quarantine the problematic plant until it is nursed back to health, there is no guarantee that you won’t transfer the problem to your other plants. Problems spread more quickly among indoor plants than in the outdoor garden. The absence of natural insect predators in the home also creates the perfect environment for infestations to take place. Before bringing any plants indoors, give them a thorough inspection for any signs of issues.
- Your favorite plants should come first. Give preference to any varieties that you have already put a lot of time and effort into, such as the ferns you’ve been nurturing for years, anything you’ve trained into a standard, and sentimental favorites when choosing which plants to bring indoors for the season (assuming you have limited space). Of course, if you have the space, costly indulgences are also worthwhile.
- Bring the plant inside if it would look fine there. A variety of blooming plants, including geraniums, fuchsias, begonias, and even passion flowers, may be grown successfully in many homes and blossom wonderfully indoors. Even while they might not appear as rich or vivid as they would in the natural environment, it’s still pleasant to have flowers blossoming in the winter. In the spring, the plants will be ready to begin blooming in their natural habitat once more.
- Think about giving particular foods, like baby pepper or tomato plants, top priority. They are essentially tropical perennials, and if they get enough sunlight, they’ll keep producing fruit all winter long. You’ll succeed producing small patio types because some vegetable varieties might require a very huge pot. The easiest and highest yielding vegetables to grow are cherry tomatoes and small-fruited peppers like chilies. Remember that there are no insects or pleasant breezes inside, so you will need to manually pollinate your plants.
What types of outside plants thrive indoors?
Plants from the Outside That Can Be Grown Indoors
- Coleus. Plectranthus scutellarioides is the botanical name.
- Caladium. Caladium species is the botanical name.
- Begonia Rex Begonia rex is its botanical name.
- Geranium. Pelargonium, the plant.
- Boxwood. Buxus sempervirens is referred to as a plant.
- Myrtle. Myrtus communis, the botanical name.
- Indian Fig
How are outdoor plants prepared for indoor use?
- your plants in water. Put your plants, planter and all, in a bucket with a solution of insecticidal soap and water (1 tsp of soap per liter of water, or follow the instructions on the container) for around 15-20 minutes. This method of de-bugging plants also has the added benefit of providing plants with a thorough watering. To keep your plants clean when you pull them out, skim debris off the surface of the water while they are submerged beneath you. Take them out, rinse them out, and thoroughly clean the planter once they have finished soaking. Before bringing them inside, spread out some towels and let them absorb any extra moisture. Before watering them once more, make sure the soil is fully dry.
Since your plants will receive far more light outside than they will indoors, it’s crucial to gradually acclimate your houseplants to lower light levels in order to prevent transplant shock.
- Your plants need to adjust. Start by relocating your plants to more and more shady settings each day over the course of a few days, and then bring them indoors. The more time you give them, the better; somewhere between 5 days and 2 weeks is advised. After being relocated, they could drop a few leaves at first, but they’ll quickly get used to their new surroundings!
- Trim a little bit. You may foster new growth that will be more adapted to life inside by pruning your plants when you move them inside. This will also assist limit their size.
- The period is ideal for re-potting. If you discover that one of your houseplants is rootbound while de-bugging it, this is an excellent moment to upgrade it to a new container. Or, you might need to pot a plant for the first time if you’re trying to bring one in that was previously planted outside. In that scenario, remove the garden soil from the roots and entirely replace it with potting soil. Find out more by reading our repotting guide!
- Hold them apart. You may want to keep your plants separate from any other houseplants you may have for a few weeks after bringing them inside so you have time to monitor and ensure your de-bugging efforts were successful. It’s simpler to treat just your recently relocated plants rather than all of them if you missed any pests.
Once your plants are secure inside, keep in mind that the manner you take care of them will alter depending on the season. Consider plants in the winter as being on the verge of hibernation since their growth will be drastically slowed down due to reduced light and less thirst. Additionally, you typically won’t need to fertilize! Before watering, make sure the soil is at least two down and dry to the touch. For more details, read our watering essentials guide and our watering in the Wally Eco guide.
Your plant babies are now indoors for the winter, where you may enjoy their leaves and preserve them for the next year.
Which plants can be grown indoors?
These fundamental guidelines offer the broad information required for indoor gardening even if not all houseplants need the same kind of care.
- 1.Become aware of when indoor plants require watering. The majority of houseplants do better slightly dry than drenched in water, so you should generally be more concerned with overwatering than underwatering. The objective is to give your plants enough water so that the soil is moist but not drenched (with succulents being a notable exception to this rulethey require periodic soakings). Until water trickles out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot, softly pour water into the potting soil. Most plants only require one or two waterings every week, and much less in the winter. Inserting your finger two inches into the earth will allow you to quickly determine whether your plant needs to be watered. It is probably time to water if it feels dry.
- 2. Pay attention to ventilation, humidity, and temperature. Most indoor plants like daytime temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures that are around 10 degrees colder. In general, houseplants need a humidity level that is comparable to their ideal growing environment. Since air plants (of the genus Tillandsia) draw all of their moisture from the air, they need to be misted often using a spray bottle. Proper airflow is essential for healthy plants since condensation that remains on leaves for an extended period of time can be detrimental for other houseplants. By circulating the air around your indoor plants using a fan, you can get rid of extra moisture and keep dust from collecting on the leaves.
- 3. Make sure your indoor plants receive the proper quantity of light. Although all plants require light energy for photosynthesis, the amount of light needed varies depending on the type of houseplant. The majority of indoor plants require indirect light as opposed to direct light, with the exception of desert cactus and other succulents. Plants that need bright light but not direct sunlight do best a few feet away from south-facing windows, whereas houseplants that prefer indirect light do well next to west-facing windows. Plants like the ZZ plant, snake plant, pothos, and philodendron may grow in north and east-facing windows and thrive in low-light, especially shaded environments. Some indoor houseplants require artificial lighting to grow, particularly in the winter and in places with shorter daylight hours. You must invest in fluorescent or LED grow lights, which feature full-spectrum bulbs that give a balance of cool and warm light to match the natural solar spectrum because regular household light bulbs are ineffective at lighting indoor plants.
- 4. Choose the appropriate potting soil. By offering the perfect ratio of nutrition, aeration, and water absorption, high-quality potting soil will aid in the growth of plant roots. Peat moss, finely chopped pine bark, perlite, and vermiculite are frequently found in potting soil mixtures. Garden centers provide generic potting soils, but if at all possible, go with one made specifically for your houseplant. For instance, although succulents thrive in porous, sandy soils, orchids and bromeliads need quick-draining soil.
- 5. Pick the right pot for your plant. Make sure to take the pot’s construction, size, and drainage capabilities into account when selecting one. Use a pot that is proportional to the size of your plant right now. not much bigger in diameter than the root mass of your plant. You can move the plant into a bigger pot after it outgrows its current one. Instead, if you plant a seed in a pot that is bigger than it needs to be, the roots won’t be able to take up water as quickly as it evaporates through the soil. Due of their light weight, plastic pots are perfect for use in wall shelves or hanging baskets. Terra cotta pots are bulkier than plastic ones, and because of their porous nature, they don’t hold water as well. Ensure that the bottom of your pot has a drainage hole.
- Use fertilizer to provide nutrients, as in 6. Refill the nutrients in the potting soil on a regular basis to promote sustained, healthy indoor plant growth. Generally speaking, fertilize your indoor plants once a month when they are expanding or blooming. It’s fine to cut back on or stop using fertilizer throughout the winter when plants tend to remain dormant. Keep in mind that these are only guidelines; particular plants may call for a different fertilizer schedule or type.
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.
Can indoor flowers be grown outdoors?
Dig up the annuals and transfer them to containers that can hold them. To keep the outdoor plant in the pot, when needed, add top-notch potting soil.
Before bringing them inside, inspect: Check for insects or diseases. Cut away any damaged leaves. If you discover insects, you might want to use an insecticide.
To remove any dust or insects, give the plants a brief garden hose spray. Spray the undersides of the leaves as well.
Can a shrub be kept inside?
Here, you would grow a shrub in a container for a few weeks to several months of enjoyment. A lovely Show Off Sugar Baby tiny forsythia, for instance, might be purchased at your local garden center and placed in a container with pansies, daffodils, and tulips. You might also choose to surround the striking, variegated foliage of the butterfly bush ‘Summer Skies’ with vibrant petunias, geraniums, and angelonia to create the illusion of a riotous, tropical container. You can incorporate the shrub into your landscape towards the end of the growing season, where it will remain for several years. This method allows you to appreciate a showy seasonal container plant to the fullest while saving money because you add the shrub to your landscape rather than discarding it.
This kind of planting involves placing a shrub in a container and caring for it throughout several seasons so that it can be an accent plant on your deck, patio, or porch all year long. Any shrub will work for this, as long as it can survive where you reside. This is so that the shrub can spend the winter outside. The plant requires the clean air and strong light of the outdoors to grow correctly, despite the fact that it may seem that bringing it within would be a smart idea to shelter it from the cold. It’s a good idea to choose plants that are one or even two zones harder than where you live if the area where you want to maintain it is exposed to very harsh weather, such as on a rooftop garden or a high balcony.
The container you select for permanent shrub plantings must be weatherproof, meaning it must be made of a material that won’t shatter, fracture, or flake when left outside during the winter. Typically, this denotes that pottery, terra cotta, and clay vessels are prohibited. Most other substances are acceptable. The container must also be big enough to fit the plant and provide it room to expand. Typically, this refers to containers that are proportionately deep and 16″-24″ (40-60 cm) in diameter. Small containers dry very easily and are exceedingly challenging to keep clean. Since you will remove the plant before winter sets in, you can use any style of container for temporary plantings. Additionally, container size doesn’t really matter. It only needs to be big enough to fit all the plants you want in your arrangement.
SOIL AND FERTILIZER
Make use of regular packaged potting soil for both transient and permanent plantings. Potting soil promotes strong, healthy root growth and is light and quick to drain. Plan to apply a granular fertilizer made for blooming shrubs (like a rose fertilizer) in the early spring, when the soil thaws, as permanent plantings will use up the fertilizer in potting soils after the first season.
Both types of plantings require water, but permanent plantings require water more than the other varieties. The plant will require more water as it develops. In bright, sunny weather, containers can also dry up quite rapidly. You might wish to think about using self-watering containers or a drip irrigation system. While hand-watering is sometimes sufficient, you’ll need to set aside time each day to check on your container and give it a good soaking.
If the shrub is only being used temporarily, gently remove it from the landscape and plant it there at least six weeks before the ground freezes. The root zone of permanent plantings benefits all year long, but winter is the best time to apply a layer of shredded bark mulch. When springtime comes, wait until the stems’ buds start to emerge before carefully removing any wood that doesn’t exhibit indications of life. Depending on the cultivar, the pot size, and your climate, permanent plantings should persist for three to five seasons on average. It’s time to transplant into the landscape or into a bigger container when growth and flowering are stunted.
You don’t need to do much more to prepare your planting for winter as long as your shrub is hardy where it is planted and your container is weatherproof. Shredded bark mulch applied in a layer 2-3 (5-7.6 cm) thick will aid in controlling soil moisture. As an alternative, you can provide protection for the plant by burying chopped branches from evergreens like spruces, pines, and arborvitae all around the base of the plant. Check the soil approximately every two weeks in regions where it does not freeze; it shouldn’t be either bone-dry or moist. If mild weather causes the soil to melt before spring, gardeners in cold climates should monitor the moisture content of the soil. When spring finally arrives, it will be the ideal time to evaluate your plant’s condition and determine whether it can survive another growing season in the same container or whether it has to be moved to the ground or a bigger pot.