What To Do Before Bringing Outdoor Plants Inside

  • 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.

What is sprayed on plants outside before bringing them inside?

During the winter, houseplants are more susceptible to pests because they are in a dormant period where development is slower and new growth is weaker than usual. To prevent your plants from being taken over, it’s crucial to act quickly and start debugging your indoor plants as soon as you identify a problem. Here are some tried-and-true methods for sanitizing plants as well as advice on how to stop pests from wreaking havoc on your priceless collection of indoor plants.

Inspect Your Houseplants Regularly

Even though it can seem a little obvious, it’s crucial to check every inch of a houseplant for pests. Sticky leaves, yellow patches, chomp marks, fine webbing, and, well, live bugs, are just a few of the unmistakable indicators. However, some of those bugs are really tiny, and if you don’t keep a close check on them, a little group of them can quickly grow into a large mob. It’s much simpler to remove a few critters from a single houseplant than it is to remove swarms from all of your houseplants.

Always examine a houseplant’s undersides when examining it. Pests like to hide here, and it’s a secure place for them to deposit their eggs (ew). Pick up a magnifying glass if your vision isn’t perfect 20/20 so you can take a closer look. Check the soil as well because some insects like to congregate around the soil’s surface and play havoc with the roots of your plants. You need to maintain a close eye on your plant’s roots because they are the most vulnerable and crucial component to safeguard.

Spray Insecticidal Soap

For obvious reasons, we strongly oppose the use of harsh chemical insecticides. They end up endangering populations of beneficial insects like ladybugs, butterflies, and bees when applied outdoors. When used indoors, you put your family, your pets, and yourself at risk from harmful substances. There are significant drawbacks regardless of how you use them. Alternately, you may efficiently troubleshoot houseplants without using any harmful chemicals or carcinogens by using an all-natural pest control approach. Both the earth and you are safer!

Insecticidal soap is the solution if you’re wondering how to debug plants before bringing them inside. It’s among the simplest methods for both indoor and outdoor garden plants to be debugged. While a small amount of mild dish soap diluted with water can be effective, we prefer to use castille soap because it is all-natural and less abrasive on more sensitive houseplants. Simply dispense some soap into a spray bottle with water, shake it up, and mist your plant leaves all over, paying particular attention to the undersides. By using this method, you may quickly and easily rid your indoor plants of the majority of common garden pests with little risk of injury. After you’ve sprayed down your houseplants, be sure to move them into an area with sufficient air circulation since mildew could develop if the moisture remains in the foliage rather than evaporating.

Use Neem Oil

This all-natural, organic pesticide, which is derived from the neem tree, works amazingly well for debugging either diluted with water or purchased as a pre-mixed spray. You won’t need much because it is fairly powerful. It has a powerful punch, killing insects if they eat it, repelling them with its garlicky smell, messing with their hormone systems so they can’t reproduce. A neem oil solution will be very helpful if you have any plants that are prone to powdery mildew, such as flowering dogwood trees, as it is not only excellent for debugging but also a natural fungicide.

Try Pyrethrum Spray

Don’t be misled by the product’s name; although seeming like a strange chemical spray, it is actually a natural substance derived from the chrysanthemum flower. Because it interferes with insects’ nerve systems and paralyzes them nearly instantly upon touch, it’s excellent for debugging. Although it is natural, we advise against using it to debug indoor houseplants because it may endanger helpful insects like ladybugs and bees. You don’t need to exert too much effort because it’s fairly potent. It is intended to be applied locally.

Wipe Leaves With An Alcohol Solution

Give your houseplant a good wipe-down with an alcohol wipe to successfully debug it if it has larger, thicker leaves that aren’t too delicate. It should only require a small amount of isopropyl alcohol in water; you don’t want it to be overly concentrated because alcohol has a drying impact (as anyone who has woken up with an unquenchable thirst after a night of shenanigans can attest). The solution is excellent for removing dust accumulation and disinfecting to help prevent fungus.

Suck Up Flying Insects With The Vacuum

Gnats and other flying insects can be quickly removed from the windowsill where you keep your indoor plants by sucking them out of the air with the vacuum. But kindly take care not to get a piece of your houseplant stuck in the vacuum nozzle. What a catastrophe that would be.

Repel Houseplant Bugs With Garlic

The vampires of the plant world, insects prefer to hang out in shadowy areas and feed on the sap of leaves in typical Dracula fashion. It turns out that they also detest garlic, which gives them another thing in common with those frightening guys. Press one or two peeled garlic cloves into the soil of your indoor plants. This will assist in warding off vampires as well as bugs. Never err on the side of caution! Pull out the garlic cloves, trim the stems, and push them back into the pot if they begin to sprout green or grow.

Come see us at Salisbury and we’ll assist you solve your pest problem if you’ve found any nasty things lurking out in your houseplants and you need to debug them ASAP. You can forgo the nasty chemicals and choose an eco-friendly option that you can use within your home because we have plenty of instruments and natural, organic solutions for troubleshooting.

How should outside plants be disinfected before being brought inside?

Lenhof advises mixing equal parts water and witch hazel with 20 to 30 drops of eucalyptus oil for a more natural debugging solution. “There are several recipes online for homemade bug repellents and insecticides, but my favorite recipe is equal parts water and witch hazel,” he adds. “Pour the solution into a spray bottle, then sprinkle each diseased plant’s leaves and soil lightly. For about a week, I prefer to spray my plants every other day to keep the bugs away. Start spraying your plants once a day if the pest population doesn’t appear to be decreasing.

When should outside plants be brought inside?

It’s time to bring many of your outdoor plants inside when frost is forecast. Only indoors will many delicate annuals, bulbs, herbs, and tropical plants make it through the winter. Here are some tips on which plants to bring indoors this fall and how to prepare potted plants for the winter.

When to Bring Plants Inside

True annuals and plants that we cultivate as annuals (which are regarded as sensitive perennials in southern regions) are unable to withstand the chilly winter months. But you don’t have to say goodbye to these plants forever! Even delicate plants that require a winter dormant period can be brought inside as “annuals” in many cases. Ideally, these should be brought inside before the temperature drops below 45 degrees at night (7C). Start bringing the plants inside for the winter when October approaches and nighttime lows dip approximately 50F (10C).

At temperatures below 40F (4C), and for some tropical plants even below 50, harm is likely to occur. To acclimatize them, you must take action well before any actual frost or ice.

Where to Put Plants

I still struggle to find space for everything, despite the fact that the greenhouse we have attached to the house receives plenty of sunlight and never gets colder than 45F. For my benefit, a lot of these plants would experience a dry season in their natural habitat and don’t mind resting under a bench. Particularly when the pots are large, the greenhouse quickly fills up.

Consider making a shelf or area where you may put plants that require high humidity together if you don’t have a greenhouse but have a lot of them. While some people mist their indoor plants, this only has a temporary beneficial effect. Putting a pebble tray under your plants is a better long-term solution. After adding a layer of gravel and lining the trays with waterproof material, add the pots on top. Do not dry out the gravel. You might wish to attach some ceiling hooks if you have hanging plants. Cleaning your windows both inside and outside will help guarantee that plants receive enough light throughout winter.

Which Plants To Bring Inside

You might need to decide what should be brought inside and what should be kept outside. Which flora stand out to you? Which ones cost the most to replace? Additionally, only keep healthy plants; throw away those that have disease or pest issues. Additionally, the lighting in your home is crucial. Even a west or south facing glassed area in winter only has the summer shaded area’s winter light intensity.

Plants that can be carried indoors can be divided into two categories:

  • plants that need a time of winter hibernation.
  • plants that can continue to thrive while dormant during the winter.

Some delicate bulbs need to spend some time “dormant” in a chilly environment where the temperature is still far above freezing. Numerous of these pricey bulbs are worth overwintering. Tender bulbs include, for instance:

  • Caladiums
  • A calla lily
  • Cannas
  • Dahlias
  • Animal ears
  • Gladiolus
  • Tuber roses

Simply stop watering fragile bulbs in pots, remove the withering leaves, and tuck them away in a dark, cool place. Periodically check the soil moisture.

Dig up and trim back the leaves of fragile underground bulbs. By hand, remove as much dirt as you can from the bulb. For 7 to 14 days, leave them in a warm, dry location to dry. This gets rid of extra moisture. Separate them with shredded newspaper or dry peat moss and place them loosely in a cardboard box or open container. Get cozy somewhere chilly and gloomy. To get a head start on the season, pot them up in the spring about a month before you intend to set them outside.

I want to bring my plants inside, but I don’t want to bring any bugs.

I’ll respond to a few of the most frequently asked questions I receive regarding debugging plants before bringing them back inside in this section. Ask your question in the comments section below if you can’t find the answer there.

Can I use Dawn or Ivory soap to soak my plants?

Personally, I’ve never soaked my plants with these soap products. Detergent is usually present, and some even have degreasers. Sensitive plants can be harmed or even killed by detergents and degreasers.

Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild, which has no ingredients, is what I use and suggest. Having said that, I’ve heard from readers who have successfully used these products.

But I always have the same response to this inquiry. Regardless of the brand of soap you’re inquiring about (Ivory, Dawn, or any other), you should test it on your plants first before soaking them to be sure there won’t be any harm.

Will this method kill bugs and eggs in the soil?

Yes, washing your plants with soapy water should also destroy any insects or their eggs that are hiding in the soil. However, occasionally there may be air pockets in the soil where they might live.

Soak them for a little longer if you’re worried. After the mixture has completed bubbling, gently tap the pot to try to release any remaining air.

A crucial first step in preventing indoor plant pests is to debug potted plants before bringing them back inside.

This approach of soaking indoor plants in soapy water to get rid of pests works well for the majority of plant species and will ensure that you bring indoor plants from the outdoors without pests.

Believe me when I say that having clean, healthy houseplants will make caring for indoor plants SO MUCH easier for you during the long winter. However, if you do experience an infestation, find out here how to get rid of houseplant pests.

My Houseplant Pest Control eBook is a must-have resource if you need additional advice on how to keep pests away from houseplants. It will help you get rid of pest problems once and for all. Get your copy right away!