Preparing Houseplants for Winter

During the spring and summer months, it is not uncommon to bring your houseplants outside to give them a little extra sunlight and warmth. It generates new growth and root development and spruces up your patio or screened-in porch. But, with the colder months already here, it is wise to plan to bring your houseplants inside. Most houseplants are considered tropicals and cannot withstand temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Chances are, if you did not bring in your plants over the last couple of nights, they have likely incurred some damage. However, there are still many tasks to complete when preparing houseplants for winter!

Clean Leaves

After spending the spring and summer outside, your plants’ leaves may have accumulated a lot of dirt and dust. You can wet a paper towel or cotton cloth and wipe down the leaves. For the small crevices, use a small paintbrush to brush out any dirt.

Inspect and Treat Plants

It is always good practice to thoroughly inspect your plants. This is especially important if you still have plants inside that were never brought out! The chances of infestation when bringing plants back inside is very high, and disease and insects can spread rapidly! Be sure to inspect under leaves, along with the stocks and stems, and around the soil line. If you discover insects, be sure to treat them with an organic insecticide. Once all plants are inspected and treated, apply a systemic granule insecticide to all plants. This will prevent any insects that you may have missed from growing.

Prune Off Dead

Upon inspecting your houseplants for disease and insects, you may notice some dead or yellowing leaves. Now is an excellent time to prune off any dead or struggling leaves. This will also help in preventing disease while wintering over indoors. Remember to clean the soil line, removing any debris that may have collected while outdoors.

Fertilize?

Now that the weather has officially changed, your plants may not be growing as much. Typically, in the winter months, it is not necessary to fertilize, as the plants will not use the extra food. If you live in an area with warmer temperatures during the fall and winter months, this may not apply to you.

 

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