Bringing your plants inside for the winter is essential to their overall health and well-being. Unfortunately, winter can wreak havoc on your plants and even kill them—even in Southern California, but there are simple steps you can take to help prevent this. First and foremost, bring your plants inside for the winter.
When to Bring Plants Inside
It’s time to bring your plants inside for the winter when the temperature drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a thermometer, check your plant’s leaves. If they are glossy and green, leaving them outside is an option, but keep a close eye on them. However, if they’re turning yellow or brown, it’s time to bring them inside.
When bringing plants inside for the winter, keep in mind that bringing them into a warm home could cause them stress as well as shock. So instead, give them time to adjust by keeping them in a cool room with bright light (but no direct sun).
Gradually move your plants into brighter light but wait to put them near windows that get direct sunlight until they adjust to the new environment. Also, ensure there isn’t any wind blowing on the plants because this can cause further stress on your plants during their indoor transition.
Where to Place Your Plants
Plants need light, but not too much. And they need water, but not too much. And they need warmth, but not too much.
It doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips for finding the right spot for your plants:
- Place plants in a south-facing sunny window or one that at least gets some sunlight during the day. A south-facing window will give your plants enough light throughout the winter. But try not to leave plants in direct sunlight. You don’t want to cause leaf burn.
- Consider buying a grow light if you have no windows with suitable light. You can even keep all your plants in one corner with a grow light.
- Make sure there are no cold drafts near your plants. There’s no point in bringing them in from the cold to place them in another chilly environment.
Debug and Clean Plants
One thing many people forget about when bringing outdoor plants inside is cleaning. A dirty plant can harbor pests and diseases, which can be transferred to other plants in your home.
The most common pests that invade indoor gardens are spider mites and aphids. Of course, you can use pesticides to get rid of them, but there are natural ways to do so as well. A soap and water solution in a spray bottle is ideal.
Dead leaves provide food for many pests, so regularly cleaning up old leaves will help stop bug numbers from growing.
Inspecting for pests will help you catch any problems before they get out of hand. Checking every day is ideal, but at least once a week should be enough if it’s impossible to do more frequently.
Look for signs of infestation, like damage or discoloration, along with any adult insects on or around the plant. You’ll also want to look for eggs or larvae on or around the plant since these are often easier than adults to spot in their early stages of development.
Cut Back on Watering
It’s advisable to cut back on watering when you bring outdoor plants inside.
The first step is to determine the plant’s average water needs. Plants that have been outdoors all summer require less water than they did while growing and blooming outdoors in full sun all summer long. These plants should be watered once per week or whenever the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch (this can vary depending on soil type).
Use room temperature or tepid water when you water your plants — not cold or hot. Cold water will cause root damage and encourage diseases such as root rot, while hot water can dry out plant leaves quickly.
Another tip is to use drainage trays. These allow excess water to drain away from container-grown plants.
Get the Light and Humidity Right
Some plants will do just fine with low levels of light. Others will die without it. You can use a grow light to supplement natural light if necessary. In this case, ensure you carefully position your lights so as not to burn or scorch the leaves of any plants that are sensitive to heat.
To help boost humidity, leave saucers filled with water in areas of your home. The water will evaporate into the room, increasing humidity levels. You can also increase the humidity level by placing a water-filled container on top of a heating pad that’s set on low.
Keep the temperature and humidity of your home comfortable by booking a HVAC tune-up with Service Champions.