Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Summer Vacation is Over for Houseplants by Rebecca Anderson

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) that has spent the summer outside
Most houseplants are tropical and flourish with some outdoor exposure during the summer.  With cooler nights in the forecast it’s getting to be time to bring them back indoors.  Temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit will damage many houseplants, so keep an eye on those nightly weather reports.
Before bringing the plants in, gently rinse the foliage to remove any dust and spider webs that may have accumulated over the summer. Trim off any dead or damaged foliage. Check the drip trays and bottoms the pots for pill bugs or slugs that may be trying to hitch a ride into the house and manually remove them.

If you see evidence of other insect pests such as scale or white flies, treat with insecticidal soaps or horticultural oils according to the package instructions.  I like to prepare my plants a couple of days before the move and let the soil dry a little before attempting to pick up the pots.  Larger houseplants will be heavy enough on their own without moving several pounds of water in the form of wet soil, too.

For more information on moving houseplants in for the winter, see the CSU Planttalk article Moving Houseplants Outdoors.