Monday, October 17, 2011

Moving Houseplants Indoors by Sharon Routa

What to do now!  No more daily watering or constant deadheading.

One of the projects I’ll be doing this fall is moving house plants indoors.  Before I move them back indoors, I put them in a shadier part of the yard.   This helps them make an easier adjustment to the change in light and environment they are going to undergo.

I cut them back, getting rid of damaged growth; this also helps to control the size of plant, and encourages new growth.  Fertilize one last time before you bring plants into the house.  Do all of this before the weather turns cool or they may go into shock.  One symptom of shock is leaf drop.  Plants will usually survive this with regular watering.   It’s difficult for plants to deal with changes in light and temperature.  Check the foliage and soil thoroughly for pests before you bring them indoors.  If an insecticide is needed, read the label carefully before applying.  Be certain you check the drainage holes on containers for slugs or bugs, which you can manually remove. 

If the plants we bring indoors have been growing in the ground, it’s important to pot the plants properly.  The pot should have drainage holes in the bottom and a dish to hold water.  Use potting soil, not garden soil which can be too fine for drainage pots.

  Many of these plants will require full sun and humidity when they are relocated indoors. I mist them regularly and on occasion put them in the sink or tub and give them a shower.

They do not require fertilizer but water them deeply, but infrequently.  Late fall and winter are not the growing season and most plants are at rest during this time.

Moving plants outside for the summer improves their vitality.  I have had moderate success with ferns, coleus, aloe, and not as much with amaryllis and bougainvillea.