Question: What is the best time to bring houseplants in for the winter?
Answer: As cooler weather approaches, you need to be preparing houseplants for the big annual move. Houseplants can’t tolerate cold weather, so gardeners move them inside for the winter, where they can be kept warm and cozy until the following spring.
When the temperature drops to fifty degrees or lower, tropical plants can have chilling injury to occur. The best time to move your houseplants inside would be when temperatures outside and inside your home are about the same.
Before moving your plants inside, you need to inspect them for lurking insects. Remove the plant from its pot to inspect the root area for insects. Be sure to check the top and under side of the foliage for insects that tend to hide in those areas. You can treat your houseplants with an insecticidal soap that is labeled for use. Not only treat the foliage, you also need to treat the soil and the pot. You may need to make a secondary application before moving the plant inside. Make sure you read and follow label directions of the product you select.
To prevent plant shock, first you should acclimate your plants. This can be done by gradually reducing light levels. Slowly move the plants from the sun to light shade and then eventually to heavy shade before moving them indoors. This can gradually be accomplished over a period of about one week. Plants may still experience a little stress. You may see yellowing leaves or leaf drop as your houseplants become acclimated.
Reminder: A growing program this year is the “Sampson County Friends of Horticulture.” This program offers monthly “How To” Horticultural Seminars. Please call (910) 592-7161 for more information. Please call the Sampson County Cooperative Extension Center at (910) 592-7161 with your horticultural questions and to register for any upcoming events. Be sure to check out the Ask An Expert Widget at sampson.ces.ncsu.edu for any questions you may have.