DOUG’S GARDEN BLOG – Bringing Our Houseplants Inside


Earlier this month, in my SEPTEMBER GARDEN TIPS, I mentioned that our weather is in the transition to shorter days and cooler temperatures and this is our signal to move all of our tropical plants indoors. We need to be serious about getting our tropical plants prepped and ready to be living inside for the next 6 months.

The first step which I strongly suggest is to do some pest management. Inspect all plants while still outside and give them a good soapy bath using dish soap such as Ivory Soap. Get good coverage of the leaves – both top and bottom – and remember to spray the stems as well. We do carry a product by Bonide called INSECTICIDAL SOAP. Insecticidal Soap is multi-purpose insect control. It is a contact spray and pests must be sprayed directly to achieve control. You want to thoroughly spray all parts of the plant, including the undersides of leaves and all stems and branches.

Another step to do for pest management is to do a soil drench to kill and chase out insects that may have taken up residency in the soil. The home recipe is to add ¼ cup of bleach to a gallon of water. Let this solution sit for 24 hours and then slowly and thoroughly drench the soil. This recipe will chase out the insects while at the same time do no harm to the plant itself.

Once you have completed these two steps for pest management, one more step to do while the plants are outside is to do some selected pruning. Not only does pruning lessen the chance of insects remaining on the plant, but it will also improve your plant’s shape and density, as well as making it smaller, therefore easier to keep in the house.

Another step to take while the plants are outside is acclimating. If the plants have been outside in the full sun, consider moving them into some shade for a couple of weeks. By moving the plants into some shade will allow them to get used to growing in less light which will be the case when they come inside for the winter.

Once the cleaning and acclimating process has been completed, the plants are ready to come inside for the winter.

Now it is all about location, location, location. Choosing a location in your home or office is an important consideration. Proper lighting is important for the health of the plant.


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