Finally!, The weather in Georgia has started to cool down. I didn’t think we were going to have a fall season after the horribly hot, dry summer we experienced. But, the nights have started to cool down, and temperatures have started dipping into the 40’s. It’s time to bring your houseplants in for the winter.
Several of my houseplants have spent the summer on the back deck of the house, and I knew they would need to acclimate to the lower light in my dining room and front room where I was going to place them. Over a few days time, I moved them to places on my deck where they received less light. I also looked them over for any pests that might be looking for warmer lodging. Be sure you rid your indoor plants of any pests you find before bringing them in.
Common Houseplant Pests Include:
- Mealy Bugs: (Shown Above)
- Fungus Gnats
- Spider mites
There’s no need to use toxic chemicals to rid your plants of these pests. In most cases a gentle soap or insecticidal soap will do the trick. You can learn more about common indoor plant pests and ways to control them organically here.
Most of my plants are small enough to place in a large tote filled with soapy water. I don’t use a dish washing soap such as Dawn because of the degreaser in it. I like to use a gentle soap such as Bronner’s. I submerge the plants, pots and all into the water, until they are covered. I take them out, and rinse well. (My plants are all in pots with drainage holes.) If you don’t have drainage holes, I would just turn the plant sideways, and pour the soapy water all over it, being sure underneath the leaves were washed well. Rinse, and allow to dry.
If you want to use an insecticidal soap instead of submerging your plants, this is one that I have used before on my houseplants and some annuals I needed to treat last summer.
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Determine the Light Needs of Your Plant:
Plants such as the snake plant, or mother-in-laws-tongue, will grow in low light, and will go into my bathroom.
Place your plants where they will get the light they need. If you don’t know, you can easily find this out by searching the internet, or visiting your local nursery.
Peace lilies are one of my favorite plants. But they can be a little finicky. Try to place them in the same amount of light they were receiving outside. Then once you have decided where they will be placed, don’t move them around. I moved mine from the covered deck, to my fireplace hearth, in front of the window with filtered lights through blinds.
- Don’t place your plant directly under or in front of vents.
- Don’t over water. Indoor plants in the winter do not require as much water. They grow more slowly since they get less sunlight.
- If you have plants such as palms, and ferns, they like humid conditions. The dry, indoor heat can really be drying, so you may want to place them in a tray with gravel and water. Mist frequently.
- If you don’t have sufficient light in your home, you can purchase grow lights for supplemental lighting.
English Ivy enjoys bright filtered light to help keep it’s leaves nice and green. I originally placed it on a low table in the dining room in front of a window with blinds. After a couple of weeks, I had to move it to the kitchen table which was higher, and received more of the light. The leaves were beginning to look pale. Keep an eye on your plants when you move them in to be sure they are receiving the light and humidity they need.
Bringing you plants into the house during the winter can add a little greenery during the long winter months, and until you can get into your garden in the spring. Studies have also show they improve the air quality in your home, removing chemicals and mold from the air.