Tips For Bringing In Cold-Sensitive Outdoor Plants For The Winter

Posted on: 18 November 2015

It's that time of year again. Temperatures outside are dropping and the beautiful cold-sensitive potted plants that you use in your residential landscaping must be brought indoors. These tips will help you bring in your potted plants for the winter, so they'll be alive and ready to go out again when the spring comes.

Make Changes Gradually

Bringing your potted plants inside your warm home after being outside in the cold air can shock your plants and cause wilting, yellowed leaves or even death. To avoid this kind of trauma, bring your plants indoors gradually. Start by putting them in your unheated garage, on your porch or in your shed, if there's enough light. If you have no appropriate transitional place to put your plants, bring their pots closer to your house and cover them at night, to help keep them warm. Once they've been in this transitional area for several days, then you can bring your plants into your house.

Pick the Right Location Indoors

When they were outside, your plants probably got more light than they will in your house. You can expect some leaves to drop as a result of the lack of light, but you can minimize this effect by putting your plants in an area of your home with a southern or western exposure.

Keep your plants away from direct heat sources like wall heaters, radiators and air ducts. Too much hot air can cause your plants undue stress and may even make the transition to the indoors impossible.

Remove Insects

The last thing you want in your house are the insects that have been living on your plants while outside. Check all leaves for pests or eggs, and use insecticidal soaps to remove them as necessary. If you see insects in the soil, repot your plants.

Cut Back Watering

Your plants will likely go into a period of hibernation in your home. This is seasonally appropriate behavior. At this time of year, many plants grow little or not at all, and have reduced watering needs. Wait for the soil to feel dry on top before watering. When in doubt, don't water.

In the spring, when it's time to reintroduce your potted plants to your residential landscaping, you'll need to transition your plants gradually, just as you did when you brought them inside. They'll need less light at first, and they may need to be covered when temperatures drop at night. Following these tips, you can keep cold-sensitive potted plants outdoors as a part of your landscaping for many years. If you have any questions, contact a professional from a company like The Hilltop Landscape Architects & Contractors.