When should you take your plants inside?

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As the back-to-school season begins, it’s a sign that fall is just around the corner. This also means it’s time to assess your summer garden and decide which plants can’t survive the upcoming harsh weather and how to properly care for them. In this article, we will provide you with all the information you need to know about winter plant care and how to determine which plants should be brought indoors.

Most plants that only grow once a year or season, known as annuals, cannot typically survive colder temperatures. However, many of them can survive inside, even if they need to be dormant during the winter. According to Gardeningknowhow, some hardy plants like holly and crab apples can withstand winter, but they need to be transferred from the ground to containers. This removes the protective ground that plants usually have, leaving only the container as a barrier between their roots and the cold. To be on the safe side, it is recommended to bring these plants indoors.

Specifically, these plants, as well as others that cannot survive cold temperatures, should be brought inside when the nighttime temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature remains above 50F during the day, they can still stay outside. However, once the temperature consistently drops below 50F, they should be brought inside permanently, according to Almanac.

Tropical plants have different requirements. They are susceptible to damage at temperatures below 40F, and some species even below 50F. Plants like begonias and hibiscus can survive indoors, but their growth may be stunted compared to their outdoor growth.

Before bringing any outdoor plants inside, it is important to check for any bugs living in the soil. Rinse all the leaves thoroughly with water and inspect the pots for bugs, slugs, cocoons, and egg masses, especially under the rim. Another method is to soak the plant’s pot in warm water for 15 minutes, which will bring any unwanted visitors to the surface. If you notice a significant infestation, use an insecticide and repot the plant.

When deciding where to place indoor plants, those that require the most light should be positioned near south-facing windows or under grow lights. If they don’t need as much light, they can be placed in east or west-facing windows. It’s important to note that window lighting is less intense than the direct sunlight the plants are used to, so the leaves may turn yellow initially due to shock. However, once the plants adjust, new green leaves should begin to grow.

Once the plants are inside and settled, adjustments will need to be made to their care routine. In addition to saving fertilizer for the spring when the plants are back outside, it’s crucial not to overwater them. Overwatering is a common cause of death for indoor plants as they generally require less water. Almanac suggests allowing the top half inch of soil to dry before watering again.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your plants survive through the winter and thrive when warmer weather comes again.

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