Acclimating Houseplants After A Hot Summer Outside!
As summer ends and fall begins it’s time to start bringing your houseplants back inside for the cooler weather. I love fall for many reasons! Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, warm and cozy sweaters, my children returning to daycare and no longer driving me crazy all day. So many wonderful things happen in the fall! I also get to bring all my plant babies back inside after oversummering outside, enjoying the extra daylight hours and warm weather. All of them have beautiful new growth to enjoy and it’s so nice to have them back inside so I can enjoy them throughout the long and dreary fall days!
Acclimating Them For Indoor Light Levels
There is a process to acclimating your houseplants for indoor life again. In my home it’s actually quite dark inside with limited natural light. Our windows are all located at the front of our townhouse, with this in mind I put most of my houseplants out on my upper deck where they would get more light then inside but not tons more. This allows me to bring them back in and just put them in their spots without worrying about shocking the plant. If your plant babies are getting a lot more light this spring and summer and you’re wanting to bring them in for fall and winter you will want to reduce their light gradually.
If they are in full morning sun right now, move them back into a partially shaded environment for a week or two before bringing them indoors. This makes the change less drastic and should reduce leaf loss.
Check For Unwanted House Guests
Before you bring them inside you will also want to do a thorough inspection of each and every plant. Under leaves, stems, on top of the soil and under the pot rim and under the pot itself. Check every inch possible to ensure your not inviting pests to come in from the cold to. If you kept some plants inside this summer ensure those coming back in from outdoors are kept separately from them for a week or two. This will help prevent the spread of pests. You can also try some preventive measures if you’re wanting to be really sure no bugs are crossing the threshold into your home.
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a natural and pet/child friendly powder that can be sprinkled on top of dry soil to kill off any creature hiding below the surface. Some people swear by cinnamon too, saying it can be sprinkled on top of soil to prevent thrips and soil mites. You can also try beneficial nematodes from companies like “The Bug Lady” if you’re in Canada or a similar business in the US, just ensure they have good reviews before ordering. Beneficial mites and nematodes eat and attack pests like thrips, spider mites and fungus gnats before they even hatch. So adding them regularly can be a good solution to prevent the issues before they even start. Though they can be more expensive than DE or Cinnamon, they are debatably more effective from my research and I will be trying them this season myself, so stay tuned!
Time To Bring Them In!
Once you’re sure they have had enough time to adapt to a restricted light source, and they are not carrying any unwanted guests; it’s time to bring those babies inside! If you’re living somewhere particularly humid you may want to increase the humidity around them during the winter, especially if you’re using a dry heat source like wood fire, or oil. Humidifiers are a relatively affordable and easy way to do this, though misting regularly can help as well!
If your home has low light similar to mine I encourage you to consider investing in high quality grow bulbs to help with health and growth until next spring/summer. Using grow bulbs also allows you to enjoy a wider variety of indoor plants despite having limited natural light in your home. You can easily find bulbs that screw into regular fixtures now and emit a normal white light. I have these in every room where my plants are and they make a big difference in the success of keeping my babies alive inside during the cooler months on the coast!
Did you over summer your plants outside this year? Do you have any other tricks for getting them ready for coming inside?
Tell Us Below!