How to Transition Outdoor Plants Indoors for Winter

Bringing plants inside your home for the upcoming winter season is not as easy as just moving their pots into a different location. Remember to apply a few precautions in order to avoid causing shock to your outdoor plants and to ensure that the transition is successful to you can continue to enjoy them!

To successfully transition outdoor plants indoors, you may use the following tips.

Check Them Thouroughly

Look for small insects such as spider mites, mealybugs and aphids, and remove them if spotted. These pests may hitchhike on the plants that you’re bringing in for the winter, which can then cause an infestation on all of your houseplants. Yuck! You can speed up the process by using a hose in washing off your houseplants prior to bringing them indoors. You can also treat your plants with neem oil.

Consider Repotting or Pruning

When you prune, avoid pruning back over one-third of your plant. For root pruning, it’s important to prune a similar amount off the roots as when you prune off the foliage. Use at least a container that is 2 inches bigger than the current one when you are repotting the plant.

If you’re looking at moving a larger item, such as a small fruit tree, consider trying some of the lightweight planters we feature on the site, such as this Bardo Square Planter above.

transitioning outdoor plants indoors Precondition Your Houseplants

Give your houseplants the preparation they need for their transition from outdoor light to the lower light found indoors. Start by temporarily placing them in sunny spots such as a window that faces westward or southward. After several weeks, move the plants to a different window that faces eastward or northward. Once again, leave the plants at this spot for several weeks. Decrease the level of light gradually for your plants until you place them in their final location.

You can also use artificial lights in growing your plants which is enough to keep them looking good during the whole winter season.

Add Some Humidity

You can consider using a house humidifier to keep your houseplants happy even when there’s a sudden blow of heat inside the house. Another option is to mist your plants a few times a day. Lastly, you can place them in humidity trays. Fill a low tray with pebbles and water that reaches just below the topmost part of the pebbles. By the way, adding a little moisture to the air in the winter is good for us, too!

transition outdoor plants indoorsWater Moderately

Most plants need very little water during the winter months so it’s important not to overwater them. You will know that it’s time to give them water when the top part of the soil which can measure from one to two inches has dried out.

Feed Them in the Spring

Don’t fertilize your plants until one month prior to placing them back in the outdoors for the spring. Use a half-strength solution of an all-purpose, liquid and organic type of fertilizer.