Over the winter, most plants go into a dormant stage, kind of like hibernation, and the care requirements can change quite a bit””especially if you’re bringing outdoor plants indoors. You’ll also need to shift gears when it comes to caring for your houseplants that are kept inside year-round. That being said, while there are some things you need to pay attention to as we transition into colder Edmonton weather, overall, there’s a lot less upkeep required during this time! Like sleepy bears in hibernation, your houseplants aren’t going to be doing too much, so you can take a step back and let them chill.
How To Overwinter Plants Indoors
While different varieties of houseplants have their own preferences for the amount of water and sunlight they need, typically, they’ll need less of both those things once autumn rolls around. In summer, when they were sprouting all those new leaves and blossoms, they needed enough fuel to sustain them through that growth spurt. Once they’ve ended that active growing season, they don’t need all that extra gas in the tank. Giving them too much while they’re dormant can lead to weak, soft growth later on, and in the worst-case scenario, can cause root rot.
From November until March, most of your houseplants should only be watered once every two weeks. Always make sure that the moisture in the soil has completely evaporated before watering again. Succulents typically can be watered every three weeks, and cacti can pretty much be left alone all season. No need to fertilize either””wait until spring right at the first signs of growth.
If you’re bringing your potted plants inside from the garden or patio, you’ll have to pay attention to a few more things. Firstly, you’ll want to make sure that wherever you place them inside has somewhat similar light levels and a comfortable temperature. Don’t place them too close to a furnace! Anything that’s accustomed to full sun should be placed by a super sunny window, and anything shade-tolerant should be placed in a spot with indirect light.
Keep everything in the same container it was in previously””repotting will just shock the roots””and give it a good wipe-down before bringing it in to avoid any hitchhiking bugs. Prune off any damaged pieces with some clean shears, and then get ready for the final, most crucial step: pest control.
How Do You Debug Plants Before Bringing Them Indoors?
There are so many bugs and pests lurking outdoors, and if you’re not careful, some catastrophic results can occur by introducing a bunch of new pests to your houseplants. To avoid having the deal with a Pandora’s Box of houseplant pests, you’ll want to properly debug everything you bring inside.
To do this naturally and safely, all you’ll need is some insecticidal soap spray. You can purchase some at your local garden centre, or you can make your own by mixing a solution of castile soap and water. Before you bring the containers indoors, spray that solution on, and really go to town with it. Drench the leaves, especially their undersides, and coat the stems generously. Let it sit for a day, and then reapply a second time. Once it’s all dry, spray with plain water to rinse off any remaining soap, and you should be good to go.
Just to be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for any signs of pest damage. Yellow or brown spots, sudden wilting, fine webbing, and chewed up leaves can all be signs that you’ve got some stowaways. If you see any, repeat the soap spray process again, and remove any damaged parts with clean shears.
Tools For Growing Outdoor Plants Inside
Sometimes it can be a bit tricky to provide adequate conditions for certain species, particularly exotic tropicals and other varieties that aren’t made for a dry Edmonton December. If you have anything that requires humid air, a little humidifier is a worthwhile investment! Alternately, you can place the container on a shallow saucer full of pebbles and water to bring some more moisture into the air around it.
If you just aren’t getting enough light in your home, a grow light can make a big difference too. There are so many different sizes and models to choose from, so it doesn’t have to be anything too large or expensive. Plus, they’re great for spring if you want to get a head start on seeds for your vegetable garden!
Have any more questions about houseplant care during the colder months? Feel free to drop us a line, and one of our experts can help you out. If there are any products or tools you need, there are plenty of options for purchasing: shop in-store, order online, or call in for curbside pickup. Whatever you need, we’re happy to help!