Fall — A Time Of Transition For Your Houseplants
Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year for many reasons.
- Reason #1: Cooler temperatures.
- Reason #2: Colorful fall foliage.
- Reason #3: Your kids are back in school!
- Reason #4: It's Football season.
- Reason #5: Your plants look AMAZING after a full summer of growing.
It's reason #5 we want to address. Especially if you gave some of your houseplants a “summer vacation” by growing them in your yard. They look great now, but will they still look great in January? That all depends on your Fall Transition plan. What can you do now to make sure your houseplants not only survive this winter, but thrive? If you follow our Fall Transition tips below you will be successful.
Exit Strategy: When to bring in your plants is determined by both your local climate and the hardiness of your plants. Thus a specific time to bring in your house plants varies. However, a good rule of thumb to follow is to start your Fall Transition when temperatures are in the 50 to 60 degree Fahrenheit range.
Lighting: This can be tricky since even the sunniest spot in your home will not provide the same level of light that your plant enjoyed outside. This is a problem that cannot just be solved by simply adding a grow light. While artificial lights will work wonders, at this crucial period it is essential that your plants get used to less light before bringing them indoors. To help your plants get used to less light, move them from a full sun spot to a partially shady spot. As long as you have favorable temperatures, keep your plants in a shady spot for at least a week to avoid a complete shock when moved indoors. Once indoors you should place full sun loving plants in a south-facing window if at all possible. However, even a south-facing window may not provide enough light for your full sun loving plants. This is the time when adding artificial lights makes the most sense. For very tall plants adding a few spot grow lights overhead is the best way to go. For collections of smaller houseplants that have higher light requirements, a small grow cart station will work wonders throughout the winter. BuyPlantLights.com offers indoor grow light solutions for every budget.
Check For Pests: If you bring your plants indoors without checking them for pests you are just asking for trouble. Before you bring your plants indoors it is vital that you check the top and underside of the leaves. Unwanted pests can “hijack” your plant by boring into the soil above and the drain holes below. How can you wipe out these pests without harming your plants? One method is to submerge the pot in water for at least 15 minutes. This flushes the “hijackers” out of the nooks and crannies that they have been hiding in. However, if you do find some of your plants infested with insects, then treat with an environmentally friendly insecticidal soap. For heavily infested plants you may need to repot with new soil before bringing them indoors.
Maintenance: Once your plants have been brought indoors you need to keep a few things in mind. Remember that summer humidity your plants loved? Well, the party if over for your plants since the humidity level in most homes in far below what they prefer. What can you do to increase the humidity for your plants? The cheapest solution it to spray them with water daily with a cheap spray bottle. If you have the budget for it then invest it a good humidifier and place it where most of your plants are. Additionally, most plants will not need to be watered as frequently as during the summer months. A good watering rule of thumb to go by is if the top inch of soil is dry to the touch, then it's time to water your plants again.
If you follow the above Fall Transition guidelines carefully, you will be greatly increasing the chances that your houseplants will both survive and thrive this coming winter.