OK Bloomer: Snowbird Plants that Need a Winter Vacation Indoors
Gardening is a year-round adventure, especially if you can successfully transition tender plants indoors over the winter and make them feel at home. Before you start knitting those plant cozies, it’s important to learn the how-to of getting your plants acquainted with the indoors.
After all—good relationships start slowly, right? The last thing you want is a plant turned off by a bad blind date!
Follow This Advice for Bringing Plants Indoors for Our Long Island Winter
You might be asking yourself already, “Can I bring my outdoor plants indoors for the winter without killing them?” The answer is: yes, as long as you do it right! A careful approach is always best to ensure your plants don’t get sick, change color, or shrivel up and die in a corner somewhere, leaving you wondering what you did wrong. Here is what you need to do to avoid these tragedies altogether.
1) Insecticide Is Your Friend
Get rid of your plants’ “baggage” before you invite them indoors by applying some all-natural insecticide—like neem oil—to kill off any pests lurking in dark places. Your plants have enjoyed the summer weather, but so have those insects, which thrive and multiply on healthy plant material.
2) Try a Winter Trim
Who doesn’t love a haircut! Give your plants a trim before bringing them indoors for winter by removing any dead, diseased, or damaged leaves. Not only will your plants feel like a million bucks, but you’ll also give them a much-needed energy boost for springtime growth after their winter dormancy.
3) Don’t Rush a Good Thing
If you want happy plants this winter, make their journey indoors a gradual one. A sudden temperature climb from the cool fall air to your warm home won’t do your plants any favors, so start by bringing your plants indoors for one hour—gradually adding an hour each day. After about 14 days, you can happily keep your plants indoors for the winter, but remember to keep an eye on that insect problem and repeat insecticide application during your transition period.
4) Give Your Plants Some Breathing Room
While throwing a welcoming party for your overwintering plants might be tempting, resist the urge to socialize them too quickly. When bringing your plants indoors for the winter, keep them in quarantine until your 14 days are up to ensure no pests have hitched a ride to their own winter vacation. You can group your plant babies together again after two weeks once the threat of stowaways has safely passed.
5) Let There Be Light—But Not Too Much!
Plants are accustomed to lower light levels during the winter months, so when you bring them indoors, make sure you’re giving them the light requirements they would expect outdoors. Plants like succulents and cacti will still need some daily rays of direct sun to make them feel at home, while lower-light plants—like philodendrons—will prefer indirect light to avoid scorched leaves. Do an inventory of your winter plant collection and give each one a space to fulfill its needs indoors.
Moving your plants indoors over the winter can be exciting and fulfilling, allowing you to ensure their survival in preparation for the abundant growing season ahead. Following these simple steps will give you a greater chance of keeping your plants alive for a longer-term relationship. Who knows—they might even come back to stay at your winter plant paradise next winter!
Looking for more info on how to move those plants indoors for the winter in Oceanside, NY? Call us, or stop in to Dees’ Nursery and say hi!