Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Plants That Need to Be Brought Indoors Need Special Care

Plants that need to be brought indoors need special care- A Garden Review

hanging plant

Summer is the time when we gardeners are itching to get our indoor plants outdoors for all the growth opportunity that summer sun and warmer temperatures brings.  But come the end of September, gardeners are counting the days until they need to bring all those tender plants back indoors!

I know I am scoping out all the window areas of my apartment for possible "growing spots", for all the plants I took out to my balcony in the spring.  

One of the most important parts of bringing our favorites back to the indoors, is making sure there are no hidden "bugs" hitchhiking their way indoors.

During the summer months outdoors your plants have been visited by many flying, crawling and maybe even jumping insects.  Believe it or not I had a grasshopper on one of my plants and we are on the 18th floor of our building.  So anything is possible.

When I am bringing my plants indoors, I like to un-pot them!  Yes you heard me right.  I take my plants out of their pots, set aside the soil they were growing in and move the plants into by bathroom.  

Then I shower them well with warm water, on both the top sides of the leaves and the bottom sides as well.  I check their roots and if there are roots that look decayed I will snip them back.  

I also check their stems to see if there are any scale insects that may have made their home on my plants.  One of my Ivies is infested with scale, so I will take cuttings from it and treat the cuttings with Safer's Soap spray.  Then I will root these cuttings and start with fresh soil in a few weeks.  They will be potted up only when I am sure they are free of the scale insects and have set new roots.

I do get the pots and clean them out with a good hot soapy water solution, and then let them air dry.  I will use fresh soil in these pots to give the plants and cuttings a good start in their indoor home.

With my plants, especially the orchids, I let them stay outdoors until the temperatures drop to about 10 degrees Celsiusor 50 degrees Farenheit.  Most orchids like a real drop in temperature for a few nights as it signals the plant to set flower bearing stems.  Do NOT let these delicate plants freeze!  If there is a chance of the temperatures going down close to freezing, bring them indoors for the night.  

By January you should be seeing lots of stems on your orchids that will surely lead to some gorgeous flowers.  One of my orchids starts blooming in January and doesn't stop till June or July.  They are truly one of my many joys.

white orchids

Having said that, orchids do need special care.  Their leaves are tightly figured and can harbor scale or other bugs.  I make sure they are drenched with Safer's Soap Spray before they come in for the winter!  You can spray them once a week on both sides of their leaves.  Better to be safe than sorry.  If one plant comes in with a scale infestation, it can ruin all your plants in very short order.

Bringing our plants indoors is a time consuming endeavor if you are a crazy gardener like me.  If you only have a few plants(3 or 4) outdoors, you should be able to do this in a weekend.  If you are more like me, and have 8-10 plants to bring indoors, you might need a couple of weekends to finish the task.  

You don't need to be in a hurry yet, but don't leave this task till late October or November.  Then you will be scrambling to get it done.  Bringing in the plants without checking them well for pests, could be your downfall.  Take the time while the weather is still relatively nice and do it now.  Check them all closely and if you don't want to start with fresh pots and soil, you can also drench the plants and soil with the Safer's Soap.  It is better to do that then to just bring them indoors without any preventative measures at all.

This is the product I use on all my plants and I have never been disappointed in the results. It takes care of all the insect/bug problems you could have with moving your plants indoors.  I use this product on my plants all through the winter months(if I see a problem) and will be using it again in spring and summer of 2021.  Pests are always just waiting to get a hold of something they like and your houseplants could be on their menu.  Don't be disappointed, be prepared and have a great time in the winter enjoying your healthy happy houseplants while the snow flies outdoors.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Thanks for the tips and DIY! Our weather has just taken a downward turn so perfect timing. I was unaware of the soap and will check it out :)

    1. I love Safer's Soap and use it throughout the winter months on my indoor plants as well, if and when needed. It has never failed me or my plants.

  2. This is a task I am doing right now! It is important not to leave it too late in the year as our weather can turn really quickly. I treasure all my plants as I know you do so it is good to care for them. Thank you for the tips, there is always something more to learn in gardening!

    1. So true, you never know everything and when you do, it's quite possible you have forgotten something....gardeners are life long learners!

  3. Never having had to move a plant from the outdoors to the indoors, I was not aware of the precaution of treating them for unwanted 'guests'. :) This sounds like very good advice for all gardeners. Good to know about this Safer brand of insect killing soap for plants.

    1. Lucky you if you've never had to move a plant. Us northern gardeners know this dance all too well. But we love doing it anyways.

  4. Love all your tips here - that you shower your plants when you bring them indoors to ensure bugs are all off is awesome - great idea. My sun-impatiens are still doing amazing, and my begonias (on our patio) and I'm not looking forward to their coming to an end - they're hanging plants on the patio - I guess those can't be saved indoors? I've never had them last so long - going into october and they're healthier than when they were new - I've fertilized and baby'd them all summer though - it paid off because they're still outstanding even with the weather cooling off

    1. Most annuals want to die after their season is over, but some begonias can be brought indoors and "babied" through the winter months. They won't grow as quickly or nicely as in season, but you can keep them over until springtime and then they will grow beautiful again.

  5. These are wonderful tips for those of us who aren’t blessed with green thumbs! Thanks so much.

  6. Anytime you need some advice Margaret drop me a line. I'm always willing to offer support for those whose thumbs are growing to be green! Yes, your thumbs can start growing too!

  7. I don't keep a lot of indoor plants and my knowledge for their care is very limited. I had no idea there was an insect killing soap for indoor plants! That is fabulous. I noted that you apply the soap outside before you bring them in, but you use it all winter long. Can you also apply the soap indoors, or do you need apply it outside always?


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