Bring Your Houseplants in for Winter


Houseplants are traditionally from tropical locations, so as the temperatures begin to cool, it’s important to bring houseplants indoors for the winter. Whether you’re bringing in a lemon tree you’ve had for years, or a fuchsia you’d like to overwinter, houseplants are a wonderful way to bring life to your home during the winter. Here are a few tips on selecting plants to bring in and keeping them healthy.

What Plants Should I Bring In?

Any houseplants that you moved outdoors for the summer, as well as citrus and tropical plants, should be brought inside. Some people also like to bring outdoor plants like begonias, geraniums, and even ornamental peppers indoors, although they do require a lot of light. Tender perennials like lavender, sage, and rosemary can also be overwintered in a garage or basement, as they go dormant for the winter months.

Only bring in healthy plants. Moving plants indoors can be tough on them. Your home typically offers less light and lower humidity than what outdoor plants are used to. It’s common for plants to be a bit under the weather, and drop a few leaves, when you first bring them indoors. This isn’t a big deal. The plants will recover as they adjust. However, plants that are unhealthy to begin with may not be worth trying to bring indoors.

Repotting Plants

After a full summer of growth, some of your plants may need to be repotted, especially if your plant is root-bound or you can see roots growing out of the drainage holes. When you notice that, you know it’s time to repot your plant. This is also a great time to use a houseplant insecticide or insecticidal soap on your houseplants to ensure that insects don’t migrate indoors with the plants.

When selecting a pot, find one with drainage holes and purchase a tray to catch water underneath the pot. Overwatering is a common problem with houseplants, and proper container drainage can help prevent this. You should also consider the type of soil you’re using. Don’t purchase regular garden soil. Potting soil is a specific blend that’s better suited for containers. You may also want to consider a more specific soil, depending on your plants. For example, cacti and succulents often do best in specialty potting mix that drains much faster.

Pet Safety

As you move plants indoors, or add new plants to your home, it’s important to remember that not all plants are safe for pets. Many common houseplants, like money plants, palms, and pothos plants, are toxic to dogs and cats. Always keep plants out of reach of pets, unless you’re certain they’re safe. Wall pockets, plants on stands, the new tall legged pottery, or even hanging from macramé planters are all stylish statements with will help keep your pets safe. The ASPCA has a helpful list of toxic and non-toxic plants for different pets.

This fall, keep your plants healthy by bringing them indoors before temperatures get cold. By bringing plants in, you can enjoy a green home throughout the winter and save money on plants next spring. Fall is also a great time to give houseplants to new college students. Plants are an excellent way to personalize a dorm room and make it feel more like home.