Our fall has been so mild, our plants have been able to enjoy a longer than normal period outside. But things are changing and it’s definitely time to prepare your tropicals and houseplants for their move inside.

Begin by moving sun-loving plants into the shade for a week or so.  This gets them used to lower light conditions similar to what you have in your home.  A couple of days before you plan the final move in, submerge the entire pot in a bucket of lukewarm water for a few hours.  Any insects or other creatures in the soil will drown and/or float to the top of the water. Remove and let drain.

A day before bringing them in, hose them down with a strong stream of water to blow off any insects that may be on their stems and leaves.  Allow to dry and then spray with insecticidal soap

 or Espoma 3n1 Disease Control, being sure to spray tops and bottoms of the leaves, stems, and trunks. Allow to dry completely before bringing inside.  Alternatively, you can apply Bonide Systemic Houseplant Insect Control per container instructions.

Finally, move your plants indoors to a well-lit area, away from heat sources and drafts.  Tropical plants will lose leaves after their move.  Place a saucer under each pot to catch excess water.  You won’t need to water until the soil begins to dry out.  When you do, cut back on fertilizer, using half strength in the fall, and then plain water for November, December, and January.  When the days start to lengthen in mid-February begin feeding with half strength until mid-April when you can once again increase to full strength.