As the end of summer approaches and night temperatures start to drop below 50 degrees, it is time to think about bringing your houseplants back inside. Summer vacation is over.
Most houseplants are, after all, tropical and are accustomed to warm climates. Plants such as winter jasmine, Christmas & Thanksgiving cactus and cymbidium orchids will tolerate cooler temperatures (40′s) and actually need the colder temps and shorter days to stimulate bud-formation for winter blooming.
Before you bring your plants indoors there are a few things you should do.
Two weeks prior
Move your houseplant into the shade to help adjust to the lower light indoors.
While they are outside, clean your windows. A clean window will allow more light to pass through than a dirty one.
Check your plants
Look for insects and eggs that may want to camp out indoors for the winter. To force out any unwanted pests, soak your plant up to the rim in a sink full of water. If that is not possible, try a soil drench – systemic granules that are sprinkled on the soil surface and watered in. It usually lasts up to 4 months. If necessary, spray the plant with insecticidal soap or a recommended topical spray covering the top and undersides of the leaves.
You don’t want to bring uninvited guests into the house. Infested plants will need vigilant treatments, so you have to decide if its worth the trouble.
No need to repot
Unless your plant is totally potbound there is no need to repot it. If you feel its necessary, refresh the soil with a lightweight soiless mix but do not change the size of the pot. Also, take the opportunity to check for insects. It’s best to repot your plants in the spring when they are ready to grow again.
Plants should be fed when they are actively growing so they can take advantage of the nutrients. Low light conditions, short days will reduce plant growth therefore, fertilization should be stopped, except for winter flowering plants. Resume feeding in late winter.
Once indoors, your plants will require less water because they will grow slower or stop growing during the winter months. Check the soil before watering. The top 2 inches should be dry before watering again. Be sure the plant does not sit in water as that can cause the roots to rot. Overwatering is a major problem of houseplants.
More info on houseplant care: http://hortchat.com/info/how-to-make-a-pebble-tray