Most indoor plants will benefit from being placed outside in a shady spot in your garden during the summer months. Even delicate plants like ferns will have a growth spurt as long as the spot you choose is shady and they get enough water. I move most of my indoor plants outside when it is warm and they really seem to love it. Indoor house plant care during the fall and winter means looking after humidity needs, taking care not to over water and being aware of dormancy issues.
When you bring the plants indoors for the winter, things can go backwards if you are not careful. You will need to follow a few rules for indoor house plant care to make sure that they continue doing well over the winter months.
Tips for Indoor House Plant Care During the Fall and Winter
Avoid over-watering. While outdoors, the plants will need a lot of water, to compensate for the high temperatures. Indoor plant care is a different story. Just use the rule of thumb to water when it feels dry about 1″ down into the soil.
Be sure to water thoroughly. While over watering should be avoided, do make sure to water thoroughly when you do water. Let the water run out of the drainage hole and then place it in the saucer after if has finished draining.
Keep the humidity high. Many houseplants like high humidity and will suffer from the extra heat when brought indoors. Bathrooms and kitchens are good spots for them. In other rooms, be sure to use a plant misterevery so often to keep the humidity at a good level. (affiliate link) They will love you for it, and you will love not seeing brown edges on the leaves.
Don’t re-pot now. Even if the plants are slightly pot bound, now is not the time to re-pot. Do this in the spring just before you take them back outside, when the growing season starts again. This bromeliad has a healthy young pup. I’ll divide it in the spring for best results.
Keep the leaves clean. Dust and grease can accumulate on indoor house plants. Wipe the leaves occasionally to keep this under control. Large, firm-leafed plants may be cleaned with a soft sponge or cloth. Wash the foliage using a very mild solution of dish washing soap and warm water. Another method is to place the plants in the shower and give them a good “bath”. Just be sure to adjust the water temperature before placing the plants under the shower head. Avoid getting the leaves of plants like African violets wet. This can damage the leaves.
Plant Stands. If you have a lot of plants outdoors, the question will be where on earth do I put them all? I have a large metal plant stand that sits on my patio during the warmer months and I bring it indoors and place it in front of my sliding back doors. This faces southerly, so the plants that need the most sun get placed here
Light levels are low indoors. Plants outside get plenty of light, but can suffer when you bring them inside. Try placing them in south facing windows if possible for the best light. Indoor grow lights are also a good idea if you don’t have very good light in your home. But there are also lots of plants that don’t need as much light. The plants that you have outdoors in the shade during the warm months can go near other windows that don’t get as much light.
Don’t over fertilize. During the winter months, indoor plants to not grow as much, so they do not need the fertilizer that they do in the summer.
Take Cuttings. Do you have a plant that is too big to bring indoors? Take cuttings of it in the fall and put them in a sunny location. You will have new plants next spring. My spider plant is enormous but the babies will give me a new one next year!
If you follow these few rules for indoor house plant care during the fall and winter months, your indoor plants will thrive over the winter months and be ready for another spot in your garden when the spring weather warms up.
Do you follow any other rules for your indoor plants during the winter? I’d love to hear your tips in the comment section below.
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