The Q&A Archives: Bringing Houseplants Indoors

Question: Please tell me how do I go about bringing plants like phormium, coleus, dracenas, etc. into the house for Winter? How do I clean them and should I repot them and if so, with what type of soil?

Answer: First, check them carefully for any pests and take care of those before you bring them in. In my experience it is also a good idea to give them a good washing or two with a strong spray of plain water when bringing them in, just to make sure there are no hitchhikers. As the weather cools and over a period of a few weeks, gradually move them into a shadier location so that they become accustomed to the reduced light level they will have when finally moved indoors. Cut back on the fertilizer and water as their growth slows in response to the seasonal change in light. In the spring, reverse the process to reacclimate them to the outdoors. Spring is also the better time to repot them whether it be to root prune and replace in the same pot or move them up to the next bigger size.

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