The Q&A Archives: Wintering plants indoors

Question: I would like to bring my tropical plants indoors over the winter.Please tell me what equipment I will need and what procedures I should follow. Thank you.

Answer: This depends partly on which specific plants you have and on whether or not you want to keep them actively growing or just have them survive while they are stored inside. In general, they need to come in before temperatures drop below 50 degrees. Place them in a bright area at normal to cool room temperature. High humidity and good air circulation are helpful. Water slightly less and fertilize little if any as they will grow more slowly due to the reduced light indoors and shorter days of winter. In the spring, gradually acclimate them to being outside again to avoid "sunburning" them, and gradually increase the watering and fertilizing as they come back into active growth. You will find they go through an adjustment period each time they are moved. Also check them carefully for pests when you bring them inside. Sometimes it is helpful to minimize their time indoors, if possible, by setting them outside during the day when temperatures are mild and bringing them inside at night during the changeover times in spring and fall. Too, you may have to experiment to find the best place in your home to keep them during the winter. Good luck!

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