The season is upon us when it is time to move any outdoor tropical plants indoors for winter. Bringing plants inside for winter isn’t as easy as simply moving pots from one place to another; there are several steps when acclimating plants from outdoors to indoors to prevent sending your plant into shock.

One of the most common issues plants have when coming indoors is bringing unwanted pests with them. Check your plants thoroughly for small insects like aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites and remove them. Treating the plants with neem oil or an indoor spray such as Bug Be Gone Indoor Pest Spray can help as well.

If the plant has outgrown its current pot outdoors or overgrown for the space indoors, you may want to consider either pruning or repotting. When pruning, don’t prune back more than one-third of the plant to avoid overstressing and potentially killing it. Don’t forget to root prune an equal amount off the roots as you do off the foliage.

When repotting, repot to a container that is at least 2 inches larger than its current container. Use a fresh, good quality potting soil.

Acclimation is all about timing. The right time to bring plants indoors is before evening temperatures dip below 7 C.  The second part is the amount of time it takes to properly acclimatize your plant to its new home. Begin by bringing the houseplant in at night. For the first few days, bring the container inside in the evening and move it back outside in the morning. Gradually, over the course of a week or two, increase the amount of time the plant spends indoors until it is inside full time.

Finally, reduce the amount of water you are giving your plant. Only water when the soil is dry to the touch. Place your plant in a sunny window to help maximize the amount of sunlight your plants get.

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