The Busy Gardener's 3 Step Guide to Bringing Houseplants Inside

Grab a warm drink and take a seat-- we're going to kick off the indoor gardening season with a quick chat.

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You put your houseplants outside to enjoy a pleasant summer vacation from the confinement of your home. Then, on a chilly fall morning, you're sipping your cup o' joe and you hear it on the news: temps are going to drop to 45 degrees tonight. You've gotta get your darlings back inside TODAY for survival!

Since you probably only have a spare <6 minutes among the day's to-dos, you might be tempted to simply haul your houseplants inside and continue watering them as you did outdoors. This is a sure path to houseplant death (and your dinner guests swatting fungus gnats away from their faces) so we have a few quick tips for success. Many guides will give you a mile-long list of steps to take when bringing houseplants indoors, but we think these 3 are most important when you're strapped for time.

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1. Give 'em a bath.

Give your plants, especially large leafy types, a cleansing hose-down. This will clean off any debris or dirt as well as knock off a majority of the insects that have come to call your plant "home." If it's too cold and wet to wash them outside, your bathtub works great as a work space to clean them off. Don't forget the rubber duckies if you really want to make this fun.

2. Inspect 'em for hitchhikers. 

Remove any insects you see on the plant or in the soil. You set the whole pot in a tub of lukewarm water for a 15 minutes soak to encourage them to rise to the surface. If you want some help identifying any of the little guys, email a photo to the nursery gals. If there's one thing we love, it's bugs. And chocolate. But also bugs. 

3. Spray 'em down

Consider applying insecticidal soap to prevent bringing in any tag-alongs you missed in step one. Insects such as spider mites, aphids, and mealy bugs are often hard to catch, especially on bigger plants and can multiply in the blink of an eye. Here's a homemade recipe you can try. The soap must come in contact with the insect in order to kill it, so make sure you wet the entire plant. We also sell a commercial soap at the nursery; come out to visit and grab a bottle! The drive here is gorgeous this time of year.

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ONE LAST NOTE: Be sure to keep an eye on the plant's water usage now that it's out of the elements. Depending on your home environment, you'll likely need to decrease watering frequency. For most plants, soil surface should be dry to the touch before watering and sometimes this can mean a couple weeks go by before you give them another drink. 

Are there any steps you're not willing to skip when it's time to bring your houseplants in?

Good luck, have fun and, as always, call or email us with any questions you have along the way.