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acclimating outdoor hous... #215394 - Ask Extension


acclimating outdoor hous... #215394

Asked October 03, 2014, 10:57 AM EDT

acclimating outdoor houseplants to inside for winter without toxic insecticide use??

Hennepin County Minnesota

Expert Response

I'm not sure what houseplants you are referring to.  

Most plants should be gently, and thoroughly  hosed off, making sure to clean off both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaves.  Do a careful visual inspection of the stems, and twigs as well, looking for scale, thrip and aphid insects.  Scale can be removed by using a cotton ball, with a little rubbing alcohol.  The others can be hosed, or rubbed off.

Check the soil to remove any weed seeds or sprouts.   You may want to add some new potting soil if the roots of the plant are starting to show.

Some plants may need to be repotted if they have grown too large for their containers.  You may be able to divide some of them - depending upon what they are.  Use clean containers and fresh potting soil when you transplant.

It's best if you slowly transition these plants from the cold outdoors, into the warm and dry house.  If you have an unheated porch or garage they can spend a day or so in there, and then into the house.  Make sure that they get as much sun light, or artificial light as possible.  Even shade plants grown outdoors need more light inside, over the long winter.

Continue to monitor these plants throughout the winter.  Some insect pests are hard to find right away, and some lay their eggs in the soil, only to hatch out once they get into the warm house.

I hope this is helpful  Please contact AaE again if you have further questions.
Mary Courteau Replied October 03, 2014, 11:13 AM EDT

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