In this post, you will learn everything about how to debug plants to bring them indoors for the winter. After your plants have enjoyed their summer break, be sure to rid them of any pests they may have ingested by following these simple steps.
How to debug plants to bring them indoors for the winter
I've been dreading the Great Plant Cleanse of 2019 ever since I got the garden up and running. (Yes, I know I have to live more in the moment.) Debugging blueprints isn't difficult, but it can be time-consuming and confusing. Especially if you have as many plants as we do!
I'm planning to bring in some of our outside plants that we bought specifically for our garden. Like the big cassava we had a few years ago... it lives in the basement during the winter. I'm also planning on trying to keep my potted rosemary alive through the winter (we'll see how that goes).
However, I also have some small to medium sized plants that I brought outside in the summer. The extra sun and moisture works wonders for many plants.
My ivy starter plant, which struggled over the winter indoors with 2 or 3 leaves, has exploded with beautiful lush growth outside on the patio. And of course the succulentselephant earsEveryone also enjoyed their little outdoor vacation.
What are the benefits of cleaning your plants?
But now that temperatures here are dropping into the 40s at night, it's time to get a lot of these bad guys indoors. And this means that we need to talk about how to debug plants in order to place them indoors for the winter.
I'm not saying that all outdoor plants are infested with bugs. You are not. But the chances of them catching some friendly visitors are much better outdoors, and it's best not to bring them indoors. Debugging plants to bring them indoors is also an easy process - so better safe than sorry, I say.
In addition to removing bugs and other unwanted pests from your plants, scrubbing them with a good soak will really clean them up. I don't know about you, but I tend to get my houseplants a little messy with falling leaves and whatnot. It also gives you the option to replant them in fresh, nutrient-rich soil when they need some lifting.
When should I bring plants indoors in winter?
When you should bring plants indoors in the winter depends entirely on the climate you live in and the type of plant you are caring for. We live in zone 7 (Find your zone here), so my unscientific, lazy way of bringing plants indoors is to do it gradually when I have time, early to mid-October. 🙂
I had a lot to debug and bring into the winter, so I started the process in late September and worked on it whenever I could. We had some very hot and humid days at the end of September, so getting the plants indoors was difficult. But I do know that Maryland weather is so unpredictable and temperatures can change quickly. It's best not to tempt Mother Nature into a four-season state.
If you notice that your plants are limp, dull, or a little sad, it's probably time to pick them up. They should recover once you bring them indoors, and will do fine in an indoor hibernation spot through the winter.
Above all, everything must be before the date of the first frost (look here). Since general frost dates can be predictable, I would give myself some buffer space there as well. Do not overdo it - frost can destroy many houseplants.
Accessories for debugging plants to bring them indoors in winter
- Neutral soap, I usedBiodegradable Sud Salt, which is a great all-purpose gentle cleanser. I also used detergent. If you use detergent, make sure it doesn't contain degreaser or anything else harsh.
- canvas or bigthick black contractor garbage bags(we don't have canvas)
- Bucket, the biggest you have
- hose or sink
- tough rubber gloves
- Neemöl-Sprayor othersnatural insecticide spray
Debug minor assets to bring them in
I'm going to talk about debugging smaller potted plants to get them indoors first. I've had a few of these and mostly made them the same way.
Step 1: Fill a soap bucket
To fill ina bucketcomwater and soap. I don't measure mine - just squirt it enough to make a nice lather. I love himSal SudsFor this reason, the cleanser is concentrated and foams very well. That makes me think it's particularly good for debugging plants. Though that's probably just in my head. (Also the same thing as beforeClean our outdoor mat.)
One night after dark when I was working on debugging some smaller installations I used our sink instead of a bucket. I filled the sink with soap and water, brought in the plants, and immediately put them in the sink to soak.
Note: You do not need to replace the soapy water solution for every plant you water. However, I would recommend starting with a tub of soapy water if yours is starting to feel uncomfortable.
Step 2: Soak and Spray (If Necessary)
Soak for about 15 minutes. Enough to kill unwanted visitors. If you still have foliage afloat, turn and clipthe soapy waterit has the ability to water any part of the plant. If you cannot submerge the entire plant,get your neem oiland spray all the foliage well. Don't do this inside.
if yourplant has no drainage hole,You can still use this method. But it's best to do this on plants with drainage holes (which most outdoor pots have). If your pot does not have a drainage hole, you must remove the plant and soil from the pot after soaking to allow air to escape.
Step 3: Shovel and Clean
While the plant is soaking, remove anything that floats to the surface. Bark, sticks, clods of dirt, dead leaves, whatever. Keep the water as free of dirt as possible so you can reuse it for the next plant.
Step 4: Remove, rinse, repot (if necessary) and dry
Once your plant is soaked, remove it and rinse everything off.the soap residueyou can. I like to run a few rounds of fresh water through the plant (as if I'm watering) to get everything out of the drain hole.
Now it's time for the plant to dry and drain the excess water completely. You can take the plant out of the pot and set it aside if you like—especially if you plan on transplanting it into fresh soil or a larger pot. I did this for some of mine. If not, just drain the water completely, let the plant dry out a bit, and bring it inside.
I let most of mine dry in the yard in a thick black contractors garbage bag, but these pictures are of some plants I worked on at night after R went to bed. Then they are lying in a kitchen garbage bag on the counter. 🙂
Want more plant care tips? You will also love my instructions.how to care for cobra plants,How to care for pothos plants,how to care for rubber trees,how to care for elephant ear varieties,EHow to care for philodendrons.
How to debug large plants to bring them indoors
The above steps will likely answer most of your questions about debugging plants to bring indoors for the winter... unless they're really big! I have a stunning Ficus lyrata (Fiddle Leaf Fig) that exploded this summer. It's so beautiful. Between this plant and my incredibly tall yucca cane, I need a scrubbing solution that isn't soaking. So here's what I do.
Stage 1: Pulverize or neem oil
First, I spray all visible areas of the plantwith a spray of neem oil. Try to really get into the nooks, crannies and undersides. I'm really not afraid to overdo it - I watered my plants. Then let it sit for about 15 minutes while you work on watering some of your smaller plants.
Step 2: Rinse the soil
Sprinkle some soft soaking water around the soil and start watering the plant with the hose. this will mixthe soapclean with water. Make sure the soil is completely soaked. I made two rounds of this.
then filla bucketcomSeifenwasserand throw it at the top plant a few times. that will be washed awayor neem oil(on the ground) and also rinse the foliage well with water.
Step 3: Rinse and Drain
After attacking my plants with soapy water, I used the hose in the shower to completely soak the plants with plain water. Then I place it in a sunny spot to fully dehydrate and dry the foliage.
A few hours later, I took the plants inside and placed them in the desired locations. Don't forget to add a drain cup holder if needed. I like cheap plastic hardware stores because they (mostly) blend together.
I think I'll build a littlerepresents this plant.I love this room and I think there is enough light to make her happy in here. But it just needs a little boost to feel less crowded I guess.