The turn in weather prompts all sorts of household chores. While you’re working to get ready for the winter, take some time to prepare your plants as well. When bringing in your outdoor plants for the winter, consider these 4 steps:

 

Leave pests outside where they belong

  • Do a visual inspection of the plant to check for pests.
  • Quarantine the plant and check for pests throughout the quarantine period.
  • If pests are found, treat the plant with the appropriate pesticide.

 

Is it time to repot?

  • Plants grow the most during the summer months and at the end of the outdoor growing season, they may need repotting into a larger pot.
  • It’s also a good time to give your plant some fresh soil.
  • The rule of thumb for repotting is to move up in pot size by 2” increments at a time.

 

Pruning

  • Many plants need to be pruned when being brought indoors for the winter. Research the type of plant you have and find out if this is the case.
  • Make sure that you don’t remove more than 1/3 of the plant at a time.
  • Some plants go into a dormant period during the winter months and correct pruning now will mean better winter survival and may even affect how well the plant does in the coming spring season.

 

Acclimate your plants

  • Seedlings started indoors in the spring must be “hardened off” before being moved outside permanently. Hardening off just means you slowly acclimate the seedlings to their new environment over a period of time (usually 10-14 days).
  • Prevent the plants from going into shock by hardening off plants when bringing back indoors.

 

Proper preparation of your plants now will mean a better growing season in the spring. Keep your plants warm and protected, and look forward to the warmer weather!