Bringing plants indoors for fall - Pro tips for a successful winter

If you have an outdoor space, patio or deck, bringing potted plants outdoors for the summer can be a great hack to fast forward their growth trajectory. In non-tropical regions where winter temperatures go below freezing, bringing plants indoors in the cold weather is important so that they survive the harsh winters. This does not apply to outdoor plants that are hardy for your gardening zone. Many houseplants are tropical plants and they cannot handle winter temperatures in non-tropical regions.

Potted houseplants hanging on brick wall in a square picture frame

Potted houseplants hanging on wall

As the leaves start to change color and the days get shorter, it's time to start thinking about bringing plants indoors for Fall. If you're not sure how to do it, don't worry - our team at Treleaf has some tips for you! In this blog post, we'll discuss when to bring plants inside, what to spray on them before bringing them inside, how to transition them from outside to inside, and how to winterize them indoors. With these tips, your plants will stay healthy and beautiful over the winter months!

Trailing philodendron on windowsill

Trailing Philodendron on windowsill. Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

When should you bring plants inside for the fall?

When you start seeing consistent nighttime temperatures dip below 50F or lower, it's time to start planning to bring the plants inside. Most plants should be brought indoors before the first frost. Check your local weather forecast or the Farmer’s Almanac to get an idea of when the first frost date is expected in your area so that you are not caught by surprise.

A group of trees all chaning to fall colors

Trees transitioning to their fall colors

How do I prepare my plants before bringing them indoors?

Cleaning and Repotting

Before you bring them indoors, make sure to clean the plants. Take a moment to clean off any debris that may have accumulated on your plants during the summertime. You can use a hose and shower the entire plant or use a spray bottle with soapy water to spray all the leaves of the plant and then wipe off any dirt. Next, prune the plant if needed and remove any dead leaves. Also do not forget to clean the pot exteriors.

Little cactus in white planter

Tiny cactus in white planter

If the plant has outgrown its current pot, to maintain healthy plants, it is a good idea to repot the plants in fresh potting soil. Reminder, make sure to use a pot with drainage holes. Also make sure to use the right kind of potting mix for your plant.

Debug plants and remove unwanted pests 

Before you move plants indoors for the winter, debugging plants is important. Inspect for any hitchhikers like lizards, caterpillars, spiders and safely remove them from the leaves. Treat each plant for any pest issues, such as fungus gnats, spider mites, mealy bugs or any unwelcome insects. Even if you don't see any visible pests, we recommend spraying them with organic solutions like neem oil spray, a pesticide or an insecticidal soap as a preventative pest measure.  This will help protect them from any pests that may be present on the plants. Another pro-tip, if the plant does not have wet soil, water the plants with hydrogen peroxide, to get rid of any pests living in the soil. You can buy pesticides over-the-counter at most garden stores. Ensuring the plant is pest free before bringing your houseplants inside will save you from a lot of stress over the winter months.

An assortment of plants next to a humidifier

Group of plants Photo by Huy Phan on Unsplash 

It's also important to transition the plants slowly from being outdoors to indoors. Start by bringing them inside during the day and slowly move them inside overnight over a period of a few days. This will help the plants get used to the new environment and reduce shock.

How do you transition plants from outside to inside?

Quarantine each plant in a common area so you can give them all the love they deserve before putting them away in their permanent spot.

Trailing on plant climbing trellis from Treleaf

Trailing plant climbing Monstrella trellis from Treleaf

How do you winterize plants indoors? - Winter plant care tips

In order to winterize plants indoors, you'll need to provide them with enough light, water, and humidity. Make sure that your plants have plenty of light - either natural or artificial light. If you're not sure how much light your plant needs, check the tag or ask a gardening expert at your local store.

three potted houseplants next to a window

Potted houseplants in a window sill. Photo by Luther.M.E. Bottrill on Unsplash

You'll also need to water your plants regularly; overwatering can be just as bad as not watering them enough. And finally, humidity is important for keeping your plants healthy - especially during winter months when the air is dryer. You can increase humidity for your plants by placing them near a humidifier, spraying them with water daily, or using a pebble tray.


Fall and Winter decor

Plants, both small and large, make great home decor pieces. Pair your plants with a new wooden indoor support to display their full beauty and grace.

Houseplants displayed in a window on shelves and rack with trellises from Treleaf

Plant collection displayed in a window with trellises from Treleaf

Treleaf has some great options for those! Just pick out what works best for your aesthetics and your plants. You can even customize some with the colors of the season if you picked something from the BARE collection.

Trailing plant climbing a customized painted trellis

Hoya trailing up BARE Anthrulla trellis from Treleaf