It is common practice to summer houseplants outdoors, and as autumn’s cooler temps creep in, we bring them back indoors. But beware! Insects can hitch a ride inside with them. Here are a few steps we recommend before moving your houseplants back indoors.
• Thoroughly inspect the plants’ stems, trunks, soil and leaves, especially the undersides of leaves, for insects.
• Hose off the entire plant to knock off any insects, dust and pollen. Allow the plant to dry.
• Spray the entire plant, especially the undersides of the leaves, with Neem Oil. It is a non-toxic insecticide, mite killer, and fungicide, which is safe to use on edibles, like herbs.
• If necessary, cut the plant back no more than 1/3 to control size and encourage fuller growth.
• If the plant has become root bound or the soil has become depleted, this would be a good time to re-pot it. There are two ways to deal with a pot bound plant depending on what you want to achieve:
1. If you are interested in growing the plant larger, bump the pot size up by one inch each repotting. Loosen the roots to uncoil them and help them reach out into the new planting medium.
2. If you wish to keep the plant to size, trim back the plant and the roots by 1/3 and return the plant to the same pot (or one of equal size). Be sure to wash the pot in a mild solution of bleach and water before returning the plant to its’ pot.
• Over time soil becomes depleted of the organic matter that plants require and it is best to replace it. You may gently crumble some of the old soil away from the root ball and re-pot using fresh soil.
• We recommend using nutrient rich Coast of Maine Bar Harbor Potting Soil for repotting your plant.
Watering should be monitored carefully when plants are moved indoors. Be sure soils dry between waterings to prevent root rot. Neptune’s Harvest Organic Fertilizer and Superthrive Vitamin & Hormone Solution are great used in combination to nourish your houseplants. Maintaining your plants’ health provides clean, fresh indoor air, bug free, during the winter months. Visit us at Rolling Green Nursery if you have any questions about caring for your indoor plants.