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Preparing Your Outdoor Plants for Life Indoors

Jeff Wallitsch with Petals Louisville
Jeff Wallitsch with Petals Louisville

Winter is Coming (Eventually)

Fall is finally in full swing which means colder nights and crisper mornings are also here to stay, and you may find that your outdoor potted plants are craving a warmer climate. That’s why this is the perfect time to prep your outdoor potted plants for the transition to indoor living.

“This is a great time of year to start transitioning,” says Petals co-founder, Jeff. “Because the weather has been slowly changing, they won’t be shocked by the air conditioning or humidity level inside the house.”

To help perfectly prepare your plants, you’ll need a few handy tools to help. First, a good pair of floral scissors or pruning shears. “Whatever kind of scissors you choose, make sure they’re extremely sharp so that they make a clean, precise cut,” says Jeff. Other things that are helpful to have on hand include indoor plant fertilizer, and all-natural horticultural oil or neem oil. “If you have curious pets or small children who may touch the plants and then touch their mouths, we recommend choosing an organic product that doesn’t include any harsh chemicals to use while prepping,” Jeff says.

Petals pro tip! Support another local business when you use Monty's liquid plant fertilizer.

Winterizing Your Plants

Now that you’ve got your tools and you’re ready to begin preparing your plants for the transition indoors, here are some simple steps to follow:

Dust your foliage with a cloth or paper towel

  1. Dust the foliage: This may seem a little funny, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply dampen a rag or paper towel with warm water and wipe down each leaf, removing dust and outdoor debris along the way.

  2. Prune baby prune: Using your sharp scissors or pruning shears, remove any damaged, yellowed or bad leaves at the base of the plant. Have some interesting leaves you want to keep? “Simply prune them off the same way and put them in a vase - as long as you keep the water clean, you will be able to preserve that cool frond or foliage for several months,” says Jeff.

  3. Oil it up: Once your plant is clean and you’ve removed any debris from the pot, protect your plant baby with a coat of all-season horticultural oil or neem oil, which will help protect the plant as it transitions indoors while also helping to eliminate any pesky insects that may be hiding amongst the leaves.

Check for pests underneath leaves.

Petals Pro Tip: Use this moment to check underneath the leaves for insect damage or little buggy hitchhikers hanging out. You won’t want to bring them inside with you!

Final Thoughts

Here are a few helpful reminders from the pros at Petals that will keep your plants happy and healthy through the transition.

  1. Some plants do best with a gradual transition. Begin by bringing them inside overnight and leaving them outside during the day, then slowly extend the time they remain inside until the transition is complete.

  2. Guard against overwatering. When plants aren’t being exposed to extreme summer temperatures, they require less water than you may expect. Stick to a watering schedule to prevent rot.

  3. Don’t repot your plant just yet. Even indoors, plants go dormant during the winter, so your leafy love won’t be doing much growing until spring. Let your plants stay in their cozy pots for now, and then re-pot them before beginning the transition back outdoors in springtime.

  4. Get help from the pros! The team at Petals is here to help if you need any advice or guidance during this transitional time. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need any help at all!



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