When body temperatures drop by as little as a degree or two, the human body shivers in an attempt to generate its own heat. Plants aren’t as lucky. When temperatures drop below 45 degrees F, plants experience stress but are unable to do anything about it. They rely on you to provide a stress-free environment until warm weather returns in spring. Moving plants inside for the winter keeps them healthy and protects them from the damage of cold weather.
Gradually move the plant to an area that receives less sunlight to acclimate it to lower light conditions. Place plants grown in full sun in a partially shaded areas for several days before moving them inside.
Prepare a space in the home for over-wintering plants. Wash the windows to allow the maximum amount of light to reach the plants. During winter months, the sun lies low in the sky and light is limited. Clean windows increase the amount of light.
Check your plants for any signs of insects. Look under leaves and along stems for chew marks, holes or tiny webs.Check drainage holes and soil for any signs of insects that may have crawled into the pot. Wash the plant with insecticide soap or treat with insecticide spray following the directions for application.
Cut the plant back to manage size. Cuttting back to 3 to 4 inches from the soil level forces a flush of new growth and revitalizes overgrown plants.
Check the roots of the plant. If the plants roots are tightly wound inside the pot, are visible on the surface of the soil or protrude from the drainage holes, re-pot in a plant pot 2 to 3 inches larger than the original pot.
Apply water-soluble fertilizer designed for houseplants following the recommended application rate.
Water thoroughly until water runs free of the bottom of the pot. Place the plant in a sunny window.
Water when soil is dry.