Before you bring a single plant inside consider this:
I just cut back all my hibiscus plants, the branches got too big and the shape was getting unsightly. Besides, I'm hoping they'll go dormant for a bit.
One bush was so root-bound that the water just ran off the pot and it had to get watered nearly every day. Clearly, it was time to go up to the next sized pot with some high quality potting mix.
Options of what you can do with your plants....
- Bring them inside and find a suitable spot with enough light, water and humidity according to their needs
- Compost pile/turn over in soil of garden bed
- Gift to friends/neighbors
- Keep outside in a pot (perennials perhaps) and store up against the house or other outbuilding. You can even bubble wrap the container for extra warmth.
- Toss in garbage
- Put up "free" on Craigslist
- Store in basement and garage and let them go dormant for a spell (fingers crossed!)
- I suppose selling really nice plants could be an option. But I can't bring myself to do it! After all, gardeners are some of the most generous people I know!
Plant questions to ask yourself....
Insider plant tip:
Make sure you know which is it before you end up tossing a plant you actually still had feelings for.
It might be time to find a new place to house that plant that still inspires you!
Some plants don't need to be brought in at all...
Your hens and chicks may be succulents, but these cold hardy succulents can take the cold, too.
I plan on leaving mine up against a brick wall letting them go dormant until spring.
Creating space for all your indoor plants...
I like to dedicate the first week of October getting organized. Now is a great time to donate items we're not using and won't miss to create space for plants we cherish.
Plants should enhance your living quarters making life more relaxing. If all they do is make you feel claustrophobic, there's a problem. And I've been there. Where plants have taken over every square inch of my house.
4 facts to think about...
Where to put all those plants!
Categories of plants to consider saving....
Why? It's a big money-making business for them! While it's true that most of our homes aren't ideal for sun and humidity-loving plants; that doesn't mean they won't make it through the winter.
My lemon trees and hibiscus plants have been with me numerous years now and are still thriving. Sure, they take a dip in winter but always bounce back in spring.
2.) Herbs - Tarragon? Rosemary? Sage? Oregano? These herbs make great indoor plants. And if you cook a ton like me, you need fresh herbs all winter long because you know what they cost at the grocery store in winter. Mortgage payment.
How about in a little pot on your kitchen windowsill? These hardy herbs over-winter super well, too. You'll be able to take out in the spring, especially if you trim them back.
Besides starting oregano, tarragon and rosemary from seed? Forget it. Too hard! Mine never take.
Basil from seed. Yes. Cilantro from seed. Absolutely. Parsley. Yes. Yes. Yes. But I've never been able to over-winter these much loved herbs in my home. So I use this and it changed my world.
4.) Annuals - Some container annuals are too dang cute to let go. And if they work as a houseplant, why not give it a go?
It seems a shame to just let that first hard frost destroy a plant that has been your pride and joy all summer long.
I'm thinking about your coleus here. And how about digging up those adorable begonias and putting a few in a pot? Maybe saving just one lobelia that is doing fantastic to cheer you in a month?
Although most geraniums are considered annuals, I have found them incredibly easy to overwinter indoors. I shouldn't admit this, but I bring my hanging basket geraniums in, throw them in the basement all winter and neglect them. Maybe I water them 4 times from November to April?
And how to they repay me? They bounce back come spring and I get another season of enjoyment out of them. Who-hoo.
Insider tip ~ "Plant shock" is real!
Don't let them get used to cold nights and then shock them with the dry heat of your living room. To make the transition as gradual as possible, keep your heat off and windows open for as long as you can.
Try to not let them go from full-sun to no sun. If you still have weeks on your radar before they need to be housed indoors, allow them only dappled light for a spell.
Try placing them under a curtain which will acclimate them to less light in your home than they'd been receiving outdoors.
Best example? Ficus plants. They drop all their leaves the moment you move them.