Time to Bring the Houseplants Indoors!


Houseplants waiting their turn to come inside on the back porch.

Looks like the weather is taking a turn to much colder temperatures here in Southeastern Connecticut! My policy has always been to pretend that cold weather will never come until it can’t be ignored any longer. It’s called denial. SO, I tend to wait until the last possible moment to bring in my beloved houseplants and other plants that I don’t want to part with just yet. My collection includes plants like large citrus passed down to me from my Grandmother, to small plants like maindenhair ferns and ivy. Every year there seem to be a few more new little lovelies that I just had to have.

I’ve decide that I have two personalities. The Spring me (who seems to be FAR more energetic) , and the Fall me. The Fall me doesn’t really like the Spring me very much right now, as I’ve had to go on a scavenger hunt looking for all the places I tucked and stashed my tender houseplants around our property.  Apparently I’m also stronger in the Spring, as I had to use a dolly to get one of the larger plants inside as I muttered under my breath questioning “whose idea was it to put you so far from the house?”.

Whether you have one plant or a dozen to bring inside, here are some things that I do that may help you as well. My ritual is to collect all the plants first and bring them to the back door. That’s day one. I’ve found that if I break up the task of bringing them all in, it doesn’t seem like such a big job. As I’m collecting them I pull the weeds from the soil and remove dead leaves, debris, and cobwebs. I access pot size and only repot larger if absolutely necessary. Next, preferably on a sunny day, everyone gets a bath, including the pots. When the leaves are dry, it’s time for an application of insecticidal soap. Just in case some critters think my house might be a good place to spend the winter. Having saucers ready and on hand for each plant will also make the return from summer vacation easier. Some years I’m able to think ahead enough to have washed them all in the dishwasher prior to needing them. Some years…not so much, and I scramble looking for them.

Now all the plants are safely inside, making the house feel like a home again. Outside, the garden still needs some help getting put to bed for the season. But inside gardening has just begun.


Heather Thibeault is life-long gardener, plant collector, and Burnett’s employee.

Hope your day is full of flowers and sunshine!

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