Houseplants

Bring in Houseplants While Windows Are Still Open

Your houseplants may be enjoying their summer outdoors, but at some point you need to consider bringing them back in! Photo: Pilea, http://www.pinterest.ca

What goes out must come in. That’s the rule with houseplants you’ve put outside for the summer. Hibiscus, palms, cactus, ferns: they all enjoy a summer outdoors, but eventually you have to bring them indoors, usually long before fall frosts occur.

But when, exactly? 

Here’s a simple tip on that subject. Bring them in while you’re still opening your windows at night.

Once you start finding evenings getting too chilly and closing the windows at night, that’s a sign it’s also becoming too cold outdoors for your houseplants. So, give them a thorough cleanup (read Bring Your Plants Indoors Without the Bugs for more information on that subject) and bring them back indoors!

You don’t open your windows? Here’s another way to look at the subject: if you find you need to put on a jacket in the evening when you step outside, then it’s becoming too cold for tropical plants to be outdoors.

It’s the same tip, really, but just a different way of looking at the subject.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

4 comments on “Bring in Houseplants While Windows Are Still Open

  1. Right now we have Orchids and Christmas Cactus outside. We definitely will abide by this guideline!

  2. I don’t keep windows open at night. I am in zone 6. When to bring inside?
    Outside:
    Sanseveiria
    Bird of paradise (white)
    Poinsettia
    Croton
    Aloe

  3. Jacket? Closed windows? Gardening so near to the Central Coast of California can be so complicated.

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