With winter unfortunately right around the corner may gardeners will have to make the switch from outdoor to indoor gardens. While some plants won’t survive the shock of being uprooted and brought indoors, many will and can continue happily growing indoors during the winter. Today we’ll be talking about how you can move your garden indoors during the winter to create a beautiful indoor winter garden. Below you’ll find some helpful guidelines and tips for performing a successful transplant as well as caring for your plants in their new environment.
What Plants Can I Move?
Generally, most small to medium plants you’ll be able to move indoors. This is because their root system is not as large and you’ll be less likely to damage it during the move. Something like a 4 foot tomato plant is going to be much harder to transplant and probably shouldn’t be attempted.
Most flowers and herbs will happily make the move. To move, carefully dig around the roots to avoid damaging them. Giving them a a bit of water beforehand can also help keep the roots grouped together. Then, move them into your chosen containers and follow normal care guidelines for your plant.
It’s also a good idea to not try to move older or sickly looking plants. As stated above the process of moving can shock the root systems of plants. So, moving a plant already in ailing health is a good way to kill it. Give your plants a quick once over to make sure it looks healthy before beginning to move it. Younger plants also tend to transplant better as their root systems are more resilient and less set.
Lastly, aim to move your plants in about a week or so before you turn the heat on. The heat drys out the air, and makes a significantly different environment than the outdoors. By allowing the plats to settle indoors for the week you give them time to adjust to their new environment and provide less of a shock.
Moving Plants in Containers
The above goes through the process of uprooting and moving in-ground plants indoors, but what about those already in containers? The good news is that you can usually just move the container indoors without needing to uproot the plant itself.
Place the container in an approriate location, and continue your normal care. This is much easier on the plant as it doesn’t go through the stress of being uprooted. If you’re planning to move your plants indoors it’s often wise to grow them in containers. You can still repot your plant with fresh soil, and we’ll talk more about why you might want to do that below.
Do I Need To Move All My Plants Indoors?
It depends on your goals, but many plants can overwinter quite well and don’t necessarily need to be moved indoors. This is especially true in mild climates where more plants are likely to survive.
The specific plants here will play a role as certain plants will fair better than others. Perennials, for example, will survive throughout the winter and come back the following spring. There’s no real need to move these indoors. Keep the plant type in mind before you go through the effort of moving them indoors.
Watch For Pests
One of the biggest concerns of moving plants indoors is inadvertently bring pests with it. This is going to vary by plant variety and location, but regardless no one wants bugs in their house. Therefore, it’s critically important that you inspect thoroughly every plant that you bring in. It’s also wise to take a second to familiarize yourself with common pests you might find to better help identify their warning signs.
Look for any signs of pests such as dying leaves, holes in the leaves, or the bugs themselves. Make sure to check thoroughly or you run the risk of exposing your other plants to the pests as well. Pests can be sneaky, so check the whole plant including the soil and the underside of leaves.
If you do find pests make sure to deal with them before brining them into you home. While the treatment varies by pests, we put together a quick list of natural pest remedies you can use on the majority of plants. Dealing with bugs before you bring your plants inside keeps them out of your home, but also protects your other plants and prevents the pests from spreading.
Choosing a Container
There are two scenarios you’re likely to fall into, moving a potted plant indoors, or moving a plant indoors into a new pot.
If the plant you’re moving indoors already sits in a pot, and you plan to move that pot indoors, wash it first. Give it a good soak in warm soapy water and then rinse it out. It’s also wise to dump the soil and start fresh with new potting soil, although this isn’t strictly necessary. Both of these steps helps to avoid bringing pests indoors. Some types of insects will lay eggs in the soil, so a visual inspection of the plant is not always sufficient to catch them.
clay pots are a decent choice as they are inexpensive, and effective. The key is to pick a pot that is large enough to support your plant’s current size, as well as some additional growth during the winter months. You shouldn’t have to force a plant into it’s container and doing so will harm your plant. The roots should fit nicely and have additional space to fan out.
If pots don’t take your fancy, check out our previously article on creative indoor gardening ideas!
Once the plants are move it’s important to keep an eye on them while they adjust to the new environment. Don’t be alarmed if plants drop a few leaves, or if their growth seems a bit slower. This is normal and expected. Make sure during this period that your plant is getting ample amounts of sunlight, and is watered accordingly. Good care will help the plant survive the shock of being uprooted.
Keep in mind the differences of growing a plant in the winter. This mainly includes reduced levels of light, as well as humidity. These factors will influence where your plant should rest in your home and how much care they require.
Indoor Winter Garden
With a little bit of effort, and the right plant selection, you’ll be able to keep your beautiful garden growing year round. Just because it gets a bit cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t maintain a beautiful garden!