Fall is a time for pumpkins, apple cider, and corn mazes. It is also the time to bring house plants that have been vacationing outside for the Summer back indoors. Once overnight temperatures dip below 45-48°, it is time to move your plants.
Before moving your plants, it is important to take the time to check for bugs. There are two types of pests to look for; leaf-dwelling and soil-dwelling. Aphids, spider mites, gnats, lacewings, and mealybugs are all examples of leaf-dwelling pests. These pests can usually be found on the undersides of leaves and on the stems of the plant. The easiest way to remove insects is to spray down your plants with a hose. Be sure to apply a gentle spray; a hard jet is likely to tear leaves from stems. For the smaller pests, our experts recommend dunking the entire plant into a 5-gallon bucket of water for 15 minutes. This process will cause the insects to flee from the plant. Be careful not to dunk winter dormant plants, succulents, or cacti. After allowing your plants to dry, apply an insecticide and isolate from other plants to keep the pests from spreading.
Soil-dwelling pests include slugs, sowbugs, earwigs, fungus gnats, and ants. For smaller plants, simply slip the plant out of the container and check it for bugs. If the pests are on the outer layer of soil, you can just pick them off the plant. Some pests dwell in the upper regions of the soil, so remove any dead foliage or flowers from the soil surface and dunk the soil into water as instructed above. For larger plants, apply an insecticide directly to the surface of the soil and into the drainage holes. Make sure to apply enough to soak the soil; this will either kill the pests or cause them to leave.
After your plants are pest free, it is important to place them in a spot that mimics the sunlight they received while outside. Once your plant is placed in the perfect spot, try using a pellet type of slow release fertilizer. Lastly, remember that plants will require less water during the Winter unless it is placed in dry conditions. These easy steps will help to keep you plants healthy and thriving during the Winter.