Ever found yourself gazing at your garden, wondering when to bring those green buddies inside? Well, you're not alone. Understanding the right time to move plants indoors is crucial, not just for the plant's health but also for yours. Let's dive into why temperature plays such a big role and why your plants' health is more significant than you might think.


Recognizing the Right Time to Bring Plants Inside

Recognizing The Right Time


Alright, so you've got these beautiful plants, and you want to make sure they thrive, right? But when is the right time to bring them inside? Let's break it down.

Temperature Thresholds

Ever heard of the 50 to 55 degrees F rule? No? Well, here's the scoop: As a general guideline, when nighttime temperatures start dipping below 50 to 55 degrees F, it's time to think about moving your plants indoors. But why is that? Well, frost, my friend. Frost can be a silent killer for many plants.

Signs Your Plants Are Ready to Move Indoors

Now, apart from just watching the thermometer, your plants give off some pretty clear signals when they're feeling the chill.

  • Wilting: It's like your plant's way of saying, "Hey, it's a bit cold out here!"
  • Color Changes: Some plants might change color, almost like they're putting on a cozy winter sweater.
  • Stress Indicators: Brown tips, anyone? These are like your plant's SOS signals.

And hey, don't forget to keep an eye on those local weather forecasts. Mother Nature can be unpredictable, and it's always better to be one step ahead.


Which Plants to Bring Inside and Which to Leave Out

Which Plants to bring inside


So, you've got a mix of plants, and you're scratching your head, wondering which ones to bring inside and which ones can brave the outdoors a bit longer? Let's clear up that confusion!

Houseplants vs. Outdoor Plants

First things first, not all plants are created equal. Some are like the superheroes of the plant world, tough and adaptable, while others, well, they prefer the cozy indoors.

  • Hardiness and Adaptability: Outdoor plants are generally hardier. They're used to the changing seasons and can handle a bit of cold. On the other hand, houseplants? They're like the indoor cats of the plant world. They prefer stable conditions.
  • Recognizing Non-Hardy Houseplants: If you've been adventurous and kept some of your houseplants outside during the summer, it's essential to know which ones to bring in. Typically, tropical plants or those with thin leaves are a no-go for cold weather.

Annuals and Their Winter Needs

Now, let's chat about annuals. These plants can be a bit tricky.

  • Thriving Indoors: Many annuals can actually do pretty well indoors. Think of them as the snowbirds of the plant world, escaping the cold for warmer climates.
  • Dormancy Period: Some plants need a little winter rest, kind of like a plant version of hibernation. It's essential to recognize these plants and give them the chill they need without freezing them out.


Preparing Plants for the Indoor Environment

Preparing Plants for the Indoor Environment

Alright, so you've decided which plants to bring in. But wait! Before you start the big move, there are a few things to consider.

The Transition Phase

Moving can be stressful, even for plants. It's all about making the transition smooth.

  • Acclimating Plants: Start by bringing them in during the cooler nights and then taking them out during the day. Gradually increase their indoor time. It's like easing them into a warm bath.
  • Humidity and Light Adjustments: Indoor air can be dry, especially with heaters on. Consider a humidifier or placing a tray of water near your plants. And light? Find a spot that mimics their outdoor light conditions as closely as possible.

Debugging and Cleaning

Last but not least, you don't want any tiny hitchhikers coming in with your plants.

  • Inspecting for Pests: Give your plants a thorough once-over. Look under the leaves, along the stems, and even in the soil.
  • Safe Cleaning Methods: Consider giving your plants a gentle shower or wiping their leaves with a damp cloth. If you spot any pests, a mild soap solution can work wonders.


Tips for Keeping Plants Healthy Indoors

Tips for Keeping Plants Healthy Indoors


Alright, so your plants are all settled in, cozy and warm. But how do you ensure they stay happy and healthy throughout their indoor stay? Let's dive into some pro tips!

Proper Placement

Finding the perfect spot for your plant is like matchmaking. It's all about compatibility.

  • Light: Some plants love basking in the sunlight, while others prefer a shady spot. Know your plant's preference and find a spot that offers just the right amount of light.
  • Temperature: Plants are a bit like Goldilocks; they want conditions that are just right. Not too hot, not too cold. Keep them away from direct heat sources like radiators or heating vents.
  • Humidity: Indoor air can get pretty dry, especially in the winter. If your plant loves humidity, consider misting it or using a humidifier.
  • Appropriate Planters: The right pot can make a significant difference in the health of your indoor plant. Ensure the pot has adequate drainage to prevent waterlogging. Pots made from sustainable materials or terracotta pots are excellent choices as they allow the soil to breathe, promoting healthier roots.
  • Common Mistakes: A sunny windowsill might seem like the perfect spot, but be wary of drafty windows or extreme temperature changes. And remember, heaters can dry out the air, so keep plants at a safe distance.

Watering and Feeding

Just like us, plants get thirsty and hungry. But their needs change when they move indoors.

  • Watering: Indoor plants typically need less water. Overwatering can be a plant's worst enemy. Make sure to check the soil's moisture level before giving your plant a drink.
  • Fertilizers: During winter, plants are in a rest phase and might not need as much food. If you do fertilize, do so sparingly and choose a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer.



And there we have it, fellow plant enthusiasts! Bringing your plants indoors doesn't have to be a daunting task. With a bit of knowledge and care, you can ensure they thrive and stay healthy. 

Remember, it's all about understanding their needs and creating a comfortable environment for them. So, here's to happy plants and even happier plant parents! Cheers!



Han, K. T., Ruan, L. W., & Liao, L. S. (2022). Effects of Indoor Plants on Human Functions: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analyses. International journal of environmental research and public health, 19(12), 7454. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127454 

Phillips, C, & Schulz, E. (2021). Greening home: caring for plants indoors. Australian Geographer, 52(4), 373-389, DOI: 10.1080/00049182.2021.2014021

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