It’s always a joy to watch tropical plants grow throughout the summer on the porch or patio. What started as a puny whip has grown into a full-fledged jungle monster in the warm summer days. Yet as those humid sunny days begin to transition to cool, coffee-ready mornings you will need to think about bringing these leafy friends back indoors.

The transition from outdoors to indoors is a stressful one on houseplants.

Plants don’t often respond well to being moved inside. Remember even a sunny window inside often has lower overall light levels than a shady spot outside. The change in light levels and humidity often trigger a leaf drop response in houseplants. This is often dramatic but is normal and should be expected.

Remember too that the less leaves on a plant, the less water that plant will use. Therefore, you will need to reduce the amount of watering on plants once they are brought into the house.

when should i bring them inside?

In our experience, plants that are transitioned indoors during September seem to undergo less stress than those brought in closer to frost dates. Plants tend to acclimate better to their new indoor environment if they are brought in when the days are still longer.

before you move your plants

Before moving your plants indoors spray both the underside and top of leaves with insecticidal soap to take care of any insect passengers. It is also a good idea to treat the soil with insecticidal granules. These products will protect the plant from future insect problems. Remember there are no natural insect predators inside your house!

the transition

Now is the time to transition your houseplants to indoors. Don’t wait until you are rushed by a bad weather report and you are lugging around heavy plants in the dark. Some planning and strategy can keep these tropical plants healthy and happy even indoors.