At the end of the season it’s hard to say goodbye to the plants that have done so well in containers — especially the out-of-the-ordinary ones. The good news is many of them can dress up the living room just as well.
END-OF-SEASON BASICS When nighttime temperatures are around 40 to 45 degrees F, bring tender plants inside for the winter. You may want to repot them into lightweight nursery pots beforehand so they’re easier to transport and slip into a “dressier” pot indoors. Rinse thoroughly, both upper and lower leaf surfaces, with the hose or a damp cloth to wash off any pests that might be hitchhiking. Moving them inside at night and out again during the day over several days, gradually increasing the amount of time they’re indoors, will help them acclimate.
THEY’RE INSIDE, NOW WHAT? Set the plants next to a sunny south-facing window and out of the direct line of heat vents — dry, warm air dries out foliage and potting mix. Temperatures between 68 and 75 degrees F during the day and 6 to 8 degrees cooler at night are best for most plants. The shorter days and less intense light will cause slower growth so there’s no need to feed them.
In spring, when the risk of frost has passed and daytime temperatures are 60 to 65 degrees F, your indoor plants can go outside again. Move them in stages to avoid foliage burn from too much sun all at once. Start plants out in the shade for a few hours each day and work up to full sun, if needed.
Click through our slideshow to see specific tips for three of our favorite indoor/outdoor plants.