Bringing Plants Indoors to Over Winter
Over Wintering Tender Non Hardy Plants
It's Time, in some cases past the time, to bring non cold hardy plants indoors to overwinter. Several caveats should be heeded to help ensure a successful transition. For the sanctity of your personal living space, you should be aware that multiple creepy crawlers have probably taken up residence in the pot that has been outside all summer long. Even if they've entered hibernation, the warmth of your house may prematurely awaken them, they are going to be your new room mates.
The easiest way to avoid bringing unwanted pests indoors is to re-pot plants. Remove the plant from the pot, rinse off as much of the soil as possible from the roots taking care to avoid damaging the plant. Replace the soil with fresh potting mix. The old potting soil will make a nice addition to the compost pile. Scrubbing out the pot wouldn't hurt either. When you re-pot the plant a healthy watering is advisable.
Remove any dead, dieing or discolored foliage. Inspect the leaves and trunk for pests. The fresh potting soil will provide winter nutrition for the plant, there is no need to add fertilizer.
For larger more cumbersome plants that it are not convenient to re-pot, soaking will help minimize the amount of insects that survive. Water the pot continuously and thoroughly for 2 days so as to basically suffocate any critters lurking in the soil. Allow it drain in between waterings, you basically want to waterboard the bugs. Be sure to allow it to drain thoroughly, and do not water it for a few more days once you bring it indoors so as to avoid root rots.
You are probably familiar with the process of hardening off plants when preparing to put them out in the spring. The same process should be followed when bringing plants indoors. They need to be gradually acclimated to the new environment.
Plants will transition better if the environment they are accustomed to, primarily temperature and light levels are similar to the one they are coming from. Most plants will droop and drop leaves during the transition process,so long as they are properly cared for this should only be a temporary thing.
In the spring you'll want to move the plants back outdoors to reacclimate them to the outdoor environment, the same process as hardening off. .
For the best chance of success, each particular plant's requirements should be researched..