Not quite like clockwork because it depends on seasonal temperatures and other factors, but twice a year the houseplants migrate – outside in the spring and back in right about now.

A challenge in finding the right winter spot inside is that over the spring/summer plants do what plants are supposed to do and that is to grow. Taller, wider, bushier, all of the above. So their ideal spot this past winter may not work this fall.

PlantMigrationNot only did plants grow, but cuttings stuck in soil also rooted leading to more plants. Some plants needed to be divided which means – you guessed it – more plants. I have a delightful overabundance of houseplants! Happy to have a PoPvillager to give extra plants a good home.

The first wave of migration was the orchids, this is the second wave. Last wave will be hardier houseplants and plants I’m overwintering like Vietnamese cilantro and ivy geraniums.

Here’s a few plant migration tips:

  • Check for pests on the stems and undersides of leaves. I usually give the leaves a wash in water to which I’ve added a small amount of mild soap like Dr Bronner’s. I’ll also give the pot a drench in the soapy water to eliminate bugs harboring in the soil.
  • Check to see if the plant is root bound – while repotting and root pruning is best done in the spring, sometimes the explosive summer growth means the roots end up taking all the space in the pot. I prune the girding roots and put the plant back in the same container (adding more potting soil as needed)
  • Don’t be surprised if leaves turn yellow or drop off  (my ficus always drops lots of leaves) as the plants adjust to different light and humidity when you bring them indoors

Speaking of extra plants, isn’t it about time for the first 2015 gardening catalogues to show up?