Transition outdoor plants indoors gradually by placing them in shade for 1-2 weeks to help them acclimate to lower light levels, especially crucial for plants like citrus trees, advises grower Danny Trejo.
Beneficial but not mandatory, pruning outdoor plants by ¼ to ½ before bringing them indoors reduces leaf drop, stimulates new growth, and aids acclimation to lower light levels, says expert Hancock.
Before moving plants indoors, inspect for pests. A blast of water or preventive measures like neem oil can help manage insects, honeydew residue, or discolored leaves indicating infestation, suggests Hancock and grower Trejo.
Bring plants indoors when nighttime temperatures drop below 50s, with special considerations for temperature-tolerant plants like citrus trees.
Anticipate initial leaf drop when plants move indoors. Most recover within a week or two, producing new growth suited to indoor light levels, especially if pruning was done beforehand, notes Hancock.
Ideally isolate outdoor plants for 4-6 weeks initially or at least 1-2 weeks to monitor pests adapting to indoor conditions.
Reduce indoor watering compared to outdoor levels as most plants need less water in winter. Check soil moisture before watering, and pay attention to subtle signs like curled leaves on citrus trees.