The weather has turned in your area, and you’ve brought your plants indoors. They’ll be completely safe and healthy until the spring when they can head back outside, right? Yes, it’s possible that your outdoor plants are going to do just fine, but there’s a chance that there may be some issues when making the journey indoors. Let’s troubleshoot some common problems to make sure that you’ll have healthy and happy plants when it comes time to return them to the sunshine and warmth.

Plant Stress from Being Indoors

It may seem counter-intuitive that bringing your plant indoors to protect it might also cause it to die, but there’s a chance that could happen. Your plant has acclimated to its outdoor conditions. Temperature changes, lighting, humidity, and your watering schedule are all factors that it is accustomed to, and often, any variations in its routine occur gradually. Coming indoors is a dramatic change that occurs over a very short period, which can cause shock and stress. Also, depending on where you have your plants at, they may not get comparable conditions to what they had previously.

Signs of stress include wilting leaves, yellowing on leaves, dropping leaves, and parching; this could ultimately result in the plant perishing before the warm weather comes back around. One way to make this process easier would be to slowly transition the plants from outside in.

Pest Explosion

Plant pests

Your plants may be happy and healthy at first after bringing them inside, but if any hitchhikers came along with them for the ride, they might quickly get overwhelmed. Pests are going to love being inside of your home because all of the benefits your plants get from being indoors are good for them as well. The warmth, food, and water sources available may create a pest population explosion, and the result can be disastrous.

There’s a chance, depending on the pest that has infiltrated your home, that it may spread to other overwintering plants or houseplants. This is why it is vital to check for unwanted guests before bringing your plants inside. However, even if you're vigilant, some intruders can be missed. Go through whatever processes you need to get rid of them, and hopefully, your plants will start thriving again in no time.

Placement Issues

You may have put a lot of thought into where to place your plants inside during the winter, but have you considered any and all environmental aspects of your choice? For instance, you may have thought that spot by a windowsill would be the perfect place due to having ample sunlight, but if a cold draft comes through that window, your plant will suffer for it. In this case, you have either the option of moving the plant to another spot where it will get natural light or putting up plastic on the window that will reduce the draft.

If your plants aren’t thriving, it’s a good idea to examine their surroundings more thoroughly to see if that might be causing the problem. Check specifically for window drafts, nearby vents, or problems with humidity in the room.

Molds and Mildews

Mold and mildew can be another culprit if your plants aren’t thriving indoors. The warmth of your home, regular watering, and a lack of air flow may cause mold to taking up residence in your containers. It can damage your plants, and it can create health problems for your family. You’ll want to carefully remove as much of the mold or mildew as soon as possible to resolve these issues. Since mold spreads through spores, you may also want to have some airflow and filtration in the room where the problem originated.

Pet Problems

Cat pawing at poinsetta

If you have pets, there’s a chance that they may be hurting your plants. Some pets cannot help themselves when something new comes inside. They want to paw at it or even eat it, and depending on the plant variety, this could be harmful not only to the plant, but to your pet, as well.

Larger pots of soil may also entice some animals to use the container as a potty area, which may introduce additional nitrogen to the soil that may be too much for the plant to handle. The best solution is just to keep any an all indoor plants off the floor and out of reach if possible.

Overwintering your plants is one of the best things that you can do for them during the colder months. It’s not completely safe, but being aware of what could go wrong, and knowing how to fix it, can give them a better chance of surviving until spring.