In the Garden: Time to bring the houseplants inside

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) There is no doubt about it, fall is here, and that means it's time to bring your houseplants back in. But if you aren't careful, you could have a big headache on your hands. Charlie Nardozzi shows us the best way.

Sharon Meyer: So Charlie, did your house plants have a happy summer outside?

Charlie Nardozzi: A lot of house plants had a happy summer. It's beautiful to move your houseplants outside where it's a little more sun, natural rainfall, fresh air. They get big, they get lush. But it's fall, and it's time to move some of these in -- most of them in fact -- because most of these plants are subtropical plants. So when temperatures dip down into the 40s, especially the low 40s, they're not going to like it so much.

Sharon Meyer: They aren't going to be happy campers, no.

Charlie Nardozzi: But it's not just a matter of dragging them in the house and forgetting about them. So you have to do a transition process so that they survive really well. The first thing you want to do is move them into a real shady location outdoors, so they can get used to those low light levels. And then you want to start moving them inside, especially on a cold night, obviously. But even during the day for about five days, move them in in the afternoon, bring them back out, that kind of thing. Get them used to being indoors. Now not only are the house plants coming in, some of the insects that are on the houseplants are coming in.

Sharon Meyer: And those you don't want.

Charlie Nardozzi: You do not want those. Aphids, white flies, scale, mealy bugs, all of these guys may be on the leaves or stems. So I usually suggest doing some spraying, and when you are doing this whole transition process, spray them really well outdoors, maybe a couple of times to get the eggs as they hatch. Then bring them inside and then quarantine them for another couple of weeks, just to make sure.

Sharon Meyer: Keep a close eye on them.

Charlie Nardozzi: Yes, exactly, for any insects you might have missed. Then, don't worry about watering them so much, just a little bit. No fertilizer. You are going to drop some leaves, but don't worry about that so much, it's just a matter of it adjusting. If you have an amaryllis like this one and you want to over winter it, now is the time to cut it back. Stick it in the basement for about two months, then bring it upstairs and it will start growing for you around the holidays.