Dear Plant Pundit

In October 2022, Stuff by Raleigh MagazineLeave a Comment

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As we head into cooler fall weather, how do I prepare my houseplants for success?

–Stayin’ Alive

Dear Stayin’ Alive, 

Down here in NC, we are fortunate to have a long growing season! Many of us—myself included—will throw our houseplants outside during the spring and summer months to bask in the glory of summer showers and humidity. Once the leaves on the trees start turning and fall is on the horizon, it can be a little daunting to think about bringing all of your plants back inside. Here are some of my go-to tips for getting ready for colder temperatures and longer nights:

Have a plan + watch the temps! Many of the houseplants we know and love come from tropical climates—meaning once the temperatures start to drop into the low 50s, you’ll want to make sure your plants are back inside where it’s safe and warm!

If you’re like me, you’ve probably accumulated tons of new plants over the summer, and it can feel like musical chairs getting everything into the right place once they all come back inside. Keep in mind the ideal lighting conditions your plants will want. Group plants around windows and, when necessary, supplement with grow lights! Congregating plants together will also help keep humidity levels up, which is extra-important once the heat kicks on and our homes get much drier.

When we grow our plants outside, they can be subject to bugs, critters and everything else under the sun. The good news is most of the bugs outside are pretty harmless for our plants—but bugs can still be a little icky when they come inside! Whenever you’re moving your plants indoors, it’s a good idea to hose them down or give them a spa treatment in the shower. The dry heat in our homes can also make some plants susceptible to pests, so using an insecticide to prevent any outbreaks is key!

Last but not least—don’t fret! Some plants may slow down quite a bit during these colder months. If you don’t see much new growth, cut back on watering a bit and keep checking in on your plant until spring. If you do continue to see new growth—be it a new leaf, roots or both—it’s still the growing season for that plant, so carry on with business as usual! 

In this series, Copperline Plant Co. owner and founder Anna Grace FitzGerald offers tips on how to plant-parent like the pros. You can find Copperline Plant Co. in City Market downtown and online at

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