If you had your tropical plants growing outdoors this summer, and now you’ve got them indoors for the winter, then I’ve got a couple timely tips for you.
1.) Make sure you inspect your plants on a weekly basis, looking for any outbreaks of insects. Mites, whiteflies, mealybugs, scale…once inside in warmer temperatures, the population of these bugs can simply explode on your plants. So a weekly inspection will help you to catch them early. Look not only on the surface of the leaves, but inspect the undersides, as well as the stems and branches. It’s usually the undersides of the leaves where many of these bugs get started. Also watch for changes in the plants leaf colors, sudden leaf drop, or sticky substances on the leaves. All possible signs for bug breakouts.
2.) In addition to your weekly inspections, rinse off your plants in a utility tub, the shower, or kitchen sink about every 2-3 weeks. A good rinsing with luke warm water washes a surprisingly large number of bugs off your plants and down the drain.
3.) If you do have an outbreak of insects, keep a bottle of Insecticidal Soap on hand for your contact killer, as well as some systemic insecticide (placed in the soil and taken up inside the plant) for bugs like mites, and scale. And if you find bugs on one plant, isolate it from the rest so the bugs won’t spread to the others.
4.) And remember to water less and cut back on the fertilizers during the winter. Tropical plants indoors for the winter usually slow down, take up less water, and need little to no fertilizer during their somewhat winter dormant time.