What To Do Before You Bring House Plants In For Winter

I consider house plants part of my decor, giving the feel of nature to my home. Also, the plants will absorb toxins from the air, purifying the air you breathe. 

Some plants are better than others when it comes to purifying the air. Here is an example:

I also like to have an aloe vera plant around in case I get burned. If you pinch off a piece, then squeeze the moisture from inside on the burn, it lessens the pain and seems to me to heal more quickly. 

If you've had your house plants outside all summer like I have, here are some tips for what to do before you bring them back in.

I always repot each house plant in fresh new potting soil before I bring it back inside.

This is so that any bug critters that might be calling your house plant home will not ride inside and call your house home!

Procedure I used:

I took a big plastic bin outside before starting my repotting. Each house plant I repotted I held over the plastic bin so that it would collect and contain the old soil and I could get rid of it. 

After I shook most of the dirt off the house plant, I then took it over to my water hose and sprayed the rest of the dirt off the plant and the roots. 

If the plant had a huge amount of roots from being outside all summer and enjoying Mother Nature, I trimmed the roots back. 

You know how sometimes you buy a plant from a nursery, and you go to put it in your pot, and you see that the roots are packed in tight and are wound around each other? You don't want that. Your roots need breathing room.

You do not want them root-bound.

My spider plant had so many new fleshy roots that I had a very hard time even getting it out of the pot. I had to dig around the sides of the dirt until I could release it. 

So I then cut a lot of the fleshy roots off of the outer part of the plant. 

My spider plant had about four "pups" which are the little spider plants that grow out and away from the plant. I did not have room to repot and bring them in, and I was running out of fresh potting soil, so I did not plant the babies. 

But if you want more spider plants, or want to share them with someone, you can plant the "pups." I will tell how to do that at the end.

I use terra cotta shards in the bottom of my pots for better drainage. I took the shards that were already in the pot and washed them well in case there was bacteria growing on them. I also wash the pot well if I'm using the same one.

Then I placed the shards in the completely cleaned out pot, and repotted the plants in new potting soil. 

I buy mine from a nursery, and it isn't more than what I would pay at Lowes, etc., and is mixed locally. So I prefer getting mine there.

I gently tapped the potting soil down once I got about an inch from the top of the pot. Then I took it back over to my water hose and watered it a bit while also spraying the hose across the plant to get soil and debris off of the plant before I took it inside.

You want a nice clean plant to go inside with you!

Resume taking care of your house plant the way you normally would. To do so, read up on what kind of light, moisture level and fertilizer your plant needs. I rarely fertilize. Just give them love! 

Now how to plant the spider plant pups:

You can leave the baby attached to the parent plant until the new plant takes root, then separate it from the parent by snipping the runner. Or, go ahead and separate the baby from the parent plant by snipping the runner immediately. 

Spiderettes will root easily either way, but if you have a hanging spider plant, the latter is the best way to go.

Or you could put it in water and root it the old-fashioned way in the kitchen windowsill.

How To Root Spider Plants In Water:
Planting spiderettes in potting soil is the easiest and quickest way to propagate spider plant babies. However, if you like, you can stick the spiderette in a glass of water for a week or two, then plant the rooted spiderette in a pot of soil. 

Caring for Spider Plant Babies:

If you want a thick, bushy plant, start several spider plant babies in the same pot. Similarly, if your adult spider plant isn’t as full as you would like, plant a couple of spiderettes alongside the mama plant.
Water the spider babies as needed to keep the soil slightly moist, but never saturated, until healthy new growth indicates the plant has rooted. 

Your new spider plant is well on its way, and you can resume normal care.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments or email me.


  1. Very Good Post, Brenda!! Knowing what to do at the change of seasons is certainly only one reason you have such a green thumb. You should teach classes on gardening.

  2. such a timely post ... i'm getting ready to start his process myself ... i do all the lovely things you mentioned, clean pots, trimming the roots, new soil, shards or rocks in the bottom of the pot, etc. i also spread a thin layer of aquarium stones in each pot as the very top layer, making it less likely that fungus gnats come out and play, etc. love this time of year, and love having plants returning to the house for the wintering months ... a geranium bloom when there's snow on the ground is a fantastical thing!

  3. I just re-potted several of my indoor plants but there is one outside I need to take care of. Good tips Brenda!


  4. I love the beauty of green plants, and the fact that they help with the air quality...big bonus! Thanks for all of the great tips!

  5. This is a great post and very appropriate at this time of year! I'm planning on getting my outdoor pots ready for indoors this coming weekend!!! Thank you for the tips!

  6. Excellent post! Thank you for sharing your vast knowledge of plants. I always learn so much. Will be taking care of my spider plant this weekend...

  7. I love to start the baby 'spiders" in water and then plant in soil. It's fun to watch them grow. I had to put my plants in my "old sewing room" because as soon as I brought them in.........kitty teeth were after them.. I put them up high where they can't be reached. I will enjoy the plants in their new space. I hope they will do well over the winter. You have shared some very good tips.
    Cooler weather coming to my neck of the woods............hope the weather is wonderful in your neighborhood.
    Am glad you have someone to help with curtain rods, etc. Your curtains will make that area of your kitchen so cozy and warm.

  8. Great tips, Brenda. I have so many plants...probably too many but I just love the way they make a home so cozy. I guess I have to add this to my list of weekend chores...this is going to be a busy, busy weekend!

  9. I wish I had such a green thumb, Brenda. Maybe my plants can sense my lack of confidence, haha. These are good tips for this time of year.


I always enjoy reading your comments and having you join the conversation here at Cozy Little House. It is like having a gathering of friends sitting in my cozy apartment. Enjoying coffee and dessert, chatting and having a good time.

Please be kind with your comments. We all need kindness in this world. That's not to say you can't state your opinion! Everyone should be able to state their own opinion in a kind and thoughtful manner.

I appreciate each and every one of you!