Move These Outdoor Potted Plants Indoors If You Want Them to Survive the Winter

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Photo: Ivan Semenovych (Shutterstock)

If you live somewhere with all four seasons (though at this point, what’s a season?), you may take advantage of the warm weather in the spring and summer months and get outdoor plants that you know they won’t make it through the winter. These are known as “cold-tender plants,” and unlike their “hearty” counterparts, can’t survive freezing temperatures or frost.

But according to Mark Wolfe at, there are certain cold-tender plants that you can move inside ahead of the temperature drop, and keep them there until the temperatures start to rise again. Not only will you gain some new houseplants, but you’re also saving yourself the time, money, and hassle of replacing these plants next year. Here are some plants to consider, and what to know about the moving process.

How to prep the plants for their move indoors

Moving outdoor plants inside for the cold season involves more than simply picking up a pot outside and moving it into your home. First, Wolfe recommends inspecting the plant for pests—you probably won’t want them coming along with the plants.

If the plant needs to be repotted, you can continue the inspection while doing that. But once it’s in its new pot home, Wolfe says that it’s a good idea to either cut down on fertilizing it, or stop doing it altogether.

“Some plants can simply be brought indoors as houseplants, others should be forced into dormancy for a few months of cool storage, and still others are best kept going by making rooted cuttings,” he explains. You’ll need to do a bit of research (i.e. a quick Google search) to find out what’s best for your plant (if you don’t know that already).

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Types of outdoor plants you can move indoors for the winter

While you’re considering different varieties of plants, here are 10 that Wolfe says can handle the seasonal migration into and out of your home:

  1. Palms
  2. Cacti
  3. Citrus
  4. Tropical hibiscus
  5. Jasmine
  6. Elephant ears
  7. Boston ferns
  8. Geraniums
  9. Angel’s trumpet
  10. Banana

Read Wolfe’s article for additional details about each plant.

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