Bringing outdoor planters inside?

I have a planter that has succulents and aloe and would love to overwinter it inside - temps are dropping to freezing and snow is expected in a couple of days. Maybe even in my kitchen as it’s quite pretty.

Easy, peasy, right? Just carry the planter in? Unfortunately, there are all manner of bugs making a living in the soil … including a bunch of centipedes which I saw come boiling up once when I watered it (just prior to dropping the can and running screaming away.) Centipedes are NOT invited. I do not wish to kill them, however, I draw the line with potentially cohabitating. Same goes for the other bugs. Squick.

Hubby says: 1) let the whole planter die in the weather a la garden vegetables or 2) dump poison on it to kill the bugs.

Any other ideas? The plants are a bit sentimental for me so I’d like to keep them going for a few more years and I’m not a fan of poison in general, especially around pets.

What about a giant clear plastic bag to put the whole thing in like a giant terrarium? Okay, maybe that’s dumb.

Any other ideas?

Have hubby re put them with fresh potting soil?

I’m in the trash plants that can’t hack it out of doors camp myself.


Every spring I put my giant succulent & house plant collection outside once the weather warms up.

Every fall, they come back in.

I have never sprayed with insecticide or done any precaution other than brush off any hitch-hikers as they come inside. They live in the “foyer” for a week and then they get put back on my 5 tier shelf with grow lights in what SO affectionately calls the “plant jail”. I figure if they’re under the soil, they won’t bother me – and if they escape, well, there’s three cats who think they’re perpetually starving who would love to eat them.

I do know people who spray their plants with Captain Jacks, Neem Oil, or insecticide before they come in… but I worry, because most of these bugs are beneficial to the plant, and you don’t want to cause secondary poisoning outside or with your house pets.

I would not baggie your plants - the aloe and succulents hate moisture and will rot or melt in humidity.

Centipedes are beneficial. They break down organic matter and are predators to plant-eating plants. Win win. They are also shy and unlikely to leave home.

If you must, you could always carefully pull them from the pot they are in, and replant them in individual pots for the winter. A mixture of 1:1:1 of perlite, peat moss, and orchid bark is ideal, or you can buy Bonsai Jack and 1:1 it with 1/2 perlite 1/2 peat moss.


I bring my geraniums in every year. My scented varieties are going on 20 years old now! I have the luxury of an insulated garage with french doors and a window, so plenty of light and decent temperatures for overwintering potted plants. I never seem to have much trouble with insect tenants either. Maybe put them in the garage for a few days to see what has come in with them, then bring them inside the house?

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I am in the repotting camp. You could take the planter to a garden place and have them repot things for you. New dirt could be beneficial after using up the nutrients of dirt they are in now. Good luck, hope they all make it!

I need to bring my things in next week. Will be repotting them with new dirt. I have some oldies in there. Especially the hibiscus shrub. I have a puppy pen fence around them so cats do not excavate the pots. Plant jail at our house by the French doors!

Bugs like dirt – because dirt holds moisture and decaying matter well. If you want to repot to bring indoors, skip the Miracle Gro and try for chunky substrate. I have no issues with bugs in my plants that are 100% Bonsai Jack or industry equivalent. The substrate is too loose to hold decaying matter (food for the bugs), and too porous/aerated to be much of a safe hiding place for anything insectile.

This what I would do. Some bugs can be detrimental to other indoor plants, so it’s not a bad idea to try to not bring them in the house. But I wouldn’t bag the plant - it will probably die.

I’d give them a day or two in the garage and see if just moving the location encourages any hangers on to vacate before bringing them in.

It isn’t a bad idea to consider repotting just to be sure you have appropriate soil for indoor plants anyway.

Well, I took the usual (for me) lazy route and, after keeping the planter in the garage for a couple of nights I went ahead and moved it into the house (it’s in the kitchen, back-deck adjacent if it needs a quick exit). La La La … nothing to see here. :flushed: It will get repotted when I get around to it after a few years, lol, it’s new as of last summer so needs to be grateful I restored it to having actual sunlight. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


you could put it on a tray or plate, and run a strip of 2-sided tape around the perimeter of that tray. This way you’d catch any crawlies that emerged.