Bring indoors temperature sensitive tropicals you want to try to save from cold, especially fibrous plants such as begonias, impatiens and coleus, before Wednesday night, when evening Boston temperatures are scheduled to dip into the low 40's F. in Boston, according to the National Weather Service
The average date for the first frost for Boston falls on Nov. 6, though we could get our first frost anytime between Oct. 12 and Nov. 20, according to the National Climactic Data Center. The average first frost falls a little earlier, typically on Nov. 1, in Middlesex county.
But don't wait until the last minute to start bringing your less frost tender potted plants indoors. As the weather cools down, the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures widen, making it more difficult for plants to adjust to the big change in temperature when you bring them inside.
Here are some other tips to make sure your plants successfully make the transition from outdoor to indoor:
Bring in only healthy plants. Unless you are planning to run a “plant hospital,” say goodbye to the struggling plants.
Check plants for diseases and pests. Problems tend to spread quickly indoors from plant to plant.
Spray plants with an organic insect control. Even if you don’t see them, insects such as aphids and spider mites can hitchhike on your plants—and then infest your healthy houseplants. Use a horticultural oil, such as Summit Year-Round Spray Oil (www.summitresponsiblesolutions.com), which contains no harsh chemicals yet is effective against a wide range of insect pests.
If you have room, bring in a pepper plant or some tender flowering perennials to extend your growing season.
Give away healthy plants that you don’t have room for inside.