As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, it’s time to start thinking about bringing outdoor plants indoors for the winter (known as wintering plants). But not all plants need to come inside and there are a few things you need to do to make sure your plants survive the transition. From knowing which plants to take inside to understanding when to do it, here’s an introduction to taking plants inside.
Which Plants Need to Come Inside?
Not all plants are created equal when it comes to winter survival. Some plants are hardy enough to withstand cold temperatures, while others will quickly die if exposed to frost. It’s crucial to understand that all plants are different, however here are a few general guidelines for determining which plants need to come inside:
- Tender plants: These plants are not frost-tolerant and will need to be brought indoors before the temperature drops below freezing. Examples of tender plants include tropical plants, annuals, and perennials that are not hardy in your area.
- Semi-tender plants: These plants can tolerate some cold weather, but they will benefit from being brought indoors during the coldest months. Examples of semi-tender plants include citrus trees, olive trees, and hibiscus.
- Hardy plants: These plants can withstand cold temperatures and do not need to be brought indoors. However, you may want to protect them from harsh winds and snow by covering them with a frost cloth. Examples of hardy plants include evergreens, shrubs, and trees.
The Best Time for Bringing Outdoor Plants Indoors
Again, all plants are different but generally the best time for bringing outdoor plants indoors for winter is before the first frost. This will give them time to adjust to the change in temperature and light conditions. If you wait until after the first frost, your plants may be damaged or killed. It only takes one cold night to kill certain plants so always keep a close eye on the weather forecast.
How to Bring Plants Inside
When you bring plants indoors, it’s important to do it gradually. This will help to prevent them from going into shock. Start by bringing them into a warm, bright room for a few hours each day. Gradually increase the amount of time they spend indoors over the next few weeks.
Once your plants are fully acclimated to the indoors, you can find a permanent spot for them. Choose a location that gets plenty of bright, indirect light. Avoid placing them near heating vents or air conditioners, as these can dry out the air. This is especially true of tropical plants that require a lot of humidity to survive.
Caring for Plants Indoors
Plants that are kept indoors during the winter will need less water than they do when they are outdoors. This is because the air is drier indoors, and the plants are not exposed to the wind and sun. Water your plants when the top inch of soil is dry. Every plant will require a different amount of water and it’s common to water less when wintering plants. A fuchsia for example would only need watering every 2 weeks to survive over winter – considerably less than usual.
You may also need to fertilise your plants less often during the winter depending on the plant. Here are some additional tips for caring for potted plants indoors during the winter:
- Turn your plants regularly so that all sides receive equal amounts of light.
- Mist your plants with water occasionally to increase the humidity.
- Place your plants in a cool, dark room for a few weeks during the winter solstice to mimic their natural dormancy period.
- Be on the lookout for pests and diseases, and treat them promptly if they occur.
Gt Beautiful Plants for Your Garden
With a little care, bringing outdoor plants indoors for winter is simple and straightforward. Just be sure to choose the right plants for your climate, bring them indoors before the first frost, and care for them properly.
Looking for beautiful plants for your garden? Hassett Plant Centre has a huge range of plants including climbers, hardys, tropical plants and lots more. Contact Hasset Plant Centre today to find out more.