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Why Throw Out Healthy Plants?
Plenty of gardeners place their houseplants outdoors for the summer and enjoy them indoors the rest of the year. So why not try a similar strategy—and save a little money while you’re at it—by bringing your favorite cold tender plants inside when the temperature drops so they’ll be ready to shine again when summer rolls around?
Before you bring your outdoor plants in for the winter, you’ll need to do a bit of preparation. Start by inspecting them for pests and treating, if necessary. Repot if a plant needs it, and cut down on (or eliminate) fertilizing. 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. Read on to learn about 10 popular cold tender plants that you can bring inside each winter and then continue to enjoy outside for many summers to come.
While some palm trees are hardy in the winters of the Deep South, most palms should be overwintered inside. Do not leave them exposed to freezing weather. When overnight temperatures drop to the 50s, move palms to an indoor location that gets lots of light. Water them regularly to keep the soil moist until spring, and carry them back outdoors after all danger of frost has passed.
Leave cacti and succulents outdoors as late into the season as possible so that the combination of shorter days and cooler nights will stimulate a dormancy response. You’ll need to keep an eye on the thermometer and know the low temperature threshold for your particular type of cactus. Some species may be able to withstand 20-degree temperatures, but others cannot. In general, cacti do best in a cool, even unheated, bright location with minimal water. Transition them back outside in early spring.
Move tropical hibiscus plants indoors when overnight temperatures reach the low 50s. Place them in a brightly lit room, and treat them like regular houseplants. Keep the soil moist but not saturated, and feed them regularly. Try to avoid heat vents and cold drafts, and put the plants on a pebble tray to boost the ambient humidity, if necessary. Prune tropical hibiscus three times during late fall and winter (October, December, and February) to maintain the shape.
Click on the link below to see 7 more plants.
Article by Mark Wolfe for bobvila©