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Overwintering: Cool and Bright
Evergreen or semi-deciduous plants keep their foliage throughout the year, even during the winter months. Because of this, they need to be kept in bright areas to survive. The outdoor sun is always best, but they might not tolerate winter temperates so will need to be kept somewhere cool, but frost free.
This includes different citruses, olive trees, eucalyptus, and others. If they aren’t hardy in your climate, but don't do well indoors at normal room temperature either, you'll need to winterize them.
You can find information in Planta about what type of overwintering your plant will need— whether that's somewhere bright or dark. This will be in your plant's Plant info tab.
- If you don't have a cool place to keep your plants, scroll down to see what you need to do
Non winter hardy plants
This includes all your plants that won’t tolerate the temperature outdoors during the winter months, but still need it cooler than regular indoor temperatures. Finding a cooler room that is kept frost free works best for most species but you can double check this under the Plant info tab in Planta.
Prepare the plant - When the night time temperatures start to drop to the lower limit your plant tolerates, you can start moving it to the spot you’re going to winterize it in. Planta helps you water the plant less frequently, but we still recommend being observant so that it doesn’t stand in wet soil. Snooze the watering task if the soil is still wet.
Check your plant for any potential pests - It’s a good idea to double check if there are any bugs on your plants to minimize potential spread. If you see any, now is a good time to treat your plants from pests, since the lower temperature lowers the speed at which they’re reproducing by a lot. They will be a lot easier to combat.
Lower the temperature - Place your plant in a cool room. For example a garage, shed, basement, attic, summerhouse or a cool stairway if you are living in an apartment. Some plants can also be placed on a sheltered balcony, if you keep control of the temperature (so it doesn't get too cold). Recommended temperature range for this plant:
Set up an artificial grow light - Place the plant at a minimum of about 12” (30 cm) below the light to prevent leaf burn. Keep the light on for about 10-14 hours a day. A timer can help you keep a regular light schedule for the plants. In most places the natural light is not enough during the winter.
Reduce watering A resting plant requires very little water, so make sure to reduce the watering frequency. We will let you know when it's time to give your dormant plant water. If your plant is placed dark during the winter! The water care instructions in Planta are based on your plant being overwintered in a bright place. If your plant is placed in a dark location, reduce the watering even more.
Stop fertilizing During the time your plant is resting, it won't need any fertilizing.
Winter hardy plants
When it comes to plants that are cold hardy in your area, it’s good to know that these too need some winter protection if grown in a pot. The hardiness for a plant is based on it being grown and established in the ground. Grown in a pot, it’s much more exposed to sudden changes in temperatures as the roots are not as insulated. When the temperatures drop in fall, prepare your plant in any of the following ways:
Place it in a shed or other sheltered room outdoors for the winter
If you can't move your plant, wrap the pot in some burlap or similar insulating material, add mulch or leaves on top of the soil and place the pot against the house wall. If possible, shelter your plants from strong winds.
Another option that is very effective is to dig the whole pot down in a flower bed, the ground or a compost. Rake some leaves up against the base of the plant to insulate extra. This will prevent severe freezing of the roots, but also keep them from warming up too fast in spring.
What happens if I skip a cool overwintering?
Sometimes you don’t have a choice and can’t overwinter your plants in a cool, frost free environment. If the outdoor climate most likely will kill them, you don’t have any other option than to keep on growing them in a warm spot indoors. Since the schedule is set for overwintering your plant in a cool, bright place, we recommend you to set a custom schedule for watering and fertilizing during the winter months according to your plant's needs.
Go to the plant > Settings > Set Custom Care Schedule
- Plants that have evolved to go dormant during the colder/darker season of the year can become stressed if not allowed to go dormant. This might make them weaker in the long run.