It’s time to bring many of your outdoor plants inside when frost is forecast. Only indoors will many delicate annuals, bulbs, herbs, and tropical plants make it through the winter. Here are some tips on which plants to bring indoors this fall and how to prepare potted plants for the winter.
When to Bring Plants Inside
True annuals and plants that we cultivate as annuals (which are regarded as sensitive perennials in southern regions) are unable to withstand the chilly winter months. But you don’t have to say goodbye to these plants forever! Even delicate plants that require a winter dormant period can be brought inside as “annuals” in many cases. Ideally, these should be brought inside before the temperature drops below 45 degrees at night (7C). Start bringing the plants inside for the winter when October approaches and nighttime lows dip approximately 50F (10C).
At temperatures below 40F (4C), and for some tropical plants even below 50, harm is likely to occur. To acclimatize them, you must take action well before any actual frost or ice.
Where to Put Plants
I still struggle to find space for everything, despite the fact that the greenhouse we have attached to the house receives plenty of sunlight and never gets colder than 45F. For my benefit, a lot of these plants would experience a dry season in their natural habitat and don’t mind resting under a bench. Particularly when the pots are large, the greenhouse quickly fills up.
Consider making a shelf or area where you may put plants that require high humidity together if you don’t have a greenhouse but have a lot of them. While some people mist their indoor plants, this only has a temporary beneficial effect. Putting a pebble tray under your plants is a better long-term solution. After adding a layer of gravel and lining the trays with waterproof material, add the pots on top. Do not dry out the gravel. You might wish to attach some ceiling hooks if you have hanging plants. Cleaning your windows both inside and outside will help guarantee that plants receive enough light throughout winter.
Which Plants To Bring Inside
You might need to decide what should be brought inside and what should be kept outside. Which flora stand out to you? Which ones cost the most to replace? Additionally, only keep healthy plants; throw away those that have disease or pest issues. Additionally, the lighting in your home is crucial. Even a west or south facing glassed area in winter only has the summer shaded area’s winter light intensity.
Plants that can be carried indoors can be divided into two categories:
- plants that need a time of winter hibernation.
- plants that can continue to thrive while dormant during the winter.
Some delicate bulbs need to spend some time “dormant” in a chilly environment where the temperature is still far above freezing. Numerous of these pricey bulbs are worth overwintering. Tender bulbs include, for instance:
- A calla lily
- Animal ears
- tubes of roses
Simply stop watering fragile bulbs in pots, remove the withering leaves, and tuck them away in a dark, cool place. Periodically check the soil moisture.
Dig up and trim back the leaves of fragile underground bulbs. By hand, remove as much dirt as you can from the bulb. For 7 to 14 days, leave them in a warm, dry location to dry. This gets rid of extra moisture. Separate them with shredded newspaper or dry peat moss and place them loosely in a cardboard box or open container. Get cozy somewhere chilly and gloomy. To get a head start on the season, pot them up in the spring about a month before you intend to set them outside.
What degree of indoor temperature is appropriate for houseplants?
Depending on the type of plant, you should decide when to bring it inside. However, it’s important to keep in mind that many common flowering container plants (such as begonias and hibiscus) are truly tropical natives and dislike chilly nights. A chill can significantly slow down an organism’s growth, even if it doesn’t kill them.
When nighttime temperatures begin to fall below 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, it is preferable to bring indoor plants (12-15 C.). Look for pests that may be hiding in the soil of container plants before bringing them indoors. For 15 minutes, immerse each pot in warm water to force any insects or slugs to the surface. If you notice a lot of activity, spray your plant with an insecticide and repot it.
This is also an excellent time to repot any of your plants that are outgrowing their containers.
The plants that require the most light should be placed in windows that face south or under grow lights when you bring them inside. Plants that require less light can be placed in windows that face east or west. The light will probably be dimmer than it was outdoors no matter where they go. This shock may cause some leaves to turn yellow and fall. But after it adjusts to the new light level, your plant ought to produce fresh, wholesome leaves.
Water your plants less frequently than you did when they were outdoors so that less of it evaporates. On the other hand, the air inside your home is probably less humid. This issue should be resolved by setting your pot on a dish on a layer of gravel that is maintained consistently moist. Simply watch out that the water level in the gravel doesn’t rise above the level of the container or you run the risk of root rot.
What degree of cold is too much for houseplants?
Planting too early might result in a crisis if a cold snap is impending, whether it was because you were seduced by some striking hue at the garden center or simply wanted to start the gardening season early. It’s not difficult to help your seedlings survive the great frost, but it does take some planning.
When temperatures drop, you can usually rely on improvised protection for plants. The right tools must be prepared in advance to protect plants from frosty mornings for larger plantings, such as a vegetable garden.
Knowing when prized greenery starts to turn frost-burned brown will help you know what to do when freeze warnings are in effect. As a general rule, plants typically freeze when the temperature stays at 28°F for five hours.
There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. When temperatures drop to 32–33F, seedlings often die because of their delicate new leaves. There are various low-temperature thresholds for tropical plants. Some collapse at temperatures below 40°F, while others break down at 35°F. Other plants are naturally resistant and can endure temperatures as low as 18 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Do a search in gardening books and online resources to discover the threshold for your plants.
Take it up
Moving plants away from potential danger is the simplest cold-protection strategy. Potted plants and seedlings in flats both benefit from this. Moving plants onto a porch with a roof, into a garage or shed, or under a deck frequently provides sufficient shelter.
Rely on Water
Just before sunset, water the soil to raise the temperature of the surrounding air overnight as the water evaporates. Water-filled buckets or gallon jugs should be left in the sun all day. Move them close to threatened plants at night. Air temperatures will be moderated by the water, and if it freezes, heat will be released. To boost midday heating, paint a few water-holding containers black for best results.
the air flowing
The biggest harm is done to plants by cold, motionless air. To prevent frost from accumulating on plants, you can use an electric fan all night to create a breeze. Never forget to keep electrical connections dry.
Plants Should Be CoveredPlants should be covered with sheets, towels, blankets, cardboard, or a tarp to protect them from everything but the harshest freezing (28F for five hours). Inverting baskets, coolers, or any other container with a firm bottom over plants is also an option. Before it gets dark, cover plants to keep warm air in. Coverings shouldn’t ideally contact the foliage. If windy conditions are anticipated, anchor cloth coverings.
When the temperature rises and the frost has melted in the morning, remove coverings. Under dense covers, heat from the sun can accumulate and cause plant death.
Blankets that collapse
Row covers, or gardening blankets, should always be accessible. These covers are created in various thicknesses from plastic or synthetic fibers. Lay row covers directly on the plants, or suspend them over a bed with pegs to form a tunnel.
An incandescent light bulb produces enough heat to raise the temperature of the air around it just enough to keep a plant from freezing. For this method to operate, bulbs must be close to plants (within a distance of 2-3 feet). (Fluorescent bulbs can’t produce enough heat to complete this task.)
Defend specific plants
Set up hot caps
At planting time, stiff plastic containers with venting holes are placed over the individual seedlings. Hot caps function similarly to cloches (small greenhouses), but the daily task of applying and removing the covering is eliminated by venting holes. Use plastic two-liter bottles or gallon jugs with the bottoms cut off and the lids removed to simulate a hot cap (but saved). In the evenings when the weather turns chilly, replace the lids.
A Wall O’Water tepee, which encircles individual plants with a sleeve of water-filled tubes, is a variation on the hot cap concept. During the day, the water absorbs the heat of the sun. The water gently freezes at night, releasing the sun’s stored radiant heat and preventing the air within the tepee from becoming frosty.
How cold is 50 degrees for plants?
When nighttime temperatures fall to 45 or 50 degrees Fahrenheit, experts advise bringing your plants inside. However, it could be wiser to take action much earlier, when the temperature inside and outside is roughly equal.
When should I bring my indoor plants inside from the outdoors?
Your plants enjoy the warm temperatures and sunny days of summer just as much as you do! The Grow-HowTM Team provides all the information you need in regards to bringing your indoor plants outside throughout the summer.
Can all plants go outside?
Yes, during the hot summer months, all of our interior foliage plants can be moved outside. After all, there is where plants originated! They will appreciate breathing in the crisp outdoor air. When putting your plants outside, one of the most important things to consider is the strength of the outdoor sunshine.
Many typical houseplants thrive in bright, indirect light that is filtered by the canopy of taller trees above as they do in their natural habitat along the forest floor. You should avoid placing your plant in regions that receive direct sunlight if the plant you have indoors prefers indirect light. Additionally, it’s crucial to get your plant used to being outdoors.
How do I acclimate a plant to the outdoors?
The process of progressively acclimating your plant to a new environment, such as a change in temperature or light intensity, is known as acclimation. In order to avoid undue stress that can hinder growth or harm the plant, proper acclimation enables your plant to gradually adapt to its new environment.
Start acclimating your plant by putting it in a shaded place outside for an hour or two on the first day, and then gradually increase the amount of time it spends outside over the following seven to ten days. Most plants can tolerate direct sunlight during the morning hours since it is significantly less intense. About five days after you begin the acclimatization process, if your plant will receive morning sun, start putting it in the sun for brief periods of time each morning. It is better if plants with a preference for indirect light are protected from the sun by around 10 a.m.
Even plants that can tolerate direct sunshine, like a Bird of Paradise, Sansevieria, Ponytail Palm, and most cacti, need to be introduced gradually over the course of at least 10 days. This will prevent them from experiencing burnt leaves while they adjust to the strength of the full outdoor sun.
When do I know it’s safe to bring my plant outside?
When the outside temperature remains consistently above 50F, you can bring your plants outside without risk. Pay close attention to the forecast. Bring your plants inside for the night if the temperature is forecast to drop below 50F. When it becomes warmer, put them back outside.
They’ll probably be fine if you forget and expose them to lower temperatures for a brief time. Their growth may be temporarily stunted by temperatures below 50F, and leaf damage may result from temps as low as 35F. Most indoor plants will lose all of their leaves in freezing conditions, but if the exposure was only brief, the roots will usually survive.
How cold is 38 degrees for plants?
Eek!! The forecast calls for evening lows at or below freezing with frost! What shall I do?
The good news is that there are a few simple things you can do to help protect your plants against cold conditions. Remember that a frost is different from a freeze. Additionally, following a frost in the fall, some crops, such as beets, parsnips, and carrots, only get sweeter to taste.
Know Your Frost Dates
Priorities first! Always keep in mind the first and latest frost dates that often occur in your area.
The first day of the year that a frost occurs is regarded as the first frost date as the fall weather begins to cool. The first freeze date of the year will come as the weather cools further, typically a week or two later (this is what kills most annual plants). The first freeze day and first frost date in Missoula are both in the middle of October.
The average last frost date is the first day of the year we may anticipate a frost when the weather starts to warm up in the spring. The last frost date in Missoula is May 18.
These dates are typically correct but by no means exact because they are based on historical meteorological data that was gathered over a 30 year span. Be diligent, keep an eye on the forecast, or set up a weather app alert to be notified when the nightly lows change. Use the four techniques listed below to temporarily safeguard your plants when temperatures are predicted to drop to near or below freezing.
Assess: How Bad Is It?
Plants are harmed by temperatures at or below freezing for longer periods of time than just a single day. Similar to how lower temperatures are tougher on plants than those at or near freezing, really cold temperatures that linger for several hours are significantly harder on plants than those that are at or near freezing for only an hour or less. When assessing the seriousness of the weather report, bear this in mind along with a few of the crucial definitions listed below.
When the temperature is forecast to drop to between 36 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit, a frost advisory is issued.
When there is at least an 80% likelihood that the temperature will drop to 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, a freeze warning is issued.
The majority of plants are severely harmed by a severe or harsh freeze, 25 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.