Tropical Living: Preparing Your Delicate Plants for Winter

Tropical plants are bold and lush, offering an exotic variation to landscapes, but as the cooler months encroach, one crucial question remains to be answered: will they survive the winter weather? At Rhine Landscaping, we have a few basic tips to offer up to help you keep your plants bundled up and protected against the plummeting temperatures – even if you don’t have a greenhouse.

Warm and Toasty: Placing delicate perennials and tropicals in a windowsill or area where they can bask in the sun is the simplest way to overwinter your plants. How to choose the select few that get to take advantage of this prime real estate? Go with ones you are otherwise unsure of how to get through winter, or the ones that will make the most attractive houseplants. Consider cutting plants back to reduce their size and slow their growth before you change their locale. Rotate the pots so that they don’t get lopsided from reaching towards the sun, and water them when the soil gets dry.

Some plants that do well in these conditions include:

  • Begonias
  • Birds of paradise
  • Elephant’s ears
  • Golden trumpets
  • Hibiscus
  • Oleanders
  • Sages
  • Passionflowers

Cool and Bright: Research which of your plants can endure a light frost by looking into their native habitats. Try placing these in an area of your basement that is lit with fluorescent lights or high intensity discharge lamps. As with the selection stored in your windowsills, water and rotate them as necessary.

Plants to be placed in cool and bright spaces include:

  • Flowering Maples
  • Honey bush
  • New Zealand flaxes
  • Cordylines

Crisp and Cool: This method requires very little maintenance, and works because it effectively tricks plants into preparing for a dry season by going dormant. Many plants can make it through the winter this way without light and water – sometimes even without soil.

The following are just some of the plants that will go dormant under the right circumstances:

  • Dahlias
  • Gingers
  • Glory Bushes
  • Calla lilies
  • Pineapple lilies
  • Tropical smoke bush

At Rhine Landscaping, we want to help you preserve the plants that beautify your yard by offering advice and services to help you get your tropicals and perennials through the cold season. Call us today at 410-442-2445 or click here for more information on overwintering your delicate plants.

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