Protecting Warm-weather Plants From The Cold.
By nature, most of our plants, if residing in a US Frost Zone of around 5, 6, 7, and possibly even 8, will need to be protected in the frosty months. Honestly, it is less effort than many people think. Firstly, there are several plants which we sell that can be left in the ground in North Carolina (and warmer) and if not exposed to strong wind, will thrive (listed at bottom of this page).
Five “Insider Tips” For Thriving In The Cold Season.
It really is easy, and we are happy to share these simple tips with you for successful tropical plant care:
- Do not move directly inside. This is perhaps the most common mistake. To move a plant from bright sunlight to relatively dark inside, is literally a shock to the system for your plant. Please move your plant to a shady area such as a porch for between 4 and 7 days, then later inside the house. This makes a significant difference. Also, the garage is probably too cold and dark. Generally garages are only 10f warmer than the temperature outside.
- It still loves light! Keep your plants in a sunny part of your house, eg next to a window. This also makes a huge difference. This is true for most plants, notable shade-loving exceptions include: Aloe, Pothos (and ferns generally).
- Treat it like a baby!…calm & dry. Fertilizer to a plant in a way, like a stimulant, and winter-time to a plant is like nighttime to a baby. We don’t stimulate babies at nighttime, so ease off on the fertilizer! Full doses of fertilizer are appropriate when the plant is returned to outside in springtime. Plant soil needs to avoid excessive moisture when indoors. Yes is needs watering, but not so much. Touch the soil, if you feel plenty of moisture, do not water yet. Keep your plant pot on a saucer with pebbles or gravel or some similar material that will keep the roots up above the moisture.
- Prune it: If you remove about 30 to 40% of the leaves and smaller branches, this will permit the roots to retain their energy and you will get stronger growth next springtime.
- Don’t rush! Do not put outside too quickly. Just because you see beautiful warm, sunny days in March, that does not necessarily mean its time to put your plant out. Even in the relatively warm climate of North Carolina, frost can occur as late as April 10th!. Follow the reverse process and put your plant in your porch (or similar) area first; it will acclimatize to greater sunlight. Then after a week, place it out in full sun and let it bloom.
Important: Pots must have drainage holes in the bottom. Never put a plant in a pot without a drainage hole(s) and some gravel/stones in the bottom to facilitate avoiding soggy roots.
For more information, please contact us at: info [at] vedicgardens.com
What To Expect:
We typically ship plants bear-root or near bear-root. This helps us to keep your shipping cost lower. Your new plant wants to be planted (container or ground) soon! But not straight out in full sun – the contrast to the shipping box is too great. It’s best to give it a a week in an interim environment to acclimatize.
In the winter months, many of these plants will be dormant, waiting just until the conditions are right to bloom and look their best. The photos on this website are of course typically taken when they are at their best. Which is just how your plant will look at the right season.
The following plants have a track record with our customers and us of thriving in zone 7 and warmer when planted in the ground and not exposed to strong winds in the winter:
Banana: Happy in the ground all year around in the Carolinas and warmer. Often, people cut them back to within a foot of the ground, wrap with burlap and then in springtime remove the burlap and it regrows amazingly rapidly.
Fig: Plain and simple cold-hardy! Best to avoid strong winds in the Carolinas.
Tumeric: If it can grow in the Himalays, it can grow in the Carolinas!
Mulberry: These even grow in Canada!
Ginger Lilly: Fragrant, easy-to-grow perennial.