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Open House: Overwintering Plants

In the San Francisco Bay Area, I rarely have to worry about a frost, which means that I can leave plants out all year round without incident. I know that's hardly the case with readers living in the Midwest and on the East Coast, though.

Steve, over at Gardening Gone Wild, recently wrote, "I overwinter a host of plants in my cold dark basement. Every year I try new ones and am perennially amazed at what succeeds. Basically the idea is to trick a plant into dormancy, then keep it there. Cold — or at least coolness — helps. So does darkness. To survive, many plants need light, others need warmth, and some need both; those are NOT the ones I’m talking about here. For the basement, we need plants that can go into deep dormancy, a state of almost suspended animation."

I also know that Amy Butler does the same thing with her tropical foliage, which comes outside in the Summer, and then is tucked away in her basement in the Ohio Winter months. So, do you bring in semi-tropical plants or outdoor perennials when the temperature dips? Do you let them go into a state of dormancy, like Steve does, or do you keep them out and about?


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ualili ualili 7 years
I live in the desert, but the temps can dip pretty low at night. I tend to keep all my plants out but make sure to cover those I think need protection. Come spring, I usually have to cut back my bouganvilleas but they're usually thriving and beautiful in time for the summer.
sgdish sgdish 7 years
Beautiful picture by the way, Casa!
sgdish sgdish 7 years
I bring in most of my plants to my home. Some I put in a small portable greenhouse in my yard, and others I mulch heavily and form wind barriers (only for the more hardy!)
Witchy-Ways Witchy-Ways 7 years
We usually bring the plants to our village's garden centre.
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