Many people think that tropical plants cannot be grown in their garden or home because they do not live in a tropical environment. While these plants are sometimes a bit more of a challenge to cultivate, it does not mean that they cannot be grown and thrive in non-tropical climates. Here are some ways to prepare your tropical beauties for the colder months.
Time to trim
The first thing you can do is trim your plants back and place them in a cool area with low light, such as your basement. Tubers such as dahlias enjoy this overwintering technique and they can be placed in an untied plastic bag or planter.
It’s a good idea to investing in grow lights. You don’t need anything fancy. The regular ones that you find at your hardware store will do.
Move them inside
Tropical plants should not be left outside over the winter. Pay very close attention to the weather forecast and make sure that you move them indoors before the first frost. There are some bulbs that are the exception to this general rule. This is why you should always read up about individual plant care before buying them.
All plants have a way of attracting some kind of bug. Before bringing your tropical plants inside, you can give them a gentle spray with the hose and rinse the tops and bottoms of their leaves. This will help get rid of many bugs. If the infestation is severe, you can use insect-killing soap. Just make sure that you use one suited for your particular type of plant.
Just because it’s winter does not mean that you have to stop watering. You should slow down your watering schedule but you should not neglect to water at all. Watering once a week is usually sufficient.
Remove planted tropicals
If you have any tropical plants that are rooted in your garden, you will need to remove them and place them in pots before moving them inside for the winter.
Wait to move them out
As keen as you might be to move your tropical plants back outside, you should always take special care. Make sure that the night time temperatures are suited for their well-being. Even if it is quite hot in the day, at night it can still get very cold which will affect your plants. You will also need to allow them to get used to the change in lighting. So, when you do move them outside, make sure that you place them in a shaded spot.
With all of these tropical plants tips, you will keep them happy and healthy over the winter so that you can really enjoy them as soon as the weather warms up again!