Probably the most prominent lesson we got from Game of Thrones is that “Winter is coming” and you have to be prepared for it. This certainly applies to all you plant lovers out there. In this article, we’re going to provide some helpful tips and tricks to help you take care of your outdoor and indoor plants this winter.
Take Stock of Your Plants
As winter approaches, the very first thing you need to do is take stock of your plants. Some of them are perfectly equipped to get through winter, while others are not ready for the low temperatures coming and need to be brought inside. Tropical and subtropical plant species like ficus, pines, or ferns thrive outside in summer, but they will not survive over the winter.
You also need to keep track of your perennial plants and your annual ones. While perennials are coming back next season, annuals only last one season, which means that you have to save the seeds, if possible, and clear the soil.
Tips to Take Care of Your Outdoor Plants
We’re going to start with outdoor plans because this is the bigger challenge. We know you’d like to bring them all inside for the winter, but turning your home into a greenhouse is not the answer. Your plants are stronger than you think and with a little love and care from you, they’ll make it past winter and thrive come spring. Here are some outdoor gardening tricks you need to know:
Get the plant ready
The first thing you should do to get your plants ready for winter is to trim them down. This is particularly important for flowering trees, vines, and shrubs. When you prune them, the plants will use fewer nutrients for sustenance and will get through winter easier. Moreover, the younger branches and vines are far more susceptible to freezing, which negatively affects the plant, so it is best to eliminate this risk.
Get the soil ready
Mulching is extremely important for getting the soil ready for winter because it protects the plants from frost. So the first thing you should do is clean the soil by removing old mulch and then adding a fresh new layer. You can also add chopped leaves or hay to provide the roots of the plants with a buffer from the snow and frost.
Get the pots ready
Now that your plants and soil are ready for winter, it’s time to add an extra layer of protection by covering up the pots. The goal is to prevent the roots from freezing, so you’ll need insulating materials like burlap, blankets, or bubble wrap. Bring your pots close to the foundation of your house and place them in an area where they are protected from the winter winds.
These three simple steps will help your plants get through winter. But keep in mind that for some plants, especially tropical ones, this might not be enough, so make sure you save some space inside for some of them.
Tips to Take Care of Your Indoor Plants
Even if your indoor plants are protected from the frost or snow (depending on your location), winter is still coming, so you have to take care of them as well. The first thing you need to keep in mind is that even if they are indoor, your plants will still go through a state of metabolic inactivity in the cold season. This means that they’ll stay alive, but minimize growth and development as a means of preservation.
Prune If Necessary
As your plants are about to go into this period of metabolic latency, pruning them will make this a simpler process. You don’t need to prune them as much as the outdoor plants, just a little is enough to keep them safe.
During the warm seasons, water evaporates quickly from your pots, so you have to water your plants more to compensate. But during winter, it takes longer for the water to evaporate, so remember to reduce the amount of water you use, as well as frequency.
Give Them Plenty of Light, But Keep Them Safe from Temperature Fluctuations
Getting plenty of light during winter is very helpful for your plants, but this usually means placing them near windows. But when you air out your house, the cold air coming from outside will clash with the warm air inside, which is not good for your plants. So try to keep them in areas not directly near open windows, or remember to place them somewhere else while airing out your house.
No Fertilization Needed
Plants need this time of metabolic inactivity, so adding fertilizer to get them out of latency will not work. So keep the fertilization for the coming spring when they’ll need it the most.
When it comes to getting your plants prepared for the colder months, the tips stated above are essential to your success. With just a little love and care, your green babies will make it past the cold season and thrive come spring. Good luck!