Every year around this time as I walk around the neighborhood with my dogs or pass by homes on my morning runs, I see the insane amount of people who throw away potted plants. In the summer, when the weather is hot and toasty, people calmer to buy all the beautiful plants at the nursery. In the spring, baskets of flowers are popular. In the middle of the summer, people buy tropical palms and glorious ferns to hang around their backyard patios. Now, during the fall, its chrysanthemums are all the rage. Pumpkins start to appear on front porches, too.
I love seeing all this plant life around town. And I’m just as susceptible to plant sales and attractive displays of greenery. This summer, I brought a gorgeous banana plant home and found it a home on my back deck among a pretty display of string lights. With a single plant, I created a tropical atmosphere and made the space the perfect place to relax, unwind, and entertain.
Almost as soon as September rolled around, though, the nighttime temperatures dipped considerably. Afraid that my plants (I also bought two pink-stemmed plants to adorn my patio table) would succumb to the cold, I promptly brought them inside.
I urge all plant lovers and frugal gardeners to do the same! Those beautiful heat-loving tropicals can’t hack frosty temps, and while some are more tender than others, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Bring in your potted plants and enjoy their blooms and foliage for an extended period of time.
I placed my banana tree in my living room, and it’s my new favorite place to hang out. I feel like I’m in a cozy indoor oasis. Don’t leave your plants out to die! Don’t let them wither away! What a waste of money! Take care of your precious plants by sheltering them from the cold, and you’ll be rewarded with a continued display of beauty. If you manage to adequately care for your plants during the winter, you’ll be able to set them out again once the weather warms. You’ll escape the need to spend money next spring.
Many potted plants don’t need as much attention in the winter anyhow, so bringing them in won’t leave you with extra work on your hands. Watering needs typically diminish during the cold months. Tropical plants, however, may require higher levels of humidity than are possible in your winter home. Place a humidifier nearby or spritz your plants with a spray bottle every so often. The spring is the best time to re-home your plant into a slightly larger vessel.
Don’t have any tropical plants or potted flowers to bring inside? If you have a potted vegetable plant, it may be a good idea to bring that in, as well. Shelter potted peppers indoors and you’ll have an extended harvest. Give them plenty of warmth and sunlight, and you’ll be able to pick peppers throughout the off-season.
Do you bring your potted plants indoors? Have you been able to keep a plant alive for more than a season this way? Share your story in the comments!
Steph Coelho is a freelance writer gardening in zone 5b. She is a certified Square Foot Gardener and has taught various garden-related workshops. When she’s not digging in the dirt or writing, she’s cooking up fresh produce, running, or listening to her favorite podcasts.