Fall and winter container Gardening8/24/2012


Bring the Tender Plants Inside!


Consider bringing in your plants inside long before you need to start using your furnace.  This will help the plant acclimate to the change in temperature gradually.  Your outdoor plants should be moved inside well before the nighttime temperatures dip below 45 degrees, some tropical plants will suffer damage at below 50 degrees.  

If you have some prized possessions that you want to bring inside, there is some prep work that you will want to do to assure your success.  First, inspect your plant carefully for bugs and diseases.  If the plant has any bugs, treat it while outside to get rid of the unwanted inhabitants.  A great way to know if there is anything living in the soil is to soak the pot in a tub of lukewarm water for about 15 minutes.  This will force any insects out of the soil.  If insects have burrowed in the soil, you may want to repot the plants giving them fresh soil for the winter. 


Repotting is also important for plants that have gotten leggy during their outdoor stay.  When doing this, remove the container and prune the top and roots in equal proportions.  Scrub the pot.  Add fresh potting soil and replant.

Your plant will appreciate a gradual change from outside to inside.  Because the light and humidity are dramatically different from outside to inside, it is best if you start by bringing your plants in at night for a few days, then move the containers back outside in the morning.  Gradually over the course of 2 weeks, increase he amount of time the plant spends indoors until it is indoors fulltime. 

Remember, indoor plants do not need as much water as they did when they were outside.  Only water when the soil is dry to the touch.  This may sound a little crazy, but it is advised that you clean your windows to help maximize the amount of sunlight your plants will get while indoors.,


Fall and Winter Containers


Don’t leave your patio barren for the winter.  Nothing makes the winter longer than looking out at a deserted patio.  Choose a few containers that are winter hardy and plant some interesting shrubs in them to enjoy all winter long. 


Select the right container for winter plantings.


All containers are not equal when staying outside all winter.  Choosing the right container then planting it correctly will minimize any disappointment from the harsh winter freeze and thaw effect on pottery.  When choosing a container to stay outside year round.  It is important that the container have heavy thick walls, and that the shape is largest at the top.  You want to stay away from any pot that has a narrower top then any part of pot below (think V shaped as opposed to ball shaped).  If you have any questions, Somerset sales personnel will be happy to advise you of the

Select the right plants.

There are so many creative choices for winter plantings.  Since the roots will essentially be above the ground, you want to use plants that are very hard for our area  Luckily that leaves us with lots of choices. Here’s a list of some of my favorite pics:


Hardy Plants for Containers

Arborvitae, Alberta Spruce, Ornamental Grass, Yucca and Red Twig Dogwood - all provide a great vertical interest.

Dwarf evergreen Hollies,  Mums and Boxwood, Hellebores, Heuchera, Cabbage, Kale, all provide “filler” plants that offer interest in color and texture.

Get Creative: 
For the winter months think about adding sprigs of berries, white pine and branches for a planter that is truly “out of the box”.