Potted plants are the decorative artists for the balcony, terrace and garden. They are particularly popular as permanent bloomers; during the beautiful season they enchant the viewer with a lasting splendor of flowers. The hobby gardener is spoiled for choice among hundreds of imaginative plant variants that are suitable as container plants. From the classic fuchsia to the exotic fragrant orange to exotic rarities such as the angel’s trumpet or the white pineapple strawberry. Evergreen potted plants are also very suitable as privacy screens. Flowering climbing plants decorate the balcony railing and invite you to linger. An entrance area, decorated with magnificent potted plants, gives every visitor a particularly warm welcome. There are a number of hardy potted plants on the market; however, the vast majority require special protection in winter. Even hardy potted plants shouldn’t just be left to their own devices during the cold season, but need horticultural help to hibernate safely.

Overwinter potted plants

When the first frosty nights appear in early autumn, it is high time to prepare the potted plants for the winter. It goes without saying that the proud owner of a conservatory now has it particularly easy. But it also works without a protective greenhouse to help the potted plants through the winter. If possible, the first precautions should be taken before the onset of winter in order to avoid unnecessary rushing, where important details can easily be overlooked.

  • nevertheless protect hardy potted plants, such as boxwood or bamboo, from the cold
  • pay special attention to sensitive roots
    • Place bucket on styrofoam or wooden board
  • Protect planters from cracks in winter: dig in before the frost makes the ground too hard
  • additional protection if the bucket is also lined with polystyrene on the inside
  • Wrap the potted plant outdoors in winter with fleece or jute
  • place them close together on the wall of the house
    • provides extra protection from the cold
  • Covering the pot with brushwood also keeps the cold out
  • Also water potted plants in winter so that they do not dry out
  • If the potted plants need a roof over their heads, bright basements, garages and stairwells are suitable
    • avoid heating if possible
    • Temperature between 5 and 10 degrees
  • Container plant, can reach quite a weight
    • Transport to the winter quarters not too difficult, think about a plant trolley when purchasing
  • no accommodation options, then use the wintering service of a garden center
  • Evergreen plants such as oleander or laurel do not tolerate complete darkness
    • It is also important for these potted plants that the temperature is low so that they slow down their metabolism.
  • Container plants that shed foliage love the dark and low temperatures in winter
    • otherwise they will sprout too early

Care during the cold season

Experienced hobby gardeners know that a container plant also needs care during the winter. Optimal spatial conditions are important, but not enough to ensure that the plant will continue to give pleasure next year.

  • During the winter it is essential to give water sparingly, but only when the potting soil is completely dry. The rule of thumb here is that it is watered no more than once a week.
  • In winter, the potted plants shut down their metabolism. During this time they are particularly susceptible to diseases and pests. If you regularly check the branches and the underside of the leaves, you can intervene immediately if the pests strike.
  • Container plants that were infested before hibernation should be placed in a separate place if possible so that they do not infect the other plants.
  • A good prevention against fungal diseases is the regular collection of fallen leaves.

Pests on potted plants

If pests have already taken hold of the potted plant, quick action is called for. Although aphids are quite harmless, they are also common in winter. A vigorous showering of the leaves from below helps here. The plant ball can be protected from too much moisture with a plastic bag.

If caterpillars have smuggled themselves into the winter quarters, they can be eliminated by simply collecting them. Gloves should be worn if possible to avoid allergic reactions.

The sneaky spider mites should be misted with water if possible. But spraying them with a solution of soft soap can also put an end to them.

In general, many experts advise in the event of a pest infestation, whether during the winter or in summer, to give the potted plant a thorough shower, especially the undersides of the leaves. It is important to note the protection of the plant ball from too much moisture. Otherwise the pests may have been driven away, but the roots have been drowned and the plant can no longer be saved.

Spring lures you outside

As soon as there is no more threat of frost, spring not only lures people out into the fresh air, but also paves the way for potted plants to go outside. From mid-May at the latest, when the ice saints are over, the potted plants can beautify the balcony, terrace and garden again. However, sun and warmth alone are not enough for the blooming splendor of the previous year to be repeated. Extra care is now required for the container plant to grow and thrive.

  • Avoid outdoor shock by slowly acclimating potted plants to new outdoor space
    • place gradually brighter and warmer
  • potted plants can also suffer from sunburn
    • Keep young shoots and leaves in the shade for the first two weeks after hibernation, protect from direct sunlight
  • Repotting after the winter: pull the plant out of the container when the soil is moist
  • Never cut off roots that are too long
    • It’s better to sacrifice the vessel: keep the potsherd for drainage, cut open the plastic vessels
  • Drainage made of potsherds, some gravel and potting soil
  • perfect planter offers about two fingers more space around the root and should not be black if possible
    • In the summer, a black one overheats
    • that can harm the plant
    • paint black pot with light color
  • Carefully tear open root balls that have survived the winter well
  • new fibrous roots can form and encourage growth and thriving
  • Fill in substrate in resulting holes and around the bale
  • Industrially produced standard soil, made from peat and lime-free loam, is best suited

fertilizing and watering

If the potted plants were only watered very sparingly in winter and were hardly fertilized, the metabolism will be boosted again from spring onwards.

  • Potted plants need a lot of water in summer. The soil should then be really wet; However, waterlogging must not occur under any circumstances, because then the plant no longer has a chance of surviving because the roots simply rot away.
  • When buying the planters, you should therefore pay attention to a drainage hole. If you opt for a plastic bucket, use a screwdriver to press in the missing holes.

Fertilizer is indispensable as food for the plant. But it must not be exaggerated. Too high a dosage can have fatal consequences for the container plant. Should it nevertheless happen, the following first aid measure is recommended: wash out the root ball by soaking it in water for half an hour. Then drain and put back in the pot. The next time there will only be fresh water when the earth is completely dry.

Attractive pot plants are enjoying growing popularity because they surround the house with flowers even when there is no garden. Thanks to them, even a balcony in the big city becomes an individual green oasis. Because an almost incalculable number of plants are suitable for a pot, the hobby gardener can let his imagination run wild and put his gardening inspirations into practice. If you want to allow the potted plants to overwinter, you only need to follow a few instructions to be able to enjoy them again next season.

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