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Over-wintering Plants

Plants that Like it Cool and Bright

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Abutilon - Flowering or Parlor Maple

Many of these plants will remain looking good all winter. Several, like this Abutilon, will even grace you with flowrs.

Photo: © Marie Iannotti
These plants may be listed as perennials, but for many gardeners, they are simply not hardy enough to make it through the winter outdoors. If you have a prized perennial that you want to over-winter indoors, you need to know its preferences. Some like to go dormant and be kept dark and dry, other need moisture. The plants listed here like bright light and cool temperatures. They do no go fully dormant, but they do need a rest from actively growing.

Bright light means a full day of light from a southern or western facing window or a supplemental plant light. The temperature should remain above freezing, in the 45 - 55 F. range. That generally means an enclosed porch, with windows, an unheated sun room or something along those lines.

If there are a lot of windows, keep watch that the temperature does not warm about 60 F. during sunny days, or your plants will think it is time to start growing. This probably won't hurt the plant, but they will require more care if they are growing than if they are sleeping. And some plants that bloom only once, will bloom earlier than you might want.

Water the plants when the soil feels dry a few inches below the surface. Don't over water, so that they are sitting in a puddle. Do not feed the plants until the days lengthen in spring. You will start to see new growth at that time.

A bonus for over-wintering plants in cooler temperatures is that few insects will bother them. Most insects prefer warmer temperatures and by the time they show up, it will be time to move the plants back outdoors.

Be sure to ease your plants into the transition from indoors to out, by letting them harden off slowly.

Plants that Prefer Cool Temperatures and Bright Light

Common NameBotanical NameUSDA Hardiness Zones
Flowering Maple Abutilon 10-11
Lily of the Nile, African Lily Agapanthus 8-11
Lemon Verbena Aloysia triphylla 8-11
California Lilac Ceanothus 7-10
Citrus Trees Varies
Clivia Clivia miniata 9-11
Cordyline Cordyline 8-10
Cuphea Cuphea 8-11
Angel's Trumpet Datura 9-11
Angel's Trumpet Brugmansia 9-11
Hummingbird Plant Dicliptera suberecta 8-10
Spurge Euphorbia Varies
Fuchsia Fuchsia 7-9
Gardenia Gardenia 8-10
Heliotrope Heliotropium arborescens 10-11
Hibiscus Hibiscus 9-11
Mini Angel's Trumpet Iochroma australis 9-11
Jasmine Jasminium 8-11
Lavender Lavendula Varies
Lion's tail Leonotis 10-11
Mandevilla Mandevilla 10-11
Honey Bush Melianthus major Zone 8-11
Oleander Oleander nerium 8-11
Sweet Olive Osmanthus fragrans 7-10
Oxalis Oxalis 8-11
Passion Flower Passiflora 6-10
Geranium Pelargonium 9-12
Mexican Single Tuberose Polianthes tuberosa 8-10
Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis 7-10

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