How to keep plants alive in winter

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How to keep plants alive in the winter

Became a budding gardener this year and not sure how your new plant babies will cope with the cold? You’re not alone!

Plants do need different care in harsher weather. Plants hibernate in a way and it’s called ‘overwintering’. Some plants need more help with 'overwintering’ than others. Try these tips that are the equivalent of warm hugs for flora.

These tips are part of something bigger. At Hubbub, we want to see a world where everyone makes choices that are good for the environment. Check out what we do and how your actions add up.

1) Adapt watering routines

While the scorcher of a Summer meant we were topping up plants all the time, in lower temperatures we should water them less often. For indoor plants, cut back on the watering since moisture will last longer in the pots as it evaporates slower. Plants are also less thirsty because growth slows down during overwintering.

For plants in gardens, keep an eye on the weather and only water plants if it's been really dry for a long time, otherwise, the rain can do this job for you.

2) Bury Spring Bulbs

While you may want to hibernate over the next few months, you've still just about got time to plant some spring-flowering bulbs outside! November is a great time to plant tulips, although we may have missed the boat for daffodils, hyacinths and crocuses - oh well, next year!

Remember to plant bulbs at two to three times their depth with their shoot facing upwards.

3) Bring inside

It's a good time to bring indoors those tender plants that might freeze if left outside. You can spot these as they tend to be Mediterranean or tropical plants (which naturally dislike the cold) and plants that grow back every year.

Help plants adapt to indoor settings by placing them in an area that best matches the amount of light they were getting outside – e.g. shady to shady, or full light to a bright windowsill or porch.

For some plants, the full heat of a warmed home can be too much though, so a cool porch, conservatory or windowsill is a good compromise. More established plants can survive winter in a sheltered spot against the wall of the house, which should keep the plant a bit warmer.

4) Protect Your Pots

Winter can do a lot of damage to pots and can cost you money if you have to replace them! Glazed ceramic pots deal with cold weather better than unglazed.

However, beware waterlogged compost! As water expands when it freezes, expanding wet compost can eventually crack the pot from the inside. Avoid soggy compost by lifting your pots from the ground with pot feet. This way, water can easily drain away through the holes. Use bought pot feet, or fashion your own stand using small bricks or even old wine corks.

You can also protect pots from frost by moving them to a shed, greenhouse or against the house where the temperatures will be warmer. You can also wrap pots in insulation for extra protection - old bubble wrap works fine or even the insulation that comes from some grocery delivery services.

5) Plan ahead

If it’s cold and wet and there's not much to do, it might be the perfect time to browse seed and plant catalogues! Or for an even greener option, check with other green fingered pals to see if they have any cuttings or seeds to share. Deciding now what you might like to get growing can get you buzzing for all the new shoots next year.

Want to nurture nature? 

We’ve got plenty of tips and tricks for you to reconnect with nature and make your homes that bit greener 

Get greener together. 

Get greener together. Find out how a community united to create a greener, cleaner local space in Newham as part of ‘Breaking Ground’