In the past, few people could afford large, valuable container plants. They built splendid orangeries for their palms, lemon trees, oleander, and bay bushes. Plants from warm climates survived the frost in an overwintering house. These days, anyone can afford this service, without so much as needing a winter garden. Instead, the plants can overwinter with professionals.
Frost damage isn’t a given
Mediterranean and exotic plants provide a vacation ambiance on the terrace in spring and summer at the front of the house or in the garden. An increasing number of business establishments are creating an atmosphere at their doorstep or in the company garden with container plants – the larger the specimen, the more pronounced its effect. And the more frustrating it is when the plants ail in winter and either get a weak start in the new season or succumb to the frost altogether.
Full care in a greenhouse isn’t expensive
Help is available in the form of a professional overwintering service. By request, the largest plants can be picked up. Upon arrival at their new quarters, they’ll be inspected for pests, then placed in the right location for their needs, watered regularly, and tended. The pros will even report the plants and fertilize them. Once winter has passed, the plants are returned, healthy and ready to usher in the new season with robust growth. Owners will be delighted with the kickstart.
Overwintering with full care is always calculated as a fixed price, usually determined by the size of the plant. Ask area gardeners for information on overwintering services.
A frost-free cellar suffices for plants that drop leaves
Some frost-sensitive plants can be overwintered at home. Those that undergo a period of slow growth over the winter and drop their leaves, such as Solanum, angel’s trumpets (Brugmansia), and lily of the Nile (Agapanthus), will do fine in a dark cellar or frost-free garage. A warm basement or heated stairwell that reaches more than 45 degrees is not suitable; the plants will bud too early and be weakened. Winter gardens are also not cool enough for many plants, particularly when the greenhouse warms significantly in the sun.