Overwintering And How You Can Do It


Are you looking to overwinter your plants? Searching for overwintering process and how its done? Then you have come to the right place. In this article you will find all the information about overwintering. Not only that but also learn how you can overwinter your tropical plants and which processes is best for which type of plants.

Learn why overwintering is important and which plants benefit from overwintering.  Keep reading this article to learn more about overwintering.

What Does Overwintering Mean?

What Does Overwintering Mean

Overwintering is the process of protecting your outdoor plants from freezing in the winter. In winter, temperatures drops to freezing temperature and most plants survive these minus temperatures. Hence why people use the overwintering technique to survive these plants. Hardy plants need mild overwintering to survive in a habitat that is ideal to where it natively grows.

While plants that live far outside their natural habitat need more overwintering to protect them from freezing cold. Overwintering techniques are mainly used for tropical and semi-tropical plants that bloom beautifully in summer season but cannot survive the biting cold temperatures.

These plants need extra protection provided through the overwintering process to survive the winter. Vulnerable plants that are typically hardy or newly planted plants or containerized plants may also need little overwintering to survive the winter season.

Another advantage of overwintering plants is that it can help your favorite plants survive several years that usually won’t survive a year in your garden. The technique helps your plant grow at impressive size and develop unique characteristics.

Overwintering helps save your money as well as you don’t have to purchase plants every season. We all know tropical plants cost a lot of money.

How to Overwinter your Plants?

How to Overwinter your Plants

Here’s how you can overwinter your plants in your garden and protect them from dying in the winter season.

Prune Your Plants

Prune Your Plants

Perennial plants that can survive season to season from a part of the plant that survives the colder season can be pruned to overcome the winter months. Perennial plants are shrubs or trees including gymnosperms or cone-bearing plants which can handle cold temperatures but remains dormant during this season.

These plants shed leaves in winter but when spring comes these plants start to grow. To make sure that these plants survive the freezing winter you can prune the extra branches of these perennial plants. This ensures that the plant keeps can nourish the little branches it has left.

You can also trap the heat within the soil by putting extra mulch in the plants base. Plants that are hardy like hibiscus, rhododendrons and azaleas can survive in these winter months and grow back beautifully in the spring season.

Create A Cold Frame

Create A Cold Frame

A cold frame is a clear plastic sheet covered wooden frame that goes over plants in the winter months. Overwintering your tropical or semi-tropical plants with a cold frame will trap the heat within the frame when sunlight falls on the plants. The clear plastic sheet will allow the sunlight to pass but block the precipitation during winter months.

Cold frame can only be used for plants that need little water during the fall and winter season to survive. As plants with more water need might not survive in a cold frame as precipitations gets blocked while using this technique.

Store Your Plants In Your Garage Or Basement

Store Your Plants In Your Garage Or Basement

If you live in a colder climate region where your garden soil freezes, then store your plants in your garage. You can also store your plants that cannot survive in the frozen soil in your basement or shed. Dig all your plants that cannot survive the harsh cold weather and soil and put them in a pot an keep them in a cool and dark space.

This technique of overwintering works great for plants in bulbs form, tubers and corms. You will need to cut all the leaves and flowers on the plants and brush away excess dirt and re-pot them.

Dark and cooler places like shed, garage and basement have much warmer temperatures for these plants to survive the winter season. If you have a thermostat at home and garage then temperatures within forty to fifty-five Fahrenheit is great for these plants to survive and not bloom to early.

Convert Your Garden Plants To Houseplants Temporarily

Convert Your Garden Plants To Houseplants Temporarily  

Another way you can survive your summer plants through the colder months is by temporarily making them houseplants. This overwintering process is quite a common process as it makes the winter season more cozy indoors. You just need to dig up your garden plants and pot them in lots of soil and place it in your house as per your choice.

People also love decorating their homes with these plants during the colder months as it give your house a more festive look.

This process works great for new plants that haven’t developed a deep root systems. But if you are careful you can also use this method for old plants as well. Plants like succulents, herbs plants, impatiens, begonias and geraniums do well with this overwintering process.

Since most of these plants need sunlight you can keep them in windowsills or places where natural light gets in. Also apply neem oil to these plants as these plants are susceptible to pest infestation line gnats and aphids.

Plants That Benefit From Overwintering

Here are some plants that benefit immensely from overwintering during the winter.

  1. Plants with bulbs, corms and tubers: Elephant ears, dahlias, simple potato plants, cannas and similar kinds of plants do great when cared for during winter. These plants can survive in cool basements, garages and sheds. Dry the tubers and bulbs and remove dirt and store them. When spring comes plant them again and let them grow.
  2. Herbs: Most house gardens have some kind of herbs plants like chives, mint, rosemary, parsley or oregano. These plants do great as houseplants when kept in places which get lots of sunshine like windowsills or closed balconies.
  3. Ornamental leafy plants: Most gardens have ornamental leafy plants that benefit a great deal fro overwintering. Plants like Boston ferns, coleus and caladiums do great when treated as house plants during winter.


Let us know if this article was able to help you understand the technique of overwintering. Was this article able to solve your queries about overwintering?

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