Preparing Plants for the Cold

Darleen Jarocki

Preparing Plants for the Cold

3 mins
November 10, 2020

Now is the time to prepare your plants for the cold winter ahead. Generally, Halloween, gives us the "go ahead" to protect our plants and to plant the Spring flowering bulbs. Some plants prefer the cold and will last longer than others. Citrus can tolerate temps down to 29 degrees before the fruit becomes badly damaged.  


Orchids like cooler weather at night, so moving them to a shady location outside, might promote flowering. The bulbs will need to be planted now. The temp below 55 degrees is perfect for planting. Watch for soil temperature when planting bulbs. You don’t want to put them in when the soil is too warm or they have a tendency to sprout when they shouldn’t be sprouting.  


Annuals should be brought inside and any of your tropical plants. Start thinking about placing them in a garage for the time being to be on the lookout for the insects that want to make their home in the soil and on the plant. Move the plants at a transitional period before placing them in your basement. The plants will lose their leaves over the winter and will make the plant weaker for it to sprout again next Spring. Keep in mind, most plants require, some light, or you can use a grow light with a muted bulb.

Baby Trees

Water your plants well before you store them. If you have been brave, and bought "baby trees", when the end of garden sale is tempting you. Be sure and plant the baby trees in a trench in their pots, cover the trench with soil, and pack the soil around the pots. You should have good luck with storing these trees in that manner. I have tried doing this with great results. Water these baby trees well and plant them in an area where there isn’t too much sunshine to cause thawing and freezing. Most plants are winter damaged (not because of the cold) but it is the act of Mother Nature with the warm and cold temps we have experienced throughout the Winter months. 

The Peony Bushes

I am successfully in the process of separating the peony bushes. When the bulb is dug, you will see small nubs on the bulb. Place the bulb within two to three inches of the soil surface. Pack the soil well around the bulb and water it. It is a good practice to mulch the planted bulb and place a wire over the mulch to keep the mulch from blowing away. 

My thought for today. Dear God, aging is amazing! Thank you for the gift of memory and sparks of recognition that take us back to incredible moments that shaped our lives. 

Stay well, readers, and have a Blessed and Thankful Holiday Season.

This article was orginally reported by
Darleen Jarocki

Darleen Jarocki is an expert gardener and cook. She is an excellent folklorist and local historian.