The Q&A Archives: How to care for my plants

Question: I have some plants (Flower) plants, and i need help in careing for them, i had then hanging outside but now it is getting to cold so what can i do now? i need help. The names of the plants are New Guinea Impatiens,Impatiens,Spreading Petunia(Petunia x hybrida Wave), Lemon Symphony(Osteospermum hybrid), Intensia Lavender Glow(Phiox hybrid),Ramblin Burgundy Chrome,(Petunia),and Easy Wave Blue spreading Petunia. I really hope you can help me. Thank-you.

Answer: Lori,

Those plants are too tender to take the cold. Most folks just treat them as annuals meaning they last one year and then new ones are purchased next spring. If you have a greenhouse or a very bright room with large windows you may be able to keep them over the winter. To do so first cut them back to a smaller size (you determine how much room you have). Then check them over for pests and treat for any seen so they don't hitch a ride indoors. Gradually over the course of a couple of weeks or more move them into lower light areas to get them ready for the low light indoor environment. You can leave them outdoors as long as the temps are not below about 35 as a frost or freeze will burn them back or kill them outright. During the winter months give them as much light as you can. Turn the plants every few days to maintain good light on all sides. Keep the soil barely moist as overwatering will lead to root rots and indoors their water use will be significantly lower. Fertilize only very lightly about once a month with a dilute soluble fertilizer product. They won't be growing much indoors and don't need much supplemental feeding. When winter is ending and nighttime temps are rising above the 40's move them back outdoors gradually getting them back into full sun again except for the impatiens which will prefer to be in a bright shade.

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