The Q&A Archives: winter care

Question: I purchased a Princess Flower this summer and it is just starting to bloom. Since I live on Vancouver Island and we have a Coastal climate similar to Seattle, I will be bringing the plant indoors over the winter. Your

Answer: If you want to keep it in active growth during the winter, it is best to minimize the temperature between indoors and outdoors, so try to move it when temperatures are still in the mid 50's, bringing it into a cool (daytime 60 to 65, nights in the 50's) but very bright room. Gradually move it to progressively less bright locations outdoors over a period of a week or two so it can acclimate to the light change. In winter, it will slow its growth so take care not to overwater/overfertilize it. Try to keep the humidity level high for it. In spring, trim it back if needed to control size/reshape, then gradually reverse the process to take it back outside.

If you do not have a cool bright room, you can leave the plant outdoors a bit later in the fall so it begins to go dormant. When temperatures are in the 40's bring it into a cool (45 degree) dark place to rest for the winter. Water just enough to keep the soil from going bone dry. It will defoliate. In spring, trim it back if needed and take it outdoors when temperatures are reliably in the 50's. Resume watering and fertilizing as it comes back into growth.

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