The Q&A Archives: Overwintering Tropical Plants

Question: Hello, I have banana, palms, cannas, and dracaenas which are all potted. I am looking to overwinter them. At my local Monrovia retailer, they instructed me to simply bring the plants in my garage over the winter. However, my garage can freeze water even though it is attached to the house. I am concerned that will kill the plants. I have a finished basement where I can store the plants. It is dark down there, but it is in the furnace room which will be at least 60 degrees if not more. I'm concerned that they won't go dormant if it iss too warm in there. So, I can do the freezing garage or the warm basement. I really don't have any opportunity to bring them in as house plants over the winter as we don't get enough light in the house. Any advice would be greately appreciated.

Thank you,
Anthony Grosso

Answer: I agree with you - if your garage freezes during the winter months, it's no place for tropical plants. I'd vote for taking them into the basement. 60F is fine for the plants during the winter months. They won't grow much, but they should survive. They will need supplemental light while they are indoors so go the least expensive route and you'll be able to save your plants. Keep the artificial light on 12-14 hours a day. Regular shop fluorescent lights will help, or you could invest in some Gro-Lites and really make them happy.

Best wishes with your plants!

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