The Q&A Archives: Keeping plants alive in winter

Question: I would like suggestions for using my covered porch (attached to house on two sides) to winter plants and still provide sunlight and warmth so they can survive the winter. Wondering about some kind of fabric or covering that would allow the light and keep in the heat in the winter

Answer: You'll have better success if you try overwintering half-hardy plants. Tropical plants won't overwinter without supplemental heat. But if you can keep the porch above freezing, you can overwinter some of the hardier perennials. When you choose plants check the tags for the lowest temperatures they will tolerate and match that to the temperatures you'll be able to maintain on your porch. Some materials you might consider using are double pane thermal plastic panels. These allow light in but also provide insulation to keep things warmer. I think you'll need to set up the plastic panels and then keep a thermometer handy to see just how low the temperatures go in the winter. Then choose the plants that can tolerate the lowest temperatures and try to overwinter them. Best wishes with your project.

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