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How to overwinter annual plants by moving them indoors

With the end of autumn and the approach of winter, for many of us it is a fact - the end of annual flowers. Our beautiful flowers that we love in our garden or on the balcony. But with a little effort, you can enjoy some of these plants on your windowsills all winter — or at least keep them alive and be outdoors in spring. There are three methods for overwintering your favorite annuals, and the method you choose depends only on whether you are dealing with a true annual or a tender perennial grown as an annual.

Some true annuals include pansies, larkspur, most snapdragons, carnations, and zinnias. However, in common practice, the term "annual" is also used to refer to many "delicate" perennials that are grown as annuals. In warmer climates, these delicate perennials will continue to grow throughout the year, often reaching sizes comparable to those of woody shrubs. However, in colder climates, they die off along with the roots, so they are considered “annuals”.

Before starting work.

Plants that adapt best indoors as intact specimens to continue growing are delicate perennials (annuals). Among them there are such garden plants: coleus, geranium, wax begonias, touch-me-nots, heliotrope.

When grown as container plants, the pot can be placed indoors to keep growing actively during the winter. You can also dig up these plants and transplant them into pots.

By moving the growing plant indoors, you can enjoy the beauty of the plant throughout the winter.

Species that are "true annuals" cannot overwinter because they are genetically programmed to bloom and die during a single growing season.

Failures are common.

Overwintering plants is not easy, as the rescue method may not always work for them.

Many require a lot of direct sunlight and this is a challenge on short winter days. The way out is artificial lighting, but some species underestimate it, so you have to look for a place where the sun's rays will fall and so annuals will overwinter.

You can experiment with different annuals, but you need to be prepared for “failure”.

Overwintering of annual plants.

Before winter, annuals should be brought indoors, the timing may differ slightly depending on the species, since some plants will continue to grow even before the first frost.

Trimming the stem trim for rooting is usually most successful if you do it while the plants are still actively growing, but not during their peak flowering period.

How to overwinter annuals in pots

Annual plants grown in containers can be moved indoors. You can also transplant garden specimens into indoor pots using this method:

Prune the plant.
Whether they are already in pots or transplanted from the garden into containers, it is best to cut the foliage by about a third before moving it. This will reduce stress.

Transfer to a pot.
Carefully dig out the garden plant with the root ball and move it to the pot already filled with potting soil. It is best not to carry too much regular garden soil, as it may contain soil pathogens and may not drain as efficiently as ready-made potting soil.

Moving from outdoors to indoors is stressful, so help the plant acclimate by spending longer indoors for 1-2 weeks. An easy way to acclimatize is to move the plant indoors at night and then outdoors again during the day until the plant gets used to the indoor temperature and air quality.

Indoor location.
Each type of plant has its own ideal growing requirements. It is usually best to give it the brightest location.
If you cannot provide enough natural light, artificial lighting (slow exposure) can be used.
Some plants can also fight in normally dry winter conditions indoors. Increase humidity, if necessary, using a humidifier or other method.

Care of the plant.
Like other indoor plants, outdoor annuals are often susceptible to various pests and diseases. Most annuals grown indoors in winter will have a half-life, requiring less watering and almost no feeding during the winter. Check the plant regularly for common indoor pests. And pick off yellow or dried leaves as they appear.

Overwintering of annual cuttings

Another way to overwinter annuals - and the only viable method for true annuals - is to cut off cuttings. It may also be the best method for delicate perennials that do not adapt well to replanting, such as coleus and begonia.

Gardening advice.

Some plants will be able to root successfully if the cuttings are in a glass of water until you see the root system developing.

Caring for the plant.

Turning to an annual plant is important as it is to indoor plants, because they are in the room.
Watch out for winter watering, light, and pests and diseases.
In winter, they do not need feeding.
Desirable top dressing in late winter or early spring with biohumus fertilizer. Buy vermicompost with a click with the transition to the product.

Moving to the street.

When it's time to move the plant (rooted) to the street, then you need to give it the opportunity to adapt to external conditions.
When the frost has passed, you can take the pot outside every day for a gradually increasing number of hours for about a week.
Then you can safely leave your plants in pots or transplant them into the ground in your garden.

Another option for overwintering.

Collect the seeds of annual plants in the garden and plant indoors during the winter. Some species of annuals are fairly easy to propagate in this way. Seeds from mature flower heads and store them for indoor planting in potting soil or seed mixture for about 2 months before the last frost in winter, spring.

How dormant bare-rooted plants overwinter.
Some delicate perennials with tough, fibrous roots can be dug up and stored as bare roots, and then resurrected in the spring. Geranium (Pelargonium, Dahlias and Tuberous Begonia are 3 such plants that can definitely be handled this way.

Root storage.
The best way to keep plant roots in a dry and dark place.
Including stem and bottom lump, can be stored hanging from a beam or wrapped in newspaper on a shelf.

Watch the dormant roots.
Check and maintain dormant roots monthly.

Periodically inspect the melting, for example, Geranium roots, soak in water for an hour once a month, then dry and store.
And if the roots are prone to drying out, then it is imperative to moisten and dry easily. It is imperative to cut off all diseased areas in plants.


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