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Can I enjoy my plants indoors for the cooler months? – Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens Q & A


Can I enjoy my plants indoors for the cooler months?

Can I enjoy my plants indoors for the cooler months? Josh – Speed, KS

With winter on the way, you are probably starting to wonder how to go about protecting your plants through the colder months. Just as each plant is unique in looks and application, different types of plants require different means of protection to survive winter. You will want to properly identify which types of plants are present in your pond and proceed accordingly. If you are willing to go the extra mile and care for your plants indoors you will be able to enjoy them all season long and dodge the expense of re-buying plants to garnish your pond next Spring.

Plants are typically categorized by hardiness which gauges their survivability in specific temperature ranges. Some plants, like Bog Bean are rated from zones 3 to 10 which means they can withstand very cold temperatures but can also thrive in warm weather. Tropical plants like the Antares Lily are hardy only in zones 10 and 11. For help, see our Plant Hardiness Zone Map which breaks down temperature lows in each zone. With this being said you will now understand that some plants may need to be stored earlier and longer than others and may require a little more attention depending on their warmth and light requirements and if you maintaining the entire plant or only storing tubers.

Hardy Lilies and Lotus can be trimmed back to about an inch` away from the top of the planter as they brown. To over winter these plants you simply sink the baskets to a depth in your pond that will not freeze solid, normally at least 12” in water depth. As the temperatures warm back up you can move the basket closer to the surface and let nature take its course. If your lilies aren’t potted, they are more than likely planted into lily pockets that are already 12-18” in depth and simply trimming them back will suffice. Any tropical plant, however, will have to come inside for the winter. These plants can be maintained if placed in a warm and sunny area or under a full spectrum light and the root of the plant is kept submerged.

Submerged Plants that are hardy in colder climates can just be sunk to deeper regions of your pond that will not freeze solid in the winter. If they require warmer temperatures you can bring them in and store them in an aquarium with full spectrum lighting.

Floating Plants like Water Hyacinths and Water Lettuce are sensitive to colder weather and are a little more difficult to over winter. If you choose to bring them in for the winter, they require a warm sunny location or under full spectrum lighting. You will also want to add some liquid fertilizer like Microbe-Lift Bloom & Grow to keep them healthy.

POND TALK: Tell us how you over winter your aquatic plants.

Easily maintain your plants!

3 Responses

  1. … just a comment – LOVE YOUR EMAILS!!!! and… I have a greenhouse and have overwintered pond plants in a small horse trough filled with plants and water in the greenhouse. I have a small pump that circulates water – it helps the air flow for the plants and sounds great in the greenhouse! You have to beware if you have snails… they’ll attack your greenhouse plants…. I usually treat with “Hadda Snail” (you can get this at fish/aquarium stores) before putting in them in for the fall/winter. You can also split your plants at leisure during the winter when you’re working in the greenhouse and they get a head start! Happy Gardening!!!!!

  2. how do i winter my water canna ?

    • Leave Water Canna plants in the pond over the winter if you live in the warm climates in Zones 7 or higher. In cooler climates, remove the pots from the pond in the fall and store the rhizomes inside during the winter. Storing the rhizome in a ventilated container with sand and peat moss, kept damp, at temperatures above 65 degrees, or bring the entire plant inside, keep it warm, in sunlight as much as possible and water frequently. Take back out to your pond when water temperatures reach 65 degrees.

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