Taking Non-Hardy Plants Indoors
It is best to leave plants in pots throughout the summer if you need to take them indoors during the colder months. Check the roots in your pots and plan to repot in the spring, if needed.
One danger, when taking plants indoors, is that they might be carrying pests which could attack the plants you keep inside year around. Before taking a plant inside, spray with an insecticide such as Schultz Insect Spray or Fertilome Indoor/Outdoor Insect spray.
Don’t over water your plants once they are inside. They will need less water during the winter months when they grow more slowly.
How do I prevent winter burn?
While snow and ice can cause winter damage to your valuable shrubs because of weight on branches, a bigger threat often comes from harsh, drying winds. A couple methods you can use to protect your investment are sheltering the plant and spraying to prevent dehydration.
If you chose the shelter method, build a windbreak using wood or bamboo poles surrounding the plant and then attaching a wall of burlap to the poles. Four poles will work best to create a box shape. You can staple or wire-tie the burlap to the poles, spacing the poles so there is about 2″ of space around your shrub. It is recommended that you leave the top of the box open because, if the top is enclosed, snow and ice can build up on it and crush your plant.
Another method you can use is to spray your plant thoroughly with Cloud Cover. Cloud Cover allows the plant to breathe while preventing the winds from drying the plant. Wait as long as possible to apply Cloud Cover. There are usually a few days around Thanksgiving, or later, when temperatures reach into the 40s. That is the time to spray. Cover as much of the leaf surface (on evergreens) and branch surfaces as possible. One application per season is sufficient.