Category: Tropical Style

Outsmart Winter — Make Houseplants of Your Garden Growers

Gardeners in cold climates are knowledgeable about the dreaded feeling that comes with the first frost. The great thing is that the ending of summer doesn’t need to mean saying goodbye to crops that you’ve nurtured. Many fragile perennials, container annuals and tropicals could survive as houseplants until spring. When your plants are in easy-to-move containers, then the occupation is simple. But even plants at the ground could be carefully dug up, potted and brought inside for fall and winter.

The best advice in regards to overwintering would be to plan ahead and bring your outside plants inside before it becomes imperative. Plants given time to adjust to their new surroundings will fare far better indoors than those that are transferred without a forethought.

The rule of thumb would be to bring plants indoors before night temperatures dip below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Some tropicals should be brought indoors when temperatures dip below 50 degrees, and orchids should be moved inside when temperatures fall to the 55- to 60-degree variety.


Acclimation into the inside. Because conditions vary widely between the inside and outside your house, a gradual introduction (or reintroduction) into the inside is vital. Sudden changes in temperature, humidity and light may cause irreversible trauma to crops, and in the least may result in yellowing leaves, wilting as well as partial departure.

Plants that have been outdoors in large light should be placed in similar light inside, such as close to a caked window or under fluorescent plant lights on a timer for 16 hours a day. To acclimate sun-loving outside plants into a dimmer indoor place, keep them in a shady place outdoors for a week or 2 prior to moving them inside.

Even with the best care, exterior plants can wither and droop when transferred inside. If some leaves turn yellow or fall off, don’t despair. Trim the dead growth, keep the humidity up levels and set the plants in a bright place, and they might recover once they are knowledgeable about the conditions in their new home.

Sandvold Blanda Architecture + Interiors LLC

Facilitating a dormant period for woody species. Depending on the kinds of crops you’d love to overwinter, and the available area in your residence, you might gain from letting some woody species to go dormant at a sheltered garage, an unheated basement or an outside shed. Roses, hardy hibiscus, lavender, rosemary and shasta daisy are among those plants that could withstand, and also benefit from, a period of dormancy in winter. Maintain the strands from drying out entirely and make sure that the temperature stays approximately between 20 and 40 degrees. Dormant plants do not require fertilizer or light.

Kristen Rivoli Interior Design

Trimming and taking cuttings. When a container plant is becoming leggy over the summer, gently remove it out of its container and then prune the top and roots in equivalent proportions. Scrub the pot to rid of any infestation or parasites. Add fresh bagged potting soil (not garden dirt(which can have ailments), then replant.

That is also a fantastic time to take cuttings of annual flowers, such as impatiens, begonias, geraniums and coleus. They root easily in sand or water, and also make attractive houseplants, which may then be implanted in the garden come spring.

Crisp Architects

Setting the point. Thoroughly clean windows inside and out to allow as much light in as possible. A sunny window ledge, a shelf mounted along with a window or maybe a built-in recessed niche such as the one here could become a stunning flowering backyard all winter long. With the correct requirements, many flowering plants may provide winter blooms indoors. Geraniums, impatiens and begonias are a sure bet. For the adventurous, even Evolvulus and verbena could be overwintered too, though they will require an extremely bright place just like a sunroom or greenhouse.

Here is a quick collection of garden crops that may be overwintered or improved inside, some with greater success than others, but certainly worth a try: Abutilon, angel’s trumpet, begonia, bougainvillea, citrus (like lemons, calmondins and kumquats), coleus, ficus, geranium, hibiscus, impatiens, Mandevilla, passionflower, pentas, lavender, shasta daisy and all succulents.

Pest control. Always remember to inspect crops for infestation and disease, and treat the problem before bringing them inside. If you guess that there could be snails, worms or other insects burrowing in the dirt, soak the pot in a tub of lukewarm water for about 15 minutes, which will force them out. (Do not do so with plants that move semidormant or dormant in the winter, such as succulents and bulbs, because these plants need contaminated soil during their dormant period. Repot any such crops and put a piece of cable screening over the drainage hole to keep out the little critters next year.)

Before bringing plants inside, treat them using a natural parasitic plant spray for many weeks to get rid of little pests (those that you see and those that you don’t). Or you may spray on soap-tolerant plants using a soap solution, which may also be an effective nontoxic insecticide.

Dennison and Dampier Interior Design

Growing garden types inside year-around. Do not be shocked if a number of your overwintering experiments are so successful that you decide to make a permanent home inside for crops usually seen in the backyard. The collection seen here is magnificent and distinctive in addition to unexpected. Diligent trimming keeps the compact kinds and shows off the crops’ stunning colors.

The 3 chief plants flourishing in this volcano:
The Purple Heart blossom at the corner is particularly easy to grow; disperse it simply by sticking cuttings into dirt. The silver-leaved leaves plant on the table appears to be Dusty Miller (Senecio cineraria); it is a wonderful decorative touch with this rustic, historic-looking room. The blooming bush is Abutilon, which, with proper pruning and repotting twice per year, could be considered a houseplant for many decades. Abutilon prefers a cool winter room and less water, followed by warmth and sufficient moisture in the summer.

Important considerations for overwintering outside plants:

Location: Generally the most effective indoor place for any outdoor backyard plant is close to a sunny window. Do not allow any leaves to get a cold window. Maintain the plants away from drafts in addition to heating vents. Since the dry winter air inside our homes can be damaging to overwintering, a well-lit toilet or laundry area (both humid) could be the ideal location for your plants. The leaves will turn brown and clear if there is not enough moisture in the air.

Timing: Allow plants to gradually acclimate into the very dry effects of indoor heating by bringing them inside before you actually begin heating your house.

Maintenance: Provide extra humidity by misting the leaves each day and consider placing the plant’s container onto a shallow water-filled tray lined with little stones, or so the pot stands around the rocks but not at the water. Throughout the cool seasons, many crops naturally become dormant or develop at a really slow pace. Watering should be performed only when the soil looks dry, but do water the plant deeply enough so that water drains out of the bottom of the pot to the tray or plate. Fertilizer is usually not suggested.

Cautions: Many plants are poisonous as well as riskier for children and animals than adults, so do your homework to determine which crops to stay out of reach if necessary.

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Cool-Season Vegetables: How To Grow Collards

Collards, or collard greens are a staple of Southern cooking known for the sweetness that they create after the first light frosts, making them ideal for a fall and winter garden. What most people don’t see is that collards can also handle warmth, not bolting such as spinach does, so it is possible to plant this green for a summer harvest as well.

Collard greens don’t form cabbage-like heads. Instead, the loose leaves form a ring, or rosette, much like kale does. They taste a bit like kale as well, although there are indications of cabbage in there also. They can be braised on their own, boiled with salt pork or ham and black-eyed or split peas, added to soups, or cooked like spinach or cabbage.

More: The way to grow cool-season veggies

When to plant: In cold-winter climates, set out plants in spring or late summer, or sow seeds in late summer (it develops best in autumn). In mild-winter climates, either sow seeds or put out plants in spring and again in late summer for a fall and winter crop.

Days to maturity: 50 to 85

Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade

Water requirement: Regular to mild

Favorites: Champion, Georgia Southern Flash, Vates

Planting and maintenance: Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep and 1 to 2 inches apart; place crops 1 to 2 ft apart. Thin seedlings to the exact same space (use the thinnings in a stir-fry). The soil should be fertile and well drained. Do not plant in which you’ve planted other cabbage relatives in the previous couple of decades.

Maintain the soil weed free. Water less than you would for additional cabbage relatives to avoid the plant from growing too tall. Maintain your watering schedule consistent, however, to whiten the greens.

Collards are much less susceptible to problems than other cabbage relatives, but keep an eye out for aphids, cabbage loopers, cabbage works and harlequin bugs. Damping off can be an issue.

Harvest: Cut off the lower leaves and depart the middle of the plant after 40 to 50 times to lengthen the crop. You are able to eliminate the entire plant at once as well.

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Great Design Tree: Australian Tea Tree

I am not going to try to conceal the reverence and adoration I have to the Australian Tea Tree (Leptospermum laevigatum). Wind disregarded and architectural, these trees seem to be formed by hand rather than grown. They sweep wildly across the landscape, and no two trees are ever alike. Growing up in San Diego, I would climb these trees in my favorite beach, only later discovering the name. As it turns out, Australian Tea Trees create for beautiful landscape layout features in more than just my childhood shore.

Ms. Sadie

Botanical name: Leptospermum laevigatum
Common names: Australian Tea Tree, Coast Tea Tree
USDA zones: 9 to 11
Water necessity: Little to none
Light requirement:Total sun
Mature size: 10 to 30 feet tall and wide
Tolerances: Drought; thrives in coastal Problems

Distinguishing attributes. Australian Tea Tree is a showstopping specimen tree that exudes a casual and understated aesthetic. The flaky gray bark and twisting type of the tree’s back are identifiers of the tea tree and that which make it so unlike every other. The trunk and bark just become more sculptural with age.

Fine foliage and petite white flowers softly contrast the coarse back of the tree, creating a balanced juxtaposition. Flowering in spring, the tree creates a dazzling display of small, white flowers throughout the leaves and stalks.

Photograph by Stephen Bain through Wikimedia Commons

Deborah Cowder

How to utilize it. The picturesque appearance of the tea tree, highly ornamental and sculptural, makes it a specimen tree. Given room and time to mature, its limbs will only disperse and twist more, creating a living landscape sculpture and ideal shady landscape spot.

J Brew

Australian Tea Tree can also be trained as a windbreak, a backyard display or a covered walk — revealed here at Lotusland in Santa Barbara, California. Although this treatment of the tree prevents its branching structure from taking form, fine leaves and flowers will still blanket its branches. This usage requires labour.

Ms. Sadie

Planting notes. Native to coastal climates, tea trees flourish in well-drained, somewhat acidic soil. The tree is susceptible to root rot if the soil is too moist. Long term living and quick growing, Australian Tea Tree requires little extra care once established. If you allow it to grow out entirely, you are able to narrow regions to highlight its shape; it requires very little pruning.

More amazing layout trees:
Dove Tree | Bald Cypress | Chinese Witch Hazel | Japanese Maple | Manzanita
Persian Ironwood | Smoke Tree | Texas Mountain Laurel | Tree Aloe

Great layout flowers:
Ornamental Allium | Canna Lily | Catmint | Golden Creeping Jenny | Pacific Coast Iris
Plumbago | Red Kangaroo Paw | Sally Holmes Rose | Slipper Plant | Snake Flower

Great layout crops:

Euphorbia | Red-Leafed Mukdenia | Blue Chalk Sticks | Hens-and-Chicks
Redtwig Dogwood |Toyon

Great layout grasses:
Black Mondo Grass | Cape Rush | Feather Reed Grass | New Zealand Wind Grass

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5 Amazing Landscapes Across the U.S.

I’m going to have a trip across the continental U.S. from east to west, to look at some gorgeous outdoor spaces. From gardens in rural Maine into a contemporary roof deck overlooking the Pacific, these landscapes are certain to stun. Whether you are seeking to plant a perennial garden or bedeck your deck, stop a moment to pick up some lessons for your own backyard.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Pastoral Property at Maine

In rural Maine, a retired couple desired to remove the need to purge their present 2 acres of grass. The new design includes meadows, an orchard and colorful perennial gardens near the house.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

In the foreground, the landscape architect intended out more manicured elements: a diverse mix of perennial colors, shapes and textures, offering interest during three seasons. In the distance are views of Acadia National Park and Blue Hill Mountain.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Lesson from the backyard: Perennials supply a palette of colors, textures and shapes to work with, in addition to seasonal changes. Plants like irises add tall green spikes and blossom earlier in the season, while plants like lamb’s ear add soft silvery green texture closer to the floor for weeks. When developing a plant program do your homework. It is as easy as reading the tags.

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Cottage Gardens at Virginia Wine Country

Two landscape architects made beautiful gardens at the Virginia countryside, a stone’s throw from the homes of former presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. The principal part of the yard is really a rectangle of grass surrounded by perennial borders.

They made this stairs from the driveway into the back entry out of stones located on the property.

Extensive border gardens on a hillside welcome those who come up the driveway.

Lesson from this backyard: working with a simple grassy rectangle, or tapis vert, surrounded by edge gardens is a very simple and striking method to style your yard. Verify the tags in your plants when you’re putting them so that they move from shortest to tallest from the border of the grass to the edge of the backyard.

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Windsor Firms

Sculpture Gardens to a Minnesota Lakefront

Once a tangled woodland, this expansive property takes advantage of the spaces and outside views, including among Lake Minnetonka.

Windsor Firms

Entertainment space and sculpture placement helped drive the plan, as did the spectacular trees that are present.

Windsor Firms

A cutting garden occupies this place between the main house and the swimming pool and tennis court.

Lesson from the backyard: Choose flowersyou’ll enjoy using in floral structures within the house.

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Prideaux Design

A Desert Oasis at Arizona

This well-planned backyard contains a pool, an open fireplace, an outdoor kitchen, a dining area and a lot of room to socialize and lounge.

Prideaux Design

Fireplace illuminates the outdoor lounge on cold desert nights, which makes this room as comfortable as any indoor living room.

Prideaux Design

An outdoor dining and kitchen room imply that what is close at hand, and the homeowners may maximize the time they spend outdoors. Colours and materials continue from one area to the next, such as the piled stone, the tile and the pops of orange, red and bright blue.

Lesson from this terrace: Plan outside rooms just as you’d indoor rooms. Consider how they are arranged (for instance, the dining room near the barbeque), the stream between the scale, the joys of materials and the views each will have.

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Joani Stewart-Georgi – Montana Ave. Interiors

Coastal California Roof Deck

Large lots are difficult to find at Marina del Ray, so citizens make the most of vertical space and roof decks.This expansive area enjoys views of the Pacific and supplies lots of room for soaking in sunlight and entertaining.

Joani Stewart-Georgi – Montana Ave. Interiors

An extensive outdoor kitchen means lots of parties and entertaining on the roof. Stacked stone creates continuity between the outside rooms.

Lesson from this space: Don’t overlook that outdoor furniture is more trendy and comfortable than ever. Do your homework and find durable and trendy pieces, in addition to fabrics, like Sunbrella, that can stand up to the weather.

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Remember the Rooftop
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