It can be fun having your favorite potted plants as roommates for the winter. But once February and March roll around, you might be wondering how much longer they have to stay cooped up inside. As a general rule, you want to make sure the outside temperatures are well outside of potential freezing ranges. Once there have been multiple nights that didn’t dip past the fifties and there isn’t a storm on the horizon, it should be safe to wheel them outside.
Here’s what you should do before you take plants back outside.
1. Add a few inches of mulch and fertilizer.
Your plants are going to wake up soon — if they haven’t already — and that means they’re going to need a lot of nutrients. Frontload their schedule a bit so they’re set for the days following the move. Replenishing the pot also protects roots from the sudden shock of exposure to low and high temperature they haven’t had to deal with for a few months.
2. Don’t water them.
It’s better to water your plants after you move them instead of during the days before you take them outside. Not only will the water weight down the pot, but it could also leave a drippy trail from the front and back doors. You’ll also be tempted to water them once you take them outside, and overwatering can give your plants a rough start to spring.
3. Keep your biggest pot of plants by the front door or on top of the dolly.
If you’re worried about hail or the potential for surprise freezes (they’ve been known to happen, even in DFW), don’t position your plants in their final spots just yet. Instead, set them outside on your patio or close to the doors. That makes it easier to bring them inside if you need to save them from the weather. It also gives them a bit of an acclimation period if the weather heats up immediately since they’ll spend their first few days in the shade.
If you like getting new plants every spring, head to Chambersville Tree Farm to browse our fresh new selection.