Start bringing tender plants under cover

Bring in tender plants

by Martin Fish |

September brought some good weather for many of us, with plenty of sunshine and high temperatures for the time of the year.

However, now we’re into October, temperatures start to drop and there’s a higher chance of night frosts.

For me, this is the point I start to bring tender plants that have been outside over summer back under cover for winter protection.

The amount of protection needed depends on how delicate the plants are, but if you’re able to provide frost-free conditions, you’ll be able to overwinter a wide range.

First to come in are fuchsias and pelargoniums and, although these will often stand a few degrees of frost for short periods of time, bringing them back into the greenhouse helps to keep them in good condition.

Other plants I bring in include tender salvias, colocasia, with its large leaves, strobilanthes, coleus, abutilon and succulents, all of which need protection.

Before bringing them in, any dead foliage is picked off and I also check under the pots for any slugs and snails that are hiding.

If vine weevil is a problem it’s also worth treating the compost with nematodes or a compost drench such as Bug Killer Ultra Vine Weevil Killer, but not both.

Top tips

  • Before bringing in tender plants pick off dead foliage and check under pots for slugs and snails.

Bring in tender plants
©Martin Fish
  • Plants such as pelargoniums and fuchsias can be cut down and the compost kept just moist.

  • Space plants out in the greenhouse to allow good air flow between them to prevent fungal diseases.

  • To prevent vine weevil grubs damaging roots treat the compost with nematodes.

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