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In frost-prone areas a conservatory is the ideal place for overwintering tender perennials and marginally hardy plants from the garden. Cold-sensitive plants in need of good light levels and dry, frost-free conditions will also benefit. Tropical plants and exotics can be moved inside during autumn after a spell in the garden through the summer months.
Suitable for Tender perennials and borderline hardy shrubsTiming Usually late summer to autumnDifficulty Easy to moderate
A heated conservatory provides a warm and light environment but can be expensive to run. Day temperatures of 15-20ºC (60-70ºF) are ideal with some heating maintained at night to avoid an extreme drop in temperature.
Examples of plants requiring this environment include:
An intermediate conservatory suits a range of plants that tolerate an even, cool temperature of about 10ºC (50ºF).
Plants preferring these conditions include:
Even without heating a cool conservatory providing a minimum of 5-7ºC (41-45ºF) makes an ideal place to overwinter tender plants from the garden.
Plants that suit these conditions include:
Do not leave bringing tender plants under cover, otherwise they may be damaged by the cold;
When moving plants from outside to inside, follow these easy steps:
Check plants carefully for any pests or diseases they may have picked up in the garden. Tip plants out of the pot and examine for any soil pests such as vine weevil. Many plants such as fuchsia are susceptible.
To ensure a supply of fresh young plants for a display next year you can take softwood cuttings in summer.
Salvia cuttings will root easily from either the tender or hardy species.
Christmas-flowering houseplantsCool conservatory and greenhouse plantsHardening off tender plantsHouseplantsOverwintering: liftingOverwintering tender plants: wrappingPreventing winter damageWarm conservatory and greenhouse plants
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