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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.
Containers: overwintering plants
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.
Cool conservatory and greenhouse plants
Hardening off tender plants
Overwintering tender plants: wrapping
Preventing winter damage
Warm conservatory and greenhouse plants
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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.