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Help with overwintering plants! URGENT.

Huernias, fenestrarias, aloes, arisaemas, colocasia, alocasia, philodendron, orchids bananas, peas, lettuce mangos, papayas, butterfly bushes, and COUNTLESS more, ARE ALL DEAD!!! truthfully I would like to pull my hair out. How do I keep plants during winter? We've been working on the house, so I can't keep them inside, and currently, the greenhouse outside, smells of a freshly mown LAWN. electric heaters don't work, gas isn't an option obviously, nobody will take them and I am having a crisis! My parents can't help, we can't spend three thousand dollars on a huge electric bill either, and its 15 degrees outside, so WHAT DO I DO!?!? 


  • For some reason in nc where I live the town I live in seems to just get colder here than the neighboring counties. The weatherman noticed it too, lol. Its a really big hobby for me that I've spent a lot of money on, so that's why I'm a bit worried. I've never really been interested in the things that grow here and the ones that I can over winter here, we can't seem to find, because with my mom, ordering plants online isn't really an option. Alot of people here don't grow things in the winter and are just seasonal gardeners, but with things that take a bit of time, and special care with stable parameters to grow/bloom, seasonal gardening just really wouldn't work out for me. What I really enjoy growing are the tropicals. Like orchids, nepenthes, etc. That sadly dont like it here. I just got really frustrated when half of my garden fell apart, in hindsight I feel really stupid because I knew it would come sooner or later and that my usual places I would be able to keep them would no longer work. Any way to do tropical here? 

  • From what I’ve been reading you are not alone, loads of people had plant death due to your freak cold weather bomb. 

    The US has plant hardyness Zones for you to use as reference.

    If you want to grow less hardy plants then your only option would be to grow in pots, cover in fleece during cold weather and hope.  Tropical would absolutely be better off bringing inside so I would hunt for plants that look like tropical but ain’t. 

    Check out this guy’s site, and this tree in particular which you might like, which you can grow big or turn into a bush, and should survive in your zone :) 

  • Might just have to wait till later and when I get my own house, take a small room or closet and use it as a mini rainforest. Until then I don't know what I'll do. I dont think we have Judas trees at any of our local gardening stores BTW. Thanks though! 

  • If you have problems accessing plants then why not give propagating from seeds and cuttings a go? 

     There is a very lovely eBay subculture where people will harvest their own seeds and take cuttings and sell them on dirt cheap for others so it’s more about time than money. If you go for hardy shrubs and trees, which are the tricky ones, appropriate for your zone then they should be fine in your uheated greenhouse and you can make a few pennies ebaying any spares.  Plus, if  your propigation game gets strong then you will save a fortune later on tropicals. 

  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601

    Philippa is right - you are starting at the wrong end. You need to do some research about local conditions and the plants that grow well where you are. These will be easy to buy and maintain. They may well be seasonal because most places have seasons.

    If you want to grow plants that require different conditions then you should work out how to provide these BEFORE buying the plants. They will not survive inside your house for long unless you can give them the correct amount of light, warmth and humidity. A greenhouse can be heated with electric heaters but you can buy oil or paraffin heaters if there is no power.

    Growing plants is a great hobby but you will waste an awful lot of money if you don't understand the plants' needs. They won't thrive just because you want them to and you have paid for them! Learn, plan and work out the basics, start small and develop as you learn.

  • You are both absolutely right about right plant right place, but In all fairness the buddleja at least would have survived winter in normal circumstances - but the US got hit with a insane weather bomb this month which did stuff like freeze rivers, and the whole zone system was thrown out of whack.   On the plus side they are cheap and the new ones will grow back lightning fast. 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,131

    Indeed. I wouldn't give up on a buddleja just yet. It may well survive. they're very tough. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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