You will need to find somewhere safe to store your tropcal plants for the winter.


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The bushy, vigorous habit of Sun Parasol Pretty Pink mandevilla tropical vine makes it ideal for growing in containers.

Three Ways to Overwinter Tropical Plants

It’s hard to resist those tropical beauties in the garden center each spring.  We’ve all succumbed to the imposing leaves of elephant ear (Colocasia) and the striking colors of cannas. Trumpet-flowered Mandevilla grows nicely in a container and can cover a fence in never ending color, at least until frost.  Then there are banana trees, which will probably never produce bananas for us, but make quite the statement in the garden none the less.

And who isn’t charmed by Brugmansia, or Angel’s Trumpet, with its foot-long trumpet horn flowers that obligingly hang upside down, so we can fully take in their heady scent.

These tropical plants add a touch of the exotic to our gardens, providing a taste of warmer climates for however long our summers may last. But they don’t come cheap and to grow a really impressive specimen takes years. Growing them as annual plants seems a waste of not just all the resources you put into buying and caring for the plants, but also the plants themselves. However if you want to enjoy your tropical plants for years to come, you will need to find somewhere safe to store them for the winter.

That can vary from plant to plant. Some plants will happily go dormant, grateful to have the winter off and a little downtime to regain their stamina. Others make excellent indoor plants, if you have a spot with enough sun and you can control the heat and humidity.


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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.