When I first got my hanging baskets I wondered if they should be brought inside in the evening, or during winter. So, I did some research into how it works and put together this helpful article to explain when you should bring your hanging baskets inside.
You should bring your hanging baskets inside anytime there is a danger of frost. If the roots of your plants’ freeze, they will not survive the winter. You also need ample natural or artificial light to keep them alive.
This is the main concern for most folks, but, there are other times when you should bring your hanging basket inside.
What temp should you bring hanging baskets inside?
According to Wikipedia the temperatures which will kill plants in hanging baskets are:
- slight frost: 0 to −3.5 °C (32.0 to 25.7 °F)
- moderate frost: −3.6 to −6.5 °C (25.6 to 20.3 °F)
- severe frost: −6.6 to −11.5 °C (20.2 to 11.3 °F)
- very severe frost: below −11.5 °C (11.3 °F)
These would occur more frequently in the Northern States. You should check the date when there is the coldest day (the middle of winter). Then you can see if your city will go below 0°C (32.0°F) in the wintertime.
When temperatures fall that low any water will freeze into ice. A plant needs flowing water to carry nutrients around its body according to a study done by North Carolina University. If it does you should monitor the temperature and bring them inside when the temperature begins to approach 0°C (32.0°F).
In the extremes of summer, it is not necessary to bring them indoors, but you may want to give them more shade and water than normal. You should monitor the plants and see how they are responding.
If you have hurricane season or extreme winds you should bring you hanging baskets inside. They might blow off and crash into windows. Worse yet they could spill all over the patio. Wind chimes are a great way to monitor the wind.
Snow or hail
Snow can freeze your plants, and hail can damage the leaves and stems. Therefore, if it snows or hails you should bring your hanging baskets inside. If you leave them out they will get damaged and could die.
Even if your hanging baskets are covered by a roof, you should still bring them because snow brings with it cold temperatures which could freeze your plants.
Can hanging baskets survive winter outdoors?
Hanging baskets can survive the winter if where you live doesn’t get very cold in the winter. Temperate and tropical regions do not get cold enough to freeze plants and kill them.
But if you live in a region where the temperature goes below freezing or pretty close then you should bring them inside.
You should check what the average temperature is in winter where you live. If it goes below 0°C (32.0°F), you should find out when that happens, and bring the plants inside.
You can monitor the predicted temperature on many of the large weather websites.
You should also check the average temperatures throughout the year so you will know when you need to be more watchful.
Many people put their hanging baskets in their greenhouse. Depending on how many hanging baskets you have you might not be able to fit them all.
Can my hanging baskets survive without sunlight?
There are particular varieties of plants that can survive without sunlight. These are used in offices and indoors.
You should search online for your specific variety and see if it survives without sunlight. Most plants do well with early morning sun followed by more shade in the afternoon.
You can do this by putting them in a sun-drenched room in the morning and then moving them to other places in the house in the afternoon.
Do plants need direct sunlight or just light?
Plants can grow with direct sunlight and just light as well. When the sun shines the rays bounce off and there is diffused light that hits plants that aren’t in direct sunlight. This diffused light is more than enough to feed many plants.
It does depend on the variety though and you should find out specifically how much sun your specific variety needs.
If you don’t have enough sun you can buy a UV light. There are many good models, and there are ones made especially for indoor plants.
Does water drip from hanging baskets when you water them inside?
The typical liners that come with hanging baskets are a thin coconut fiber nest. Water just pours straight through them. Many people put their plants in pots and then into the hanging baskets.
Either way, when you water them it will drip down and onto the floor. An elegant solution is to put a pot plant underneath the hanging basket to catch any water drops before they hit your floors. The tray on the pot plant will catch any excess.
Does bringing my hanging baskets inside attract bugs?
Indoor plants attract bugs. You will get more of them if the temperature is humid and there isn’t much air circulation.
There often isn’t the advantage of companion plants that deter bugs when your hanging baskets are indoors. You also probably don’t want to attract beneficial insects because that will mean more total insects.
Though there are many trillions of bug species, your indoor plants will only harbor these main bugs.
- Spider mites
- fungus gnats
What should I do with the extra bugs that come with my hanging baskets?
As long as you keep good airflow, and the humidity doesn’t get too high you shouldn’t notice the bugs unless you inspect your hanging baskets closely.
If you used organic matter from your compost bin recently you can expect to attract flies. If your bug numbers are getting too high there are a range of natural remedies.
If you are a gardener at heart you might squash them yourself using your fingernails. If that isn’t your style you should spray them with popular sprays made from natural ingredients.
How often should you water hanging baskets indoors?
According to Iowa State University, hanging plants should be watered frequently in summer. You should give them additional water when the surface of the soil is dry to the touch.
Some people use wood chips or rocks as mulch which stops the soil from drying out as quickly, which really helps in summer. If the surface of the soil is dry and the rest of the soil is dry the plant will begin wilting.
A plant needs water to carry nutrients around its body. When it can’t transport nutrients the toxins begin to build up and damage the plant.
You should bring your hanging baskets inside when the weather gets close to below freezing. When hanging baskets freeze your plants will die or be severely damaged.
Also, bring them inside when there is severe winds, snow, or hail. If there are severe winds your hanging plants can blow off and smash windows.