It’s a joy to watch the beautiful flowers growing in your hanging baskests. But it can also be a pain watching them die when the temperature drops. That is why you should be aware of when to move the hanging baskets indoors.
You should bring the hanging baskets inside when there is a big change in temperature expected. This could be a drop in temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Or it could be a heatwave causing temperatures to rise above 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
I’ve written a lot of details on how you can protect your hanging baskets from frost or heat. And you’ll find information on how you can continue growing the hanging baskets indoors.
When should you bring hanging baskets inside?
When the temperature gets too cold
Your plants need a certain warmth to be able to grow well. How much heat they need depends on the type of plant. Some plants are winter-hardy which means they can survive even in low temperatures. While other plants may not be able to survive in such temperatures.
You’ll need to understand the type of plants you’re growing. If they cannot deal with cold temperatures, you’ll need to bring the hanging baskets inside when the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the temperature gets too hot
Your plants also won’t be able to survive too much heat unless they are desert plants like succulents or cacti. You’ll need to bring the hanging baskets indoors or at least in a place with shade when the temperatures rise above 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to protect hanging baskets from the cold?
There are certain actions you can take to protect your hanging baskets from the cold. You need to keep an eye on the weather of your area and plan a couple of days before for some of these to work.
Plant cold-hardy plants
The easiest solution is to plant cold-hardy plants in your hanging baskets. These plants will be able to survive a drop in the temperature without any problems. The only issue is that you have a limited set of plants you can grow.
Keep plants healthy
Plants are like humans. The healthier they are the better they can withstand a sudden drop in the temperature. Make sure to keep your plants free from stress.
Provide the plants with the required amount of sunlight, water, and nutrients so they remain healthy. Monitor the plants every day to check for pests and diseases. Make sure to take care of such problems as soon as they come up.
Bring the hanging baskets inside
One of the easiest solutions to a sudden drop in temperature is to bring the hanging baskets indoors. You can keep them in your house, garage, or basement. If these areas of the house remain cold, you can wrap the hanging baskets with a blanket that will keep them warm for some time.
Once the weather becomes better, you can move the hanging baskets back to their original locations.
Water the plants well
Make sure to water the plants well a couple of days before the cold weather hits them. This ensures that the plants have sufficient water during the cold period.
The water will keep the potting soil insulated and the roots warm. Make sure not to water the plants when the cold weather has arrived as that will freeze the roots and damage them.
Add mulch to the potting soil
Mulch is a good solution to insulate the potting soil from cold weather. This is organic material like grass clippings, dried leaves, straw, wood chips, or moss that can add insulation to the potting soil.
You can add 2-4 inches of mulch on top of the potting soil. If the plants are still small, make sure to remove the mulch once the cold weather has passed.
Use a row cover
A row cover is any material that can insulate and protect your plants in the hanging baskets from the cold. This could be material like a plastic sheet, landscape fabric, or even an inverted plastic bucket.
You can place such a material to cover the plant and protect it from the cold. Make sure the material does not touch the plant as this will conduct the cold. You can use a stake to separate the plant from the row cover.
Also, make sure to remove the row cover once the weather has warmed up especially in the morning. Otherwise, it will become too hot for the plants. They will also not be able to get enough sunlight and air circulation.
How to grow hanging baskets inside?
You can bring your hanging baskets inside when the weather is too hot or too cold. This can happen during early spring or late fall when there is a chance of frost overnight. Once the weather has gone back to normal, you can move the hanging baskets to their original location outside.
But when winter arrives, you can move the hanging baskets permanently inside and continue growing them. Here are some of the things you need to take care of if you want to do this.
Harden the plants
The first thing you need to do is to make your hanging basket plants comfortable growing inside. You can do this by making them familiar with the indoor conditions.
For a few days, you can move the hanging baskets indoors for a few hours. You can provide them the required light either keeping them near a windowsill or providing artificial light. Provide them the required water and nutrients as per their needs.
Once winter arrives, you can move the hanging baskets indoors and continue to grow them till spring arrives.
Provide sufficient water
You want to provide the plants with plenty of water when you move them indoors. But you don’t want to overwater them as this can cause root rot.
You can stick your finger in the potting soil to check for moisture. If it feels too dry 1-2 inches below the surface, you can water the potting soil.
Add fertilizer when needed
You will need to provide fertilizer for many of the plants you grow in a hanging basket. If you’re adding a granular fertilizer, you can do this every 4 weeks. If you’re using liquid fertilizer, you can spray it on the potting soil every 2 weeks.
When you move the hanging baskets indoors for winter, you can reduce the frequency of adding fertilizer to the potting soil. The plants are overwintering and won’t need as many nutrients till spring arrives and they start to grow.
Provide enough light
When your plants are growing outside, they get plenty of sunlight. But if you move then indoors, you either need to place them near a windowsill that gets good sunlight or provide artificial light.
If you’re going to use artificial light, make sure it has the right intensity as required by the particular plants you’re growing.
Repot the plant
If you moved the hanging baskets indoors, check whether the plants continue to grow. If you find that the water drains too fast or the leaves are turning yellow, check whether the roots are plant-bound.
This means the plant has outgrown the hanging basket and you’ll need to repot the plant in a bigger pot.
Remove pests and diseases
Monitor your hanging baskets every day when you’re growing them indoors. If you see any pests or diseases attacking the plant, you need to take care of them as soon as possible.
You may be able to remove the pests by hand or apply insecticidal soap to the leaves. Depending on the pests, you may be able to kill them using neem oil or diatomaceous earth.
If the plant is infected by a fungal disease, you can cut off the leaves or branches. If it’s infected by a bacterial or viral disease, you may not be able to save the plant and have to grow a new one.