I have my potted plants (most in clay pots) on my porch. Will they live through 20 degree weather if they are covered?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Brenda in South Carolina: The answer to your question really depends on what plants you are growing in your containers. Each individual species of plant has its own tolerance in terms of low temperatures. If these are hardy plants, meaning they can survive the low temperatures in your hardiness zone, then they should be fine. The main concern is that the soil does not completely dry out or become water-logged due to improper drainage. Since they are on a covered porch you will have to hand water every couple of weeks, but you want to avoid fertilizing until the spring. When we grow hardy plants in containers we have to remember that there is always a chance of loss due to the fact that they do not have as much insulating soil surrounding them as they would in the ground. On the other hand, if these are annual or tropical plants you are trying to over-winter, you are better off putting them in a warmer space. Most annuals/tropicals will not tolerate the lows you will experience this winter. As a general rule, most annuals do not over-winter well but tropicals do quite well when brought indoors to survive the winter months. They will be happiest when placed in a south-facing window or any brightly lit space. If you give me more specifics in terms of what you are growing I can give you more detailed information.