Trees and Shrubs
I live in Maryland and I currently have 5 plants potted outside and need advice to keep them alive during the winter. Let's start with my 2 tropical shrubs. I have 2 Coral bushes (Jatropha multifida) potted outside and they're really taking off, but I know that if I leave them outside for winter they will die. If I bring them inside, what should I do to maintain their growth and keep them alive? I've looked into purchasing grow lights, tents, fans, filters, etc. It seems to me that most people who own this type of setup seem to be growing one thing and one thing only: marijuana. Before I go dumping loads of money into this, will it work? I want to know if it's really necessary. Is there an alternative or am I approaching this all wrong? My second problem is my trees. I have three trees potted outside as well. One is an extremely young weeping willow (Salix babylonica), the next is a young Smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria) and finally the last is another young Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis). Like I said before, they're all extremely young and even though they pass the plant hardiness test and claim they will survive in my zone, I'm still very skeptical of just throwing them in the ground. The entire reason I potted them all in the first place was to get them established so I can eventually stick them all in the ground because I am more than confident that they will live through Maryland's winters, but only once they achieve said establishment. I am already fully aware that I will have to remain bringing the Coral bushes in and out every summer, but my main question is what should I do to keep my all of my plants alive inside of a house in a pot? Would they all fair well in a grow tent with a light or just a light with no tent? Do I even need a tent or a light? Just need someone to help me figure out a plan to keep all of them alive and the other to keep alive until they're established, or if they're already established enough to just throw them in the ground. Please someone help me figure out a game play for my plants and I.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Your Jatropha should probably do fine indoors with your regular lighting, as long as you don't fertilize it during the winter. However, this plant is toxic, so make sure no kids or pets can get at it.
As for your young trees, you could either plant them now, which will protect them better against winter temperatures, or follow the advice in this article for preparing them for winter: