Tropical plants originate in warmer climates where temperatures rarely, if ever dip below freezing. Temperatures below freezing are usually destructive to most decorative plants found in office and home. Tropical plants don’t experience winter dormancy. And the lack of seasons indoors is the reason plants native to non-tropical areas won’t work indoors; they need a period of seasonal dormancy.
Here’s a vivid example of cold ruining my tropical plant initiation. When I had my first apartment after college, I wanted to buy a plant to improve the ambiance and décor. I believe that’s the same impulse that most people who love plants have. I noticed a bright healthy Croton at the local grocery store and decided to purchase it. After paying for the plant, the checker put it in a small paper grocery bags that covered the pot but not the foliage.
It was January in Chicago and the temperature was in the teens. Although I didn’t have far to go, the plant was exposed to below freezing temperatures for about fifteen minutes. After placing it near a window in my place, I watched it defoliate over the next few days. I brought the plant back to the store where the floral clerk clued me into problem: Tropical plants can’t be exposed to bitter cold temperatures. The leaf damage the plant experienced was because the cells of the Croton are not structured to withstand winter cold.
We’ve noticed over the years that plants thrive in temperatures that humans find comfortable: minimum of 55° F to a maximum of 85° F. Temperatures above 85° F may be stressful to many tropical plants, especially if they are in windows that are being blasted with strong sunshine. In hot situations, plants go through their soil moisture quickly so it’s critical to keep them watered.
Some plants that are particularly sensitive to temperature under 40° are Aglaonema Chinese Evergreens, Dieffenbachia, and Dracaenas. Cactus and succulents tolerate both hot and cold indoor situations better than thinner leaf tropicals.
Here’s how to move tropical plants in the winter: cover the whole plant with a paper or plastic sleeve. Plastic garbage bags will work for smaller plants. Preheat your vehicle so the interior is warm. Minimize the time the sleeved plant is in below freezing temperatures by quickly moving it from the building to the vehicle and then from the vehicle to the new building.
Everliving Greenery provides tropical plants for your lobby that accommodates the size and aesthetics of your space no matter the size. We provide the best interior landscape service available because we have a true desire to keep the plants under our care healthy and attractive all times. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.