Index > Garden Blog

Date: 23 Nov 2016, Entry id: 1479902702

Growing tropical fruit trees in containers in winter

Q: Please give me your advice. The winter is here. I bought mango tree, jackfruit tree, sugar apple tree and planned them for spring. What can I do to keep them no frost bite? My home in Bonifay FL.

A: In subtropical areas with occasional hard freeze in winter, we recommend you to keep tropical plants in pots. The plants you purchase are tender to frost. For cold protection, container growing has several advantages:
1) easy to move into wind-protected and sun-exposed locations as needed: for example, on a different side of the house. In many areas, seasonal prevailing winds have opposite directions in Summer and Winter.
2) easy to cover with frost cloth, sheets, or blankets in case of immediate cold spells. Container plants' growth is easier to control and trim, and those plants naturally stay more compact.
3) easy to move indoors, inside garage, or in covered lanai/patio.
We also recommend to keep these trees in their original pots until Spring, in containers size of the rootball. Step them up in Spring, when plants start active growth of root system. This will help you to avoid root rot due to possible overwatering in Winter. Reduce watering in any case, and keep your plants in bright, wind-protected spot. Do not fertilize until Spring. Protect from cold when night temperature drops below 35-40F.

Use SUNSHINE plant boosters to provide additional cold tolerance.

Cold protection is a lengthy subject. You may also use propane heaters during cold nights. Here is some more information on cold protection.

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