Overwintering Plants in a Vitopod Heated Propagator
Our Triple Height Vitopod is a propagator, cold frame and mini greenhouse making it indispensable all year as well as exceptionally good value. Perfect for protecting your favourite plants from frosts this winter and overwinter healthy plants and cuttings.
When starting seeds the Vitopod is used at the single height of 24cm from base to lid, as the plants grow the 2nd 15cm layer is added and then the 3rd. The gradual increase in height means you are never heating more space than you need.
With all 3 heights in place the Vitopod is 54cms tall. The generous height means plants can be overwintered without heating the greenhouse.
Here's some handy tips on how to make the most of your Vitopod Propagator this winter.
What is Overwintering?
Overwintering is the process of providing a safe environment for your plants, ensuring they survive over winter. A heated propagator, such as the Vitopod Heated Propagator, provides the heat and protection your plant needs to survive; whilst being much more cost efficient than heating a whole greenhouse.
With large vents for humidity control, the Vitopod Propagator allows fresh air to circulate, minimising the risk of fungal plant disease build up. By adding extra layers to the Vitopod, you can also accommodate for taller plants.
Why Overwinter My Plants
Overwintering gives plants a head start when the growing season begins again in spring, as they will already have an established root ball. This means you will skip the planting and germination stages of growing and immediately feel the benefits of the better weather.
You can expect an earlier harvest of bumper crops from overwintered plants as the earlier start leads to an extended growing season.
What to Overwinter
Ornamental plants, such as fuchsias or geraniums, can also be overwintered. This is a great cost-cutting measure as you can keep your beautiful flowers protected until ready for replanting in spring.
When to Start Overwintering
You should typically start overwintering when night time temperatures drop below 10°C, which is normally around the end of October.
Prepare your Plants for Overwintering
Before moving your plants to the Vitopod propagator, trim back branches to around 10cm and harvest as much as you can. Chillies can be ripened off the plant if necessary. By removing branches, foliage and fruit, your plant will require less energy to keep going and will be more likely to survive the winter.
If you are overwintering plants grown outdoors in beds, carefully dig them out and re-plant them in pots. Try to remove any loose compost and repot with fresh compost. You could also consider trimming back the roots on your plants and moving to smaller pots as this allows the plant to reserve and focus its energy.
Caring for Overwintered Plants
Once your plants have been moved to the Vitopod propagator, you can begin protecting them over winter. Make sure that your Vitopod is placed within a well-lit area of your Greenhouse to ensure your plants receive maximum exposure to light.
Maintain a constant temperature between 5°C and 12°C to keep plants alive and frost free. If the temperature surpasses 12°C, plants will start to grow, which you won’t want to happen until spring. With the Vitopod Propagator, we recommend opening the vents fully over winter to allow airflow around your plants, helping to prevent bacterial and viral disease build up.
Watering Overwintered Plants
As temperatures decrease, plants retain water for longer. Over watering will encourage damp and mould to develop around the plant. Check the plant every few days and only water if the surrounding compost is dry.
When to Replant your Plants
When the temperature begins to surpass 12°C consistently, typically around March or April, turn up the temperature to between 18 and 24°C
in your Vitopod to encourage growth. When your plants start to grow, begin hardening them off, then they will be ready to move from the safety of your heated propagator and into their new planters. When you do move to new planters, it is very important your plants are not hit by the frost, so consider using some Frost Fleece to protect your plant in the early stages.
Who to Talk to About Winter Propagation
If you would like to know more about propagating over the winter months or what you can grow with your propagator, feel free to call us on 0845 602 3774 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Gardening Angels are always happy to help and love hearing your propagation success stories!