Botanic Bleu Market

Winter Porch Plants

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

B r r r r ...  1 3 ° 
the low on the porch this winter ...  so far 

Even in winter, there are several plants to enjoy on a porch.  

In north central Texas, winter weather is usually mild enough to enjoy porch living for many of the days during winter. Part of enjoying the porch is having evergreen plants, and an added bonus is having blooming flowers. 

Whenever I buy outdoor plants, I read the information tag that describes the plant's ideal growing conditions, sun/shade tolerance, temperature range, moisture requirements. Plants that match the porch's growing conditions year round are potted dwarf yaupon holly shrubs, an ivy topiary, and  flowers in clay pots. 

Most of the flowers are either annuals that die or perennials that go dormant during the winter. Last winter was very mild, and a blue sage plant survived to bloom again in the spring, summer, and fall. 

One severe winter with many ice/snow storms and prolonged freezing temperatures, I lost an ivy that covered the entire topiary wire form. The ivy topiary growing on the porch now is less than eight years old, began in a 6" plastic pot, and was transplanted to larger pots a couple of times. When the ivy's tendrils had multiplied and grown long, the plant was moved to the topiary pot. 

Can we agree 13° is cold, regardless of where you live? But, take a look at the violas (Johnny Jump-Ups) in the pedestal urn. Here on the porch, the violas are still blooming after enduring four or five nights of temperatures below freezing, including the 13° night. 

Even more remarkable is the fact these plants are still in the 4" starter pots, not protected by a larger amount of soil. After struggling to get the potted plants to fit inside the urn, I placed a clear pie plate in the urn, set the pots on it, and added the wild wispy angel vine around them to hide the plastic pots. 

Most years I plant violas and pansies in the clay pots that hold warm weather annuals until late fall. Pansies and violas are amazing! When the weather brings snow or ice, pansies and violas perk back up when the weather warms up and the snow/ice melts. Of course, wintry precipitation in our area does not last for many days. 

To add more greenery to the porch this year, I filled a rustic vine basket with branches clipped from Christmas trees. 

Spent paperwhites lie atop another bed of Christmas tree branches so they can be enjoyed a few more days after blooming. 

When paperwhites are forced inside to bloom in water the bulbs do not gain nutrients needed for future blooms. After the plants have finished blooming plant growers recommend discarding the bulbs instead of planting to bloom in future years. Angelina at Petit Haus wrote a good summary for What To Do With Your Paperwhites After They Bloom.  

W I N T E R  ❄︎  P O R C H  ❄︎  P L A N T S  

  • potted evergreen shrubs - yaupon holly 
  • potted ivy topiary 
  • pansies and violas 
  • Christmas tree clippings 
  • paperwhites after they finish blooming

What plants do you enjoy on your porch or deck in the winter?