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Over Wintering

In a greenhouse heated to 35/40F

Photosynthesis is the process by which a plant manufactures complex plant foods by taking the energy received from sunlight, carbon dioxide from the air and the mineral salts obtained from the soil. This process ceases below a temperature of about 50F. During the coldest months of the year when the average temperature is low the plants will stop growing. Plants which are already in pots should be trimmed back to leave a well shaped framework for the new growth next season. As temperatures continue to fall water should be gradually reduced until, in the coldest months of the year it is withheld altogether. Although the soil must be on the dry side it must not dry out completely or the plants will die. It is vital that the temperature does not fall below freezing point and the heating system should be adequate for this purpose. A maximum/minimum thermometer is essential to ensure that the night temperature remains a couple of degrees above freezing point. As the warmer weather approaches the plants will start to grow again. This is a good time to trim the stems lightly and repot the over wintered plants. Usually after scraping away the soil from the rootball they can be potted into the same size pot as before.

Over Wintering in an Unheated Greenhouse. 

When the greenhouse is unheated it can be insulated with polythene and the fuchsias can be put under the staging in boxes of peat, or covered with straw etc. to keep the frost out. The plants can also be laid on their side and buried in a trench in the greenhouse floor. This method is only suitable for larger/older plants. Once the weather warms up in the spring the plants are taken out of the trench and potted up as usual after removing any dead or unhealthy growth. If the weather turns colder they can be protected by placing sheets of newspaper over them at night.

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