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applestar
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Minimum Night Time Temperatures - bringing plants inside

It went down to 52ºF last night!! :shock:
I forgot that I need to automatically subtract 2~3º from the official forecast for cooler temps to ajust for my garden's microclimate (unfortunately this rule doesn't apply when it's hot :?)

I'm a bit worried about some of my plants outside, but it's really WAY too early to think about covering them or bringing the container plants in. :roll:

These are what I have in my notes for Minimum Nighttime Temperatures. I posted the first set, maybe 2nd set too, before in response to someone's thread, but I wanted to start a new thread and ask you all for opinions and contributions. The first set is temperatures at which the plants will stay healthy. The 2nd set is temperatures that the plants can "survive" and "recover".

The USDA zone hardiness implies that the plants will lose foliage and go dormant before temps drop to those minimum temps, so to avoid dormancy, they need to be brought inside earlier -- at least 5°F higher than the minimum, I think. I've left them out to near minimum and they drop leaves/die down and sulk for a while, which can lead to panic -- "Oh no! I killed it!"

So let me know what you think. Post corrections and additions and let's see if we can turn this into a handy reference guide. :wink:

MINIMUM NIGHT TEMP:

Peppers

- ideal daytime temp of 75°~85°F and night temp of 55°~65° F Max 100ºF
- After transplanting, the optimum temperature is approximately 23ºC (73ºF) by day and 18-21ºC (64~70ºF) at night. Minimum soil temperature 20ºC. Max day temp 35ºC (95ºF) - dormant until lower Fall temp.

Eggplant

- ideal daytime temp should be in the range 80°~90°F and night temp should not go below 60°~65°F. Growth retarded at 60ºF
Peter1142 wrote:I really don't think it is so simple. For instance, my Hansel and Galine eggplant and Ace and Biscayne peppers have no issues with nighttime temps down into the 40s. Also if the soil is warm it keeps the plants warm, and the duration of the low temp matters also, all night or several minutes is a huge difference. If I did not plant until nighttime temps were always above 60F it would not be possible to grow these things here. Minimum soil temps are far more important IMHO but that still varies based on variety and plant size etc.

GROWTH STOP/Enter Dormancy Threshold TEMP
------------------------------------------------------
Basil - 60ºF
Eggplant - 60ºF
Pineapple - 60°F
Stevia - 60°F
Banana, Super
dwf. cavendish - 55°F
... BANANA minimum ...
Warmth, but not too much or too little! Specifically, growth stops and heat stress will occur at 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 C). On the other end of the scale, a temperature below 42 degrees Fahrenheit (6 C) will cause leaf chlorophyll destruction. Freezing is obviously not a good thing for a banana plant, but the underground rhizome may survive if the cold temperature period if brief. Kiss the leaves goodbye, though.
https://www.sherrysgreenhouse.com/oldsite/banana.html
...
Coffea arabica - 55°F
Peppers - 55ºF
Zinzibar officinale
(edible ginger) - 55°F
Tomato - 50ºF
Nasturtiums - 48ºF

--

I also have the following in my notes:
**Bring inside at least 5°F above highest zone temp to AVOID dormancy**
Based on USDA Hardiness Zone Map at https://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/hzm-nw1.html

BRING IN ABOVE 60°F
-------------------------
Orchid 55 ~ 60
Chenille plant 55 ~ 60
Coffea arabica 55 ~ 60
Jasmine, Maid of
Orleans 9 (20) ~ 11 (40)
Pineapple 10b (35) ~ 11 (40)

BRING IN ABOVE 55°F
-------------------------
Basil 50
Banana, Super
Dwarf Cavendish 40

BRING IN ABOVE 50°F
-------------------------
Lemon, Meyerii 10a (30) ~ 11 (40)
Norfolk Island Pine 10a (30) ~ 11 (40)

BRING IN ABOVE 45°F
--------------------------
Aloe vera 10b (35) ~ 11 (40)
Grapefruit 10b (35) ~ 11 (40)
Lime 10b (35) ~ 11 (40)
Lemon Grass 10b (35) ~ 11 (40)
Night Blooming
Cereus 10b (35) ~ 11 (40)

Lemon 10a (30) ~ 11 (40)
Mango 10a (30) ~ 11 (40)
Rubber Plant 10a (30) ~ 11 (40)
Jalapeño 9 (20) ~ 11 (40)
Stevia 9 (20) ~ 11 (40)
Geranium 9 (20) ~ 11 (40)


BRING IN ABOVE 40°F
--------------------------
Amaryllis 8, 9 (20) ~ 11 (40)
Avocado 10a (30) ~ 10b (35)
Lemon Verbena 9 (20) ~ 10b(35)

Fuchsia 9 (20) ~ 10a (30)

Pineapple Sage 8 (10) ~ 11 (40)
Fig "Petite Negra" 8

BRING IN ABOVE 35°F (frost warning)
------------------------------------------
Rosemary 7a (0 °F) ~ 7b (5 °F)
Parsley 7a (0 °F) ~ 7b (5 °F)
Thyme, VarLemon 7a (0 °F) ~ 7b (5 °F)

(DORMANT STORAGE IN GARAGE ABOVE 28°F and foliage drops)
Pomegranate 10b (35) ~ 11 (40) <-- allow to go dormant
Overwintering
Hot peppers <-- allow to go dormant
Pineapple Sage
Venus Fly Trap (store dormant in cooler for insurance)
Last edited by applestar on Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:13 am, edited 18 times in total.
Reason: Additional info added for eggplant.

csvd87
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It was down to under 50 overnight 2 weeks ago here, but however, back up to 75-80 during the day. My climate is strange. No one ever knows what is going to happen, meteorologists just spin a wheel.

I do have a Mango tree I started in June, about 8 Inches tall and looking quite healthy, also have Grapefruit and Lemon trees in 4 inch pots... just took a look.. lemon needs a bigger pot :)

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applestar
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Bumping this, partly as a reminder to *myself* :wink:
Pre-dawn temp this morning was 50ºF....

BTW, I've been playing with different weather apps for iPad. Used to go with Weather Underground, which is what I'd always used on-line, but now, I found WeatherBug. A local middle school has a station that is closer than Weather Underground and is more accurate when it comes to current conditions. :D
(plus, Wunderground app started to crash after the last update and they haven't fixed it)
... still looking for the most accurate weather forecast source. TWC?

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gixxerific
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Good post, it has been getting cold but not "quite" 50's at night but close. I have been thinking about this and need to keep and eye on things.

Weatherbug is awesome for the temp. My station is at my kids school which is about a 1 - 2 min. drive from my house (that's going the long way around). Still the micro-climates comes into play. We are in a wind tunnel where I live and it is a bit lower than the school. But as we say in construction "Close enough for government work".

I told you guy's before I bought a cheap, $5 digital thermometer from Wal Mart that is pretty accurate and fast. That would be something to think about.

As far as air temps go what does the ground temp have to do with all this?

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applestar
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Bumping this again.
Down to 47°F the night before last and last night here. Still a bit early and it's supposed to go back higher to 50's and 60's.

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applestar
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Bump. 48°F this morning on my NW porch. :shock:
...and I forgot to bring in the chenille plant which is not supposed to go below 60°F. It's still sitting out on the SE patio....

I'm going to expand the list with additional plants I've acquired since the OP. If you have data/info on plants not on the list, please let me know and I'll add to the OP. Any corrections/comments on ones on the list is welcome too.

The USDA zone hardiness implies that the plants will lose foliage and go dormant before temps drop to those minimum temps, so to avoid dormancy, they need to be brought inside earlier -- at least 5°F higher than the minimum, I think. I've left them out to near minimum and they drop leaves/die down and sulk for a while, which can lead to panic -- "Oh no! I killed it!"

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43°F last night (lowest forecast was 48°F or "mid-40's") so with forecast of 45°F expecting temp drop into upper 30's tonight. B. added a few more and modified some of the entries based on some of the plants going dormant last year because I left them out too long.

I've decided to try growing more banana varieties next year, so I will include dormant storage of bananas -- and possibly figs and other plants too -- after I gain more experience. 8)

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Yep we got the big F word last night I am not looking forward to going home here after work. I am betting my cucumbers are toast. The tomatoes may hang in there they are a bit more tolerant then the cuc's.

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Fantastic info! I thought I would add an item that I use for indoor plants that I want to bear fruit through the cold months - it's an alternative to using a camel hair brush for pollinating the plants, I generally make one for each type or variety of stuff I have growing:

[img]https://i1249.photobucket.com/albums/hh502/Dutch_J/artificialbee.jpg[/img]
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Re: Minimum Night Time Temperatures - bringing plants inside

52.....lol. It finally reached 45 here today, and I put all my plants out for the first time :)

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Re: Minimum Night Time Temperatures - bringing plants inside

Yep the temp guide in the OP (first post of this thread) is also good for when to put them outside, but remember that after all this time indoors, the plants are somewhat more delicate -- not used to the wind, sun, cold(er) temps than inside. They will need to need to start out in a protected location and be acclimated by gradually exposing to more sun and wind... and rain. :D

I would say I tend to wait until the temperatures are maybe 5-10°F higher than when they had to come in. But if you have the time and patience, some of them will do well if moved out and in according to the weather. Remember, though that there are some plants that don't take kindly to sudden change in environment -- like weeping fig (ficus benjamina) for example.
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Re: Minimum Night Time Temperatures - bringing plants inside

Yeah, I don't know what is included in "all my plants," but as you can see from applestar's wonderful list, different plants have different minimum temps they need.

I had a bunch of cold weather stuff that I had been taking out in the daytime and bringing in at night, but before I could get them well hardened off, we had another winter storm and I just brought them all back in. They had to stay in long enough to be all "unhardened" again. Now they've been out again the last couple days and in at night (6 trays of them currently). Monday night the temps only go down to 45 and I will leave them out for a couple nights. But then Wed is forecast for 13 degrees again :( . That probably means back in. If it were only a little below freezing, I would leave them, but 13 seems a bit intense for plants that are still getting used to the cold. After Wed, it looks like clear sailing as far as the extended forecast takes us, which is mid-March. I am planning to put some in the ground next weekend. After that, if it gets real cold again, I will just cover them.
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Re: Minimum Night Time Temperatures - bringing plants inside

rainbowgardener wrote:Yeah, I don't know what is included in "all my plants," but as you can see from applestar's wonderful list, different plants have different minimum temps they need.
When I said "all my plants", I meant all of my plants that enjoy full sun. I don't grow any veggies right now. I just grow succulents and houseplants.

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Re: Minimum Night Time Temperatures - bringing plants inside

This has been a weird winter and spring. We had nights as cold as 41°F until just a couple of days ago, then now in the 50's (55°F right now) for the foreseeable future.

Big unwieldy plants like banana and avocado are usually one time move. So this year, I took the rosemary out first, then tea, then fig and two banana plants. Then most of the citruses. Fig with flowers/baby fruits and the smaller banana have been on the more protected brick patio, and the big banana in the wheeled bucket had been covered with frost blanket every night for nearly a week (as have the hardening off tomato seedlings). Now, I can finally put the rest of the avocados out (normally I would put them outside when mid 40's or above but we seem to be skipping that period of spring this year).

Coffee has been carried out and in, but finally is staying out. And the lemon verbena went out, too. Normally I would have put the overwintered peppers out by now, but they need to be uppotted/repotted and pruned first.

As the downstairs plants move out, the upstairs plants are moved downstairs to wait their turn.

Mangos (big) and pineapples (pokey and unwieldy) -upstairs- will go out when pepper seedlings are ready to stay out all night for hardening off, and orchids -likes it cooler in winter so downstairs- and the rest when eggplants get planted out.

I have to remember to be extra careful with aloe this year so they don't get sunburned. But one pot of aloe doesn't get to go on vacation outside but must stay inside on call for emergencies. :D

...but with any of these, if they deserve your special attention and you have the time and patience, they will do better if you take them out when nice enough for them and bring them back in or protect them for the night until they can stay out for good. (I just have too many of them along with the veg seedlings to harden off to be doing all that :roll:)

I have to make some big batches of container mix since most of them will be uppotted/repotted/root pruned as they go out for the season.
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Re: Minimum Night Time Temperatures - bringing plants inside

Hi, We've had a couple nights in the 30ies but this morning the sky is clear and I'm thinking; warm weather is back.

Happy Mother's day!

Richard

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applestar
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Re: Minimum Night Time Temperatures - bringing plants inside

It was officially 47° f this morning... Which means it probably went down to 45°F in my garden.

...but all my container plants are still out there... :eek:

I'd brought the orchids to the back door yesterday, but forgot to bring them inside. At least they were a bit more sheltered on the brick patio than they would have been.... :|
(Chenille Plant is hanging out in the middle of the back yard shepherds crook.... :roll: )
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Re: Minimum Night Time Temperatures - bringing plants inside

I group my containers during (don't laugh) freeze warnings/cold fronts in Florida. I have a snap together hoop (pvc pipe) tent that takes a lot less time than moving the plants. Then it's just a matter of putting a couple clamp on shop lights with the metal shades in there with them, turned upside down on something flat so that it is still dark, yet there is some ambient warmth created in there that can up the temperatures by 10 degrees or more. I have 8 shop lights with 27w-100w equivalent daytime cfl bulbs and during the day, if it's overcast following the cold front, I can concentrate some growing light on some of the more sun hungry plants, which seems to help keep things going as if there was no cold at all.

I have managed to buy myself a month or more growing season by this practice. Now I have a heating pad, and a 250w HPS grow light for extended periods of overcast conditions, so that at least the more sun hungry plants don't slow down. I simply exchange the power usage for something like the water heater, and other parasitic power consumers around the home.

Of course I have a much more mild growing climate than most here likely, and I can now get by without lights/heat since my climate ends up being ideal for cool season crops anyway but, before I knew the difference, I did manage to pull it off without moving my plants indoors. If I lived in no man's land, like many of you do, I could see myself extending a growing season by at least a month or more. I know this is no new news, just that I managed to make it work with Spring time vegetables and other sensitive tropical plants here without a whole lot of moving things. We did get some extended freezes into the teens and 20's some years.

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Re: Minimum Night Time Temperatures - bringing plants inside

I had issues earlier in the spring with night time temps.
I have a 16 year old hibiscus tree that had some sentimental value to me and when I moved to my new apartment last December the plant was not happy at all so i couldn't wait for warmer weather so I could bring it out into the sun. For a couple weeks we were having like 70 degree days so I moved my plant outside and didn't even think about the temperature drop at night (I'm new to gardening. Never done it on my own before) and my poor tree almost died.

I lost a good portion of the tree due to this, it's hardly a tree anymore. But my hibiscus is a fighter and it's slowly working it's way back. I'm not making the same mistake twice and I now use a plant lamp to make sure my tree gets enough sunlight, at least until next year when it is stronger.

My window box of tomatoes and banana peppers on the other hand have been fairing quite well, but I am watching them like a hawk now after my experience with my tree lol

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Re: Minimum Night Time Temperatures - bringing plants inside

While any tropical-type container plants come indoors as soon as night temps are slated to dip into the 40's, others don't get an indoor respite unless night temps are supposed to go below 20 or so.
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Francesco Delvillani
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Re: Minimum Night Time Temperatures - bringing plants inside

applestar wrote:It went down to 52ºF last night!! :shock:
I forgot that I need to automatically subtract 2~3º from the official forecast for cooler temps to ajust for my garden's microclimate (unfortunately this rule doesn't apply when it's hot :?)

I'm a bit worried about some of my plants outside, but it's really WAY too early to think about covering them or bringing the container plants in. :roll:

These are what I have in my notes for Minimum Nighttime Temperatures. I posted the first set, maybe 2nd set too, before in response to someone's thread, but I wanted to start a new thread and ask you all for opinions and contributions. The first set is temperatures at which the plants will stay healthy. The 2nd set is temperatures that the plants can "survive" and "recover".

The USDA zone hardiness implies that the plants will lose foliage and go dormant before temps drop to those minimum temps, so to avoid dormancy, they need to be brought inside earlier -- at least 5°F higher than the minimum, I think. I've left them out to near minimum and they drop leaves/die down and sulk for a while, which can lead to panic -- "Oh no! I killed it!"

So let me know what you think. Post corrections and additions and let's see if we can turn this into a handy reference guide. :wink:

MINIMUM NIGHT TEMP:

Peppers

- ideal daytime temp of 75°~85°F and night temp of 55°~65° F Max 100ºF
- After transplanting, the optimum temperature is approximately 23ºC (73ºF) by day and 18-21ºC (64~70ºF) at night. Minimum soil temperature 20ºC. Max day temp 35ºC (95ºF) - dormant until lower Fall temp.

Eggplant

- ideal daytime temp should be in the range 80°~90°F and night temp should not go below 60°~65°F. Growth retarded at 60ºF

GROWTH STOP/Enter Dormancy Threshold TEMP
------------------------------------------------------
Basil - 60ºF
Eggplant - 60ºF
Pineapple - 60°F
Stevia - 60°F
Banana, Super
dwf. cavendish - 55°F
... BANANA minimum ...
Warmth, but not too much or too little! Specifically, growth stops and heat stress will occur at 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 C). On the other end of the scale, a temperature below 42 degrees Fahrenheit (6 C) will cause leaf chlorophyll destruction. Freezing is obviously not a good thing for a banana plant, but the underground rhizome may survive if the cold temperature period if brief. Kiss the leaves goodbye, though.
https://www.sherrysgreenhouse.com/oldsite/banana.html
...
Coffea arabica - 55°F
Peppers - 55ºF
Zinzibar officinale
(edible ginger) - 55°F
Tomato - 50ºF
Nasturtiums - 48ºF

--

I also have the following in my notes:
**Bring inside at least 5°F above highest zone temp to AVOID dormancy**
Based on USDA Hardiness Zone Map at https://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/hzm-nw1.html

BRING IN ABOVE 60°F
-------------------------
Orchid 55 ~ 60
Chenille plant 55 ~ 60
Coffea arabica 55 ~ 60
Jasmine, Maid of
Orleans 9 (20) ~ 11 (40)
Pineapple 10b (35) ~ 11 (40)

BRING IN ABOVE 55°F
-------------------------
Basil 50
Banana, Super
Dwarf Cavendish 40

BRING IN ABOVE 50°F
-------------------------
Lemon, Meyerii 10a (30) ~ 11 (40)
Norfolk Island Pine 10a (30) ~ 11 (40)

BRING IN ABOVE 45°F
--------------------------
Aloe vera 10b (35) ~ 11 (40)
Grapefruit 10b (35) ~ 11 (40)
Lime 10b (35) ~ 11 (40)
Lemon Grass 10b (35) ~ 11 (40)
Night Blooming
Cereus 10b (35) ~ 11 (40)

Lemon 10a (30) ~ 11 (40)
Mango 10a (30) ~ 11 (40)
Rubber Plant 10a (30) ~ 11 (40)
Jalapeño 9 (20) ~ 11 (40)
Stevia 9 (20) ~ 11 (40)
Geranium 9 (20) ~ 11 (40)


BRING IN ABOVE 40°F
--------------------------
Avocado 10a (30) ~ 10b (35)
Lemon Verbena 9 (20) ~ 10b(35)

Fuchsia 9 (20) ~ 10a (30)

Pineapple Sage 8 (10) ~ 11 (40)
Fig "Petite Negra" 8

BRING IN ABOVE 35°F (frost warning)
------------------------------------------
Rosemary 7a (0 °F) ~ 7b (5 °F)
Parsley 7a (0 °F) ~ 7b (5 °F)
Thyme, VarLemon 7a (0 °F) ~ 7b (5 °F)

(DORMANT STORAGE IN GARAGE ABOVE 28°F and foliage drops)
Pomegranate 10b (35) ~ 11 (40) <-- allow to go dormant
Overwintering
Hot peppers <-- allow to go dormant
Pineapple Sage
Venus Fly Trap (store dormant in cooler for insurance)
These temperature refere to a medium temperature.....If, in the early morning, you have lower temperature but during the day you have sun and warmer T they'll not go in dormancy....

Anyway, some tropical trees you listed can go in dormancy without losing their leaves and without dying....

P.s.

Also Fig can go to dormancy, is not different from Pomegranate :D
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Re: Minimum Night Time Temperatures - bringing plants inside

Argh! Weather caught me unready! 51°F at dawn this morning and my orchids are still out there. Gonna lose some leaves for sure (grumble) -- I hope today's forecasted high of 83°F will help like FD said.

Some of the plants in my list that need to be brought inside for the winter are too big and/or can handle dormant overwintering. With those, I let them go dormant and keep them above 25°F or above in the garage with some supplemental light and kept nearly dry. I'm going to have to try using this technique (but kept somewhat warmer aa maybe in the 30's to 40's)with my so called "Super Dwarf" Cavendish banana this winter since the plant is WAY too big.

-- all my "Bring in above 60°F" plants are still out there and I was noticing a little color loss in the Coffee just yesterday, too. I can't let that one get stressed because it's currently loaded with nearly full sized berries.
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Re: Minimum Night Time Temperatures - bringing plants inside

It's time for me to start thinking about this in reverse. In the list (which I realize might need to be reviewed and updated), the zone and temp info indicates absolute minimum temperatures these plants can withstand, and only when acclimated and in dormant state.

The temperatures at which they can go back outside will depend on what kind of temperatures and condition the plants were OVERWINTERED. Some can go out during the daytime but may need to be brought back in at night. Most of my plants in biggest pots won't go out until after frost and settled high enough night time temps for this reason, but if you are willing and can move them out and in, some plants will benefit. (But some plants e.g. ficus and hibiscus are fussy and will not like constantly being moved)

In all cases, they need to be gradually acclimated to full sun/wind and should start out in light shade or full shade and gradually moved out into ideal sun exposure.

If anyone has additional info on the listed plants or additional plant to add to the list, please post details and I will add/edit the first post so they will be immediately available for quick reference. :wink:
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Re: Minimum Night Time Temperatures - bringing plants inside

I really don't think it is so simple. For instance, my Hansel and Galine eggplant and Ace and Biscayne peppers have no issues with nighttime temps down into the 40s. Also if the soil is warm it keeps the plants warm, and the duration of the low temp matters also, all night or several minutes is a huge difference. If I did not plant until nighttime temps were always above 60F it would not be possible to grow these things here. Minimum soil temps are far more important IMHO but that still varies based on variety and plant size etc.
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Re: Minimum Night Time Temperatures - bringing plants inside

Oh oh! No, no. This is for mature Container Plants. I realize not many posts are made to this sub-forum, and right now getting ready for the veg garden is more on everyone's mind. Temperatures for planting SEEDLINGS into the ground is a whole different set of circumstances.

Peter1142, I realized what part of the list you were responding to. I'm adding your comment under the eggplants in the first post. :wink:

I think the temperatures for planting out seedlings is discussed individually and especially with reference to hardening off in many different threads, but we really need a well organized sticky thread for referencing in the Vegetable Gardening or maybe Seed Starrting forum. Maybe you could start a thread about it? It sounds like you have some good ideas.
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Re: Minimum Night Time Temperatures - bringing plants inside

Ah I responded without reading carefully. I agree container plants are a different animal. Maybe I will make another topic. :)
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ButterflyLady29
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Re: Minimum Night Time Temperatures - bringing plants inside

So how did your orchids fare after that chill last year?

I've left citrus trees outside but covered on nights when frost is predicted. They get brought in only when the day was cold and cloudy and overnight lows are around freezing or on warm, sunny days when a freeze is predicted.

The most beautiful nasturtiums I've ever seen were in a container at a park in Alaska when the nights were close to but not quite freezing.

I don't see amaryllis on your list. I bring mine in when the temp is predicted to go below 40 F. And lantana will tolerate a frost without losing very many leaves, found that out by accident last year.

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applestar
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Re: Minimum Night Time Temperatures - bringing plants inside

Time to bump this thread. Sorry I didn’t respond to earlier queries — seems pointless to do so 2-1/2 years later, but the orchids are all still alive.... they might even have bloomed better after their chill.

Lately, I am more about letting plants that can be pushed into dormancy go dormant for less care overwintering strategy, while keeping those true tropicals from getting too cold and sulking. Some of the container peppers I want to bring in are already yellowing — I think from the recent chills.

I have a low 40’s forecast coming by the end of this week, even though the forecasted high for Wednesday is 91°F.
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