Overwintering osmanthus fragrans indoors

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by AliceJM, Oct 11, 2020.

  1. AliceJM

    AliceJM New Member

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    Decided it was time to bring my fifty year old potted osmanthus fragrans indoors today. Worried about the rain and wind they keep forecasting. (Vancouver, BC). It did really well outside for the summer so plan to do the same next year.

    The plant was passed down to to me a year ago. It has always had a very strong fragrance and seems to be constantly in bloom.

    Currently it is sitting under a LED lamp. The plastic sheet around the plant is to facilitate regular misting and spraying for pests. I intend to roll the plastic back down after the leaves stop dripping. Any tips on overwintering?
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    My tip is to take it back outside and leave it there during all times that an Arctic front is not predicted. This should be most of the year in the Vancouver area, as is the case down here around Seattle. Where the University of Washington has mass plantings of this species on one part of the campus and the Arboretum has a few examples of a particular accession that has grown on a slippery clay embankment for decades. (Yes, in general Osmanthus fragrans is not particularly northern adapted, cannot be considered fully outdoor hardy here but you don't have to treat yours as a tropical house plant either. And it may start to have problems if keeping it inside something other than a cool greenhouse for extended periods is attempted).
     
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  3. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Because the tree has a long history you may also want to consult with its previous owner, if possible, on overwintering care. Relatives may also be able offer clues.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2020
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  4. AliceJM

    AliceJM New Member

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    The previous owner was my father and the plant was kept indoors year round in the family home for as long as I remember. Unfortunately there is no one left that I can ask about this particular plant. Before this summer it has never been outdoors which is why I was hesitant to leaving it outside now that it is getting colder and wetter. I may keep it indoors one more winter since it has only been out one summer before leaving it out year-round. That gives me time to see if I can successfully propagate this plant before next winter.
     
  5. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor

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    I inherited 2 3-foot Osmanthus fragrans when we moved here a number of years ago. The previous owners kept them overwinter under the deck in a gerrymandered plastic shelter. Because of their bulk and weight, I took the chance of leaving them on the deck and lost them as a result. They are borderline hardy after all. Seeing as your plant has such a strong sentimental value, it is worth the extra effort to ensure it survives the winter - but better outdoors than in.

    Keeping it indoors incased in plastic under an LED lamp is just asking for fungal problems to develop. Did you mean to say you intend to roll back the plastic after the leaves stop 'dripping' or 'dropping'? In any case, I think it would be better off outside, pulled up close to the house out of the wind. Rig up some sort mini-greenhouse shelter or even buy one of those small plastic greenhouses. If the weather is forecast to get really cold, then you could use a light bulb or string of small lights to provide enough heat to keep the air above freezing.
     
  6. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I suggest you overwinter the plant outside since you intend on growing it outside year-round anyway. It can be moved easily if you put it on a plant dolly. A garage, heated or not, may come in handy during particularly cold periods. Cuttings can be propagated now in case that is what is holding you back.
     
  7. AliceJM

    AliceJM New Member

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    Sorry for the confusion, i use the plastic only when I mist the osmanthus once or twice a week or when I spray for spiders mites. The plastic is only up for ten minutes or so until the water stops dripping. It was pouring rain when I brought them in from outside so the plastic was still on. I should have uploaded the after picture.
     
  8. AliceJM

    AliceJM New Member

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    I wasn’t necessarily intending to grow it outside year round but I haven’t found much information on overwintering indoors or growing osmanthus year round indoors. The advice given seems to be that it should be wintered outside although some cultivars are more cold sensitive than others. I have started some cuttings so hoping they will successfully root. Given that this particular plant has been wintering indoors for so long, I wanted to ensure I had extra plants first before making any major changes.
     
  9. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    The following thread may be of interest to you: In-ground Bearss Lime in South Surrey. I was impressed by how a cold sensitive tree, more so than yours, can be grown in-ground in our area. You may find some ideas that would allow you to grow your containerized tree outside year-round.
     
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