I don’t know what’s going on with the weather. We had our first freeze in Texas and friends all across the South have told me that they did too, yet it’s 60 degrees here. In January!
Did I miss a memo about the weather?
What this means is that we quite possibly need to move our plants in and out every day in some areas of the country. It will all depend upon your specific environmental conditions, but if you live in the South, like me, then odds are you can bring your plants out during the day and in during the night. You might even leave them out if the night time temperatures will be above freezing.
Actually, some species, like Acer Palmatum (Japanese Maple), can withstand a soil temperature of 20 degrees. But after that, the roots freeze. Of course, if the plant is in a pot, the soil in the pot will cool significantly faster than the soil in the ground. So always play it safe.
The deciduous trees will not really benefit from being outside now versus being in the garage, but conifers will because it will help to keep them from drying out. The same is true for tropicals – if it’s warm enough.
You see, the house is a very dry environment. So, plants dry out and grow slower unless they are adapted to being in a low humidity environment. Bringing them outside this time of year will serve to help them stay moist and healthy.
This reminds me of a good point about tropicals. In the tropics, they have seasons. The rainy season and the not rainy season. Tropicals adapted to respond to things like photoperiods (length of light in a day) and amount of relative humidity instead of intensity of light and ambient temperature of the air (However, they will respond if it’s too cold in a way that you won’t like). That’s why, when you bring your ficus indoors, the leaves fall off. There isn’t enough humidity for the plant. You can either use nachi rocks to increase the humidity around the plant, get a humidifier, or, if it’s warm enough, move the plants outside during the day and inside during the night. You will have to test and see.
As to fertilizing, you should still be using the 0-10-10. We don’t want to get our bonsai growing now, we just want to keep them as happy and healthy as possible.