Keeping Fruit Plants Warm During Winter (zone 9)

bunny_foofooOctober 7, 2013

I live in Orlando, FL (zone 9). I currently rent, but when I do buy a house, it will have a yard big enough for my fruit trees (which are currently potted). I have exotic plants like imber (mangosteen), breadfruit, sugar apples, jaboticaba, pitagnatuba, rollinia, canistel and more. I hope to be able to afford to build a conservatory, and I am open on converting an outdoor pool into a bed for my trees.

Even being in zone 9, the winters get too cold for some of my plants. I was trying to think of ways to warm up the soil. Our winters rarely dip below 50, but in very RARE cases have gotten to the lower 30s.

I was brainstorming possibly inserting metal buckets into the yard and when it gets cold, filling them with water and using bucket heaters. I heard there are bucket heaters that shut off if the water drops below a certain level (fire prevention). When these buckets were not in use, I would drain them and use a plug to cover them.

I'm just throwing an idea out there. Any thoughts or better suggestions?

Some bucket heater links:

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If you only need to protect the roots. I have used a thick layer of mulch around the pot. The mulch will insulate and also produce its own heat while it decomposes. Also I have used Styrofoam taped to the pot as well as over the pot top. Also, for short periods, I have used thick storage blankets. JMHO Aloha

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 10:24PM
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