Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!
The magic snow balcony plant has earned its unusual name in bloom. She conjures up one white bloom after another, each one the size of a snowflake - all in the middle of summer. But what happens to the magic snow when the real snow is announced? Usually, as an annual cultivated plant, it has to go forever! Unless you give him a life extension in a well-tempered quarters.
Annual plant or perennial?
With an annual plant, the question of winter hardiness hardly arises. It only grows for one season, then dies and is then disposed of. The magic snow is also sold as an annual balcony plant and consequently suffers this fate. What few people know, however, is that under ideal conditions the plant can thrive for several years. Then, however, the winter hardiness is also an important factor in their overwintering.
How much cold can the magic snow tolerate?
The Chamaesyce hypericifolia, as this beautiful plant is called botanically correct, is not hardy. This is also the reason why it is referred to as an annual in the trade. Because most balcony owners lack suitable winter quarters and so they have to assume a one-year existence.
- The plant does not like temperatures below 8 °C
- even light frost damages them considerably
For these reasons, the plant urgently needs a well-tempered place to overwinter, which it must not move into too late. Below are detailed instructions with which you can safely bring your "enchanting snow" into the next summer.
Hibernate Magic Snow: Instructions
1. Optimal balcony replacement
A place that only offers freedom from frost is not good enough. A very long stay awaits the magic snow, during which it also has certain requirements. It should offer the following amenities:
- Temperatures above 8 °C, warmer if you like
- the comfort of living quarters is also accepted
- enough light
- Protection against drafts
- good access to watering
tip: Despite the required brightness, the Chamaesyce hypericifolia should not be exposed to direct sunlight in winter quarters. While she tolerates them well on the balcony in summer, the temperature fluctuations caused by them can now harm her.
2. Change, but early!
Once the optimal winter quarters have been found, it is now a matter of carefully timing the move. The magic snow should be outdoors for as long as possible and soak up the last rays of sunshine. Since the weather is different every year, the owner must keep a careful eye on it. Checking the weather forecast is a must, because frosts can come as a surprise.
- when the cold approaches, the move must be made
- at the latest before the temperature falls below 8 °C
However, if the autumn days or nights are particularly humid, this can already happen in connection with temperatures below 15 °C rot to lead. In this case, you should not wait, but rather move earlier.
If the available space in the winter quarters is too narrow for the balcony plant, which is well developed during the summer, the scissors can be applied right at the beginning. The plant tolerates pruning well, but this could not do the scissor operator any good. Chamaesyce hypericifolia is poisonous, which is why protective gloves are mandatory when cutting.
tip: If you have pets, you should also make sure when choosing a place that they cannot easily reach the poisonous plant.
Since the plant is not hardy at all, its roosting period can last from November to May in unfavorable weather conditions. During this time, one or the other care measure must be carried out, even if not as often as on the balcony.
- no nutrient supply required
- however, the soil should never dry out completely
- the warmer the pot is, the more often it has to be watered
5. Diseases and pests
In the winter quarters make themselves occasionally spider mites over the plant. Regular checks are important in order to detect the pest early and fight it effectively. This step of the instructions should not be skipped lightly. Spreading to other plants can be prevented by isolating diseased specimens if necessary.
Dark and soft plant tissue could be a sign of botrytis being. It is a mold that also likes to attack neighboring plants. If the magic snow is affected by this fungus, it must unfortunately be disposed of immediately.
The first warm rays of sunshine of the year lure you outside, but the balcony can't be adorned with magic snow for a long time. To middle of May a few frosty nights can intervene and irretrievably destroy the plant that was so laboriously brought through the winter.
Only take the plant out of the warm quarters when it is consistently more than 8 °C outside. And if the frost is announced, the magic snow has to be brought in again.
Does hibernation always make sense?
Hibernation always makes sense for the plant, because after all it wants to live. For plant lovers, on the other hand, the good looks and the flowering performance are what count most. This is exactly where the sticking point lies when it comes to overwintering this balcony plant:
- overwintered plants bloom later than young specimens
- with age, the compact form is lost more and more
- the number of flowers also decreases
The longer the magic snow lasts, the more its appearance deviates from the ideal. Every year a new decision has to be made as to whether wintering is worth the effort.