For many of us, the temperatures are sliding downward, and some places are already seeing snow. The last warm days of summer are few and far between and while cooler temps bring visions of cozy fires and pumpkin pie, now is the perfect time to take care of some outdoor chores. This include getting faux outdoor plants ready for winter.
The best thing about artificial plants is that they don’t require a lot of care. There are no dead leaves to dispose of or roots to feed, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t spend a few minutes getting your fake outdoor plants ready for the winter months, especially if you live in an area with more extreme weather.
Step #1 To Winterize Artificial Plants and Flowers – Bring them inside
The easiest way to protect your faux blooms and greenery from the vagaries of winter weather is to store them indoors for the season. Bringing artificial plants inside for the winter will help them last longer as they will be protected from the cold temperatures that can turn plastic brittle as well as from the winter snow and ice – and the salt that removes them.
If you’re going to store your outdoor faux plants and flowers during the winter months, make sure they’re clean. You can spray them off with a hose or shower head or try one of the other cleaning methods we talked about in this blog post.
Once your plants are clean, place them in a plastic bag or container to keep them dust free, then put them on a shelf and forget about them until spring.
Pro Tip – When storing your artificial flowers for the Winter, give them a couple sprays with a floral scent before you seal up the container or bag. That way, they have a chance to soak up the smell while they are in storage. When you take them out again in the Spring or Summer, they’ll smell wonderful.
Using containers that are big enough to store your taller artificial plants and flowers are ideal since you can easily set your smaller arrangements in the crevices. Consider a clear storage container, like this HOMZ 64 Quart Storage Container, so you can see the contents inside without rummaging through them.
Step #2 To Winterize Artificial Plants and Flowers – Tidy them up outside
If you’re planning to leave your faux plants and flowers outside for a spot of green and color during the barren winter months, fall is still a great time to give them some extra attention.
Take a good look at each plant or flower. Check for fading or broken stems and petals then decide if the plant needs to be cleaned, rotated, or replaced. While faux plants are a great option for the outdoors, especially in places where live plants are hard to grow, they are not indestructible. The wear and tear of wind, water and sun means that they will need to be replaced periodically.
If a plant is fading on one side, spin it around so the sun will fade it evenly. If you find broken or cracked plastic or torn silk, see if you can rearrange the stems to hide the broken pieces. You can even “prune” your artificial plants to remove a damaged stem.
Cutting your artificial plants, whether that be stems or broken leaves, is a delicate process. You need to make sure you are using the right tools so you don’t bend or warp the plant. Consider these Diagonal Cutting Pliers by IRWIN, perfect for cutting plastic or wire stems without damaging the rest of the plant.
Pro Tip – The key to pruning artificial flowers and plants is a shart utensil with plenty of power. Standard scissors often don’t have the power, so go with cutting pliers so the job is easier and cleaner.
If your outdoor faux plants and flowers are looking dirty or dusty, spray them gently with a hose or use a feather duster to remove the dust. Periodically cleaning your fake outdoor plants will help them last longer and keep them looking fresh.
Pro Tip – My favorite tool to help clean the dust and dirt off my artificial plants are the Swiffer Dusters!
Step #3 To Winterize Artificial Plants and Flowers – Know your plants’ tolerances
If you live in an extremely windy or cold climate, consider how well your plants are going to fare during the winter months if left outside. Faux trees or flowers in a planter are often not as heavy as their live counterparts and can blow over in high wind gusts.
Many plastics become brittle at low temperatures, making it easy for them to snap in two. Consider the materials your plants are made out of when deciding whether to leave them outside or bring them in for the winter. If the temps are going to be cold for a while, bring them in and store them in a cool, dark location out of the way.
Whether you decide to leave your faux plants outside for the winter or put them in storage, taking good care of your artificial plants will allow you to enjoy them for years to come.
Let us know your favorite tips for cleaning and caring for artificial plants and flowers in the comments.
As always, be sure to let me know if you have any questions or concerns.