How to overwinter Mediterranean plants

Many of us love our Mediterranean plants in the garden.

But what do you do when winter comes and they risk dying?

Here you get the experts’ advice and tips on how, among other things, lemon trees, olive trees and fig trees survive!

Mediterranean plants such as olive trees, mini oranges, citrus and figs are just a few examples of plants that have become increasingly popular in Swedish gardens. 

But when winter and its cold are approaching, it is important to be careful. Otherwise there is a great risk that they will all die. 

In the Mediterranean countries it can also be minus degrees, but it is only for shorter periods and there the ground never freezes like here at home. Nor do they have the compact darkness that we have in the Nordic countries.

Bring in the Mediterranean plants in the fall

To begin with, you should take in the plants when it starts to get cold, and it can vary but sometime between September and November. But do not just look at the temperature; rain, wind and darkness also affect it. 

However, it is not enough to just take them in, they do not like the combination of our dry, hot indoor climate and darkness and can then both dry, drop the leaves and get vermin.

Bright and cool for olive trees and lemon trees

For olives and citrus , it is important to have a place that is bright and cool, such as a glass veranda, insulated greenhouse or conservatory, but also stairwells or basements with windows can work. The important thing is that the temperature is between 3 and 10 plus degrees. Feel free to place the pot on insulating material so that the root is not exposed to cold from the ground. You can also give them support lights from a plant lamp. The warmer the tree, the more light hours are needed and choosing the grow tents will the best option for this.  

Water sparingly and turn off elements

If you do not have any of the above rooms, you can turn off the element under a window, and have a plant lamp. Keep in mind that the olive tree handles the dry and warm indoor air slightly worse than the lemon tree . Give plenty of light and shower often! Water sparingly when the soil looks dry, if you are lucky they will survive all winter. If the leaves on the lemon tree start to turn yellow, you can give some citrus nutrition once or twice a month. The kalamondin tree, which has mini oranges, is extra durable and good as a first try.

Dark and frost-free for figs

Figs , on the other hand, which lose their leaves in winter, do not need any light at all when it is time to rest. And a temperature of 2-5 plus degrees is enough. You can store them dark and frost-free in the garage, in the attic or in the basement. When the greatest risk of frost is gone in the spring, you can take out your Mediterranean plants again. 

Should there still be a frosty night, you can always cover the plants with sheets or non-woven fabric. And remember to protect them from strong sun the first week. They need time to get used to it. And after two weeks, you can replant them.

The Mediterranean plants want winter rest

Before it gets too cold outside, it’s also time to take care of Mediterranean plants such as olive trees, citrus and Africa’s blue lily.

  • The rule of thumb is that Mediterranean plants want winter rest but not minus degrees. If you have access to a storage room or similar that holds between five and ten degrees and is bright, then it is optimal.

If Mediterranean plants lose their leaves, it is usually the lack of light that is the culprit in the drama. Then a tip is to get plant lighting. It is actually possible to have Mediterranean plants in a normal heated room during the winter, but then it is important to really compensate with plant lighting.

  • You should choose plants that are beautiful as much of the year as possible. Beautiful autumn colors are definitely one such property.