K.M. asks from Yukon, OK on November 18, 2010
Two Plant-related Questions
Winter's moving in and I have three large potted plants on my front porch. The reason they are on the front porch and not in the house is because if I bring them inside, the cats will eat them and then throw up. So my first question is, what could I do to keep the cats from eating the plants so I can bring them back inside? There is one room in the house where the cats are not allowed to go, and this room has very little natural light and not enough space for all three plants, so it’s not an option to put the plants where the cats can’t get to them. I might be able to hang one plant, but the other two are too big to put in hangers or to put somewhere high and out of the cats’ reach.
Last night was our first freeze of the season and I pulled the plants into the covered part of the porch and then covered them with sheets also. My husband said as long as I pulled them under the covered porch that that would be enough to protect them from frost—I didn’t need to cover them with a sheet also. So that’s my second question: is he right? I always thought you had to completely cover the plants with a sheet to adequately protect them.
I guess I have a third question, too. If I can’t find a way to bring the plants indoors, is there a way to keep them alive all winter outside? I don't know the names of the plants--they're all fairly common houseplants.
So What Happened?™
Thanks, ladies. I am still not sure what I'll do but I have to figure something out, well, now, because it's supposed to freeze again tonight. My garage does not have any windows so I don't think the plants can live in there. Maybe I will try wrapping the plants in netting and bringing them in the house. I think I have some netting left over from when I used it in a garden a couple years ago to keep the birds and squirrels off the plants.
J.P. answers from Boise on November 18, 2010
What about the garage? For the cats, you can try putting some netting over them? I haven't had much success with keeping cats away from plants. Oh, maybe put them high, on a bookcase?
For the cold, if they are house plants, you need to worry about the dirt getting too cold for them, they aren't as hardy as outdoor plants. I think the sheet depends on how deep your porch is. on my back porch, I wouldn't worry, but on the front, I would have done the sheet too.
1 mom found this helpful
M.V. answers from New York on November 18, 2010
I remember hearing that cats do not like the feeling of aluminum foil under their feet - maybe you could try putting some large pieces of foil under the plants and see if they stay off it. Just a thought.
S.G. answers from Oklahoma City on November 19, 2010
Do you have a garage? They would be fine there too. If they are protected on the porch, they don't need to be covered for a light frost, but you do need to water them before the freeze/frost. This helps protect them.
M.K. answers from Monroe on November 18, 2010
cats and dogs (and many animals actually) don't like cayenne pepper, so you could try sprinkling that in the soil around them to deter them.
A.H. answers from New York on November 18, 2010
i think you need to cover them.. also see what the cats don't like.. so spray some stuff around.. like vinegar in a sprayer.. if they walk away.. then try that.. it may be something else..
W.E. answers from Sacramento on November 18, 2010
i dont know if this would work, but what about some type of a tomato cage? or a sprinkler guard (like to keep horses and cattle from breaking the sprinklers)? if they were large enough, you could just set it over the entire plant and pot. maybe go buy a roll of small fencing and make your own? i always put covers over my outdoor plants when its gonna freeze wether they're under the cover of a porch or not. good luck!