By Donovan Arborists | October 23, 2017 0

Outdoor Plants You Can Bring In For Winter

There are plenty of dwarf trees, shrubs, and plants in your landscape or on your patio that will overwinter nicely indoors under the right growing conditions. Even some large plants anchored in the ground can provide cuttings for indoor containers.

Here are some to consider:

Small Evergreens

Boxwood and myrtle grow well in containers and can be pruned to give attractive topiary shapes for added indoor winter décor. Small spruce, fir, and pines can live in containers for a year or two, but most will eventually need to be transplanted outdoors due to their size. Meanwhile, they make beautiful living Christmas trees. Some varieties lend themselves to bonsai treatments as permanent container plants, too.

Evergreens prefer bright to moderate direct sunlight, and turning them every few days will promote even growth. Frequent misting is needed, too. Water when the soil is dry to the touch and feed them monthly. Even small evergreens can be quite heavy, so placing them on wheeled plant stands will make moving them in and out easier.

Miniature Fruit Trees

Growing miniature fruit trees can be tricky in Colorado, but it can be done. Dwarf varieties of oranges, Myer lemons, kafir limes, and clementines are candidates, but optimal growing conditions can be hard to provide indoors. They need a minimum of eight hours sunlight a day (twelve is better, but unachievable in Colorado winters), humidity around 50%, and well-fertilized, moist soil to thrive and set fruit.

Dwarf apple, peach, plum and pear trees can do well in containers, but need cool cycles to bear fruit, making them impractical to grow indoors except in rooms where they can get the temperature fluctuations they need.

Edible Plants

Peppers are perennial tropical plants that can be kept producing for several years, so why let them freeze in the winter? Plant size is a consideration, but smaller varieties adapt to containers well and can give an extra splash of indoor color as they spice up your winter meals. Don’t overwater or overfeed and give them plenty of bright direct sunlight.


Parsley, basil, and chives are favorites in indoor containers, and lemongrass and rosemary are perennials that can be moved indoors and out for year-round production. Herbs like full bright sunlight, and some, like chives, will even survive a light frost. Keep your herbs trimmed so they don’t get leggy and unattractive.

Decorative Plants


Geraniums are popular plants for overwintering. They can be lifted and potted to bring indoors, but potted plants are more commonly chosen. Placed in bright, south-facing windows, they can bloom all winter, or let go dormant until setting out again in the spring. They’re easy to propagate from cuttings, too.


Find a warm, humid location with moderate sunlight and you can enjoy the begonia’s colorful foliage year-round. Misting and setting them on a pebble tray will add humidity to dry indoor air.


Trim your fuchsias to about 6 inches and place them in a cool spot (50°F) with low light for a winter rest. Only water when the soil feels dry. In early spring, repot with fresh soil, move to a cool, sunny spot and begin watering regularly. Feed every other week, move them to a cool spot outdoors, or keep them inside for a tropical accent.


Large coleus plants in outdoor beds can be used for cuttings, and potted plants can be brought indoors for nice winter color. They like a warm spot with bright indirect light and moist soil. Feed them monthly and pinch off flowers to keep the plants from going to seed.


These are just a few of the many plants that can be grown both indoors and out. A little online research will turn up many more. But whatever plants you choose, bringing the outdoors in is a great way to cure the winter blahs.


Need Help? Call a Pro

If you need help choosing the right trees and shrubs for your indoor/outdoorlandscape, Donovan Arborists offers planting, pruning, and shearing services as well as a complete landscape maintenance package for property in the Denver area.

We’re always happy to give free estimates to homeowners and property managers for any services they may need.

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