The Front Porch

A Friday at home and the sun was shining for most of the day. With temperatures up into the 40's I propped the front door open and allowed all the heavy condensation on the windows to dry. The past weeks of very cold weather have tested the endurance of my plants, with the porch windows freezing up at night and on cold, sunless days. On warmer days or when the sun shines it's sharp winter light, the porch heats up nicely. The ice melts and drips.

With single-pane windows on the north, west, and south sides of the porch, moisture finds it's way from the house onto the unheated porch and condenses on the glass. This isn't a problem during the summer months or when the outside temperatures allow me to slide the windows open for some air exchange. With luck, the glass will be dry by days end, just in time for the night condensation cycle to begin again.
I have found that by keeping many of the plants in my collection as dry as possible throughout the winter months, I am able to avoid most cold damage issues. Soft tissue plants also have much less rot. My sansevierias are especially prone to root rot during the colder months, especially if there is anything more than a trace of soil moisture.
Begonias also are kept as dry as possible, just barely avoiding wilt. They are suprisingly tolerant.
Along the north side of my 'plant room', on the most narrow ledge right up against the glass are some smaller haworthias in 2 inch, 3 inch, and 4 inch pots. Year after year they impress me with their tough-as-nails resistance to the cold. Up against the icy glass, they continue to survive.


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