Here’s how to overwinter floating plants and luckily isn’t all that difficult if you follow two simple rules.
The first is that the water temperature has to be kept at least at 72F or the plant will not like it. Get a small aquarium with a water heater and a thermometer (you’ll require both) to provide a home for your plant.
The second thing you need for overwintering floating plants is light. Even while the days down south get shorter in the winter, they don’t get as short as northern days. You’ll have to provide a full spectrum plant light to these plants or they’ll stop growing and wither away.
Note that tropical plants are like annuals – they continue to grow and multiply or they die. It is OK for you to slow them down a bit but if you slow them down too much – they’ll stop.
So high light from grow-lights and warm temperatures are the answer.
Other Common Questions
Can I winter them in a bucket?
See above. You can use a bucket but the light levels and water temperatures have to be right. As soon as you see the plants starting to stretch out, you know it doesn’t have enough sunlight.
Do I have to feed them in the winter?
I don’t feed them in the summer so I can’t imagine why you’d feed them in the winter. (grin)
My neighbor overwinters floating plants but I can’t winter mine – what’s wrong?
Darned if I know (There’s not a lot of information in your question) Ask your neighbour. Or better yet, have your neighbour winter yours too. It all comes down to water temperature and light levels. Get ’em right and you’re a winner – get them wrong and you’re buying the plants next spring.
Is it worth all the work?
To some folks it is. Remember that it usually isn’t about the money – it’s about the challenge of doing it. The cost to run an aquarium heater and grow-lights will be equal or greater than the cost of purchasing a few oxygenator plants the next spring.
Is There Any Other Problem?
One problem you may have starting around mid-winter is overcrowding. You should congratulate yourself because you’ve obviously been successful. Simply take a few out, compost them and let the remainder grow again. Or, start another aquarium. 🙂