The bob head is known from the windowsill, but also as a container plant outdoors. We explain what to do in the winter months here.© Melica - Fotolia.com The bobbed head (Soleirolia soleirolii) is a very versatile plant that knows how to surprise. Not only does the baby's head cut a good figure in its spherical shape of a mushroom head, it also grows lushly from traffic lights and can be used as an underplant or balcony plant. Anyone who believes that the bobbed head must be cultivated only on the warm flower window all year round is wrong. The Mediterranean plant is extremely resilient and, under certain circumstances, can even make friends with winter in our latitudes. Now read what is important when wintering the bobbed head and why the small plant sometimes literally grows out of it.
The baby's head is more robust than expected
The small nettle plants are only known as house plants in this country. If the baby's heads are not in the blazing sun, they look good on the flower window and can also tolerate temperature fluctuations. If the bobbed head is kept as a houseplant, no special precautions need to be taken during the winter half-year.
➔ Tip: The bobbed head needs constant watering all year round.
If we look at the origin of the plant, this is skeptical. The bob head is at home in Mallorca, Sardinia or Corsica. Freezing temperatures are hardly to be found here. Even if the plant cannot be fully described as hardy, the bobbed head can tolerate cool temperatures and thus surprise every gardener.
Hibernate bobble head outdoors- it is worth a try
The mild winters of the past few years make it possible to try to spend the winter outside in the bobbed head. In regions with favorable climates, such as the Rhine Valley, there is a good chance that the baby's head will sprout again in spring. The harsh climate of the low mountain ranges will get the plant less well. The warmest in Germany is, statistically speaking, in the southwest.
Hobby gardeners from the following regions have a good chance of successfully bringing the bobble head outdoors over the winter:
- Freiburg in Breisgau
- Frankfurt am Main
What should you watch out for during the winter?
The plants form pretty cushions in the bed and if you want to try to hibernate your bobble head outdoors, you should cut the plants about a hand's breadth above the ground in autumn. The plant would not survive winter without protection. Therefore, the bob head should be covered generously with leaves, straw or brushwood. Under a thick blanket of snow, the plant is less at risk than when bare frost prevails, i.e. at low temperatures without snowfall. So that the soil does not freeze completely to the root, sporadic watering is advisable on these days.
Year-round free range - the facts:
- only useful in mild regions
- Prune the plant back a hand's breadth
- Winter protection from leaves or brushwood necessary
- in the case of bald frost, water a little
What should the winter quarters look like?
There is nothing to be said against it if the baby's head spends the warm season on the balcony or terrace. With the first frost, however, it becomes critical for the bobbed head in the bucket. Container plants are at risk because the planter freezes through quickly and the plant can no longer absorb nutrients.
The bob head should move to a suitable winter quarters in autumn. Here, the plant is not picky as long as it is a frost-free and not too dark room. Moving to the warm living room would not be the best idea. The plant does not get the dry heating air. Heads of the baby need sufficient humidity. This can be achieved with humidifiers or water bowls. A bright location is ideal, not directly above the heating and at around 10 to 15 degrees. The plant is also watered in winter as soon as the top layer of soil appears to have dried somewhat. The bob head can take up its winter location in the winter garden or in the stairwell.
Hibernating potted plants in the house - the facts:
- Relocation takes place before the first frost
- choose a bright location
- do not place near heating
- Temperatures around 15 degrees
- Water continuously when the soil has dried a little
Overwinter the bobble head as a container plant outdoors
Wintering the bob in the bucket outdoors is a risk. A container plant is far more susceptible to frost than outdoor plants. Anyone who lives in a fairly mild area or has a protected location should not dare to attempt without certain precautions. The planter should be placed in a protected location, for example near house walls. The pot should not be placed directly on the ground. A wooden or styrofoam pad keeps the frost away from the roots. The planter can also be wrapped with garden fleece or burlap. Leaves or brushwood are used to cover the upper area.
Hibernating potted plants outdoors - the facts:
- select protected location
- Place the plant pot on a wooden or styrofoam base
- Wrap the planter in garden fleece or burlap
- Cover the head with leaves or brushwood
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➔ Attention: Anyone who claims that the bobbed head is hardy, is mistaken or confuses the bobble head with the blue bobble head, a perennial plant not related to the bobbed head described here.
Keep bob head in the room all year round
The bob head can be kept in the room all year round and does not necessarily have to change its location. The plants should be bright all year round. With room temperatures around 20 degrees, the baby's heads also get along well. Dry heating air becomes a problem in winter. To increase the humidity, water bowls should be set up or humidifiers used.
➔ Tip: The bobbed head can also move from the living room to an unheated room in winter. Temperatures between eight and ten degrees are easily tolerated.