Over Wintering Cedars in Pots in Toronto Area


I live in a condo with basement garage lights on 24/7. I have put the potted cedars underneath the lights and am not sure if they might survive for the winter. Would you recommend reducing watering. Also could you tell me if you feel that there is any likelihood of them surviving.


Hi, thank you for contacting the Toronto Master gardeners with your question about overwintering your cedars.

My short answer is no.  Your potted cedars will not do well in your condo garage.  Growing plants indoors requires specialized lights, they must provide the correct spectrum of light required for photosynthesis – essential for proper growth. It is unlikely that your garage lighting provides this type of light.  Cedars grow best in sunny conditions, so you would require quite intense lighting to fulfill their needs.  You also mentioned that the garage lights are on 24/7, this is also problematic for plants because like us, they do require a break.  Plants need a few hours of darkness to break down and absorb the sun’s energy, this essential process is called respiration.   Necessary for Cedars as well is a period of cold dormancy, where the tree slows down and conserves energy for the huge spring growth output.  Your indoor garage is probably heated to the extent that will prevent cold dormancy and this will be extremely stressful for your cedars.  I am curious as to where you have kept your cedars up to this point?  Have you kept them on a balcony or terrace?  if so, this is the best place for them.  With the right containers and a little preparation your cedars should survive winter admirably.  I would like to include a few links to past posts with excellent information regarding overwintering your cedars on a balcony.  Good luck!