I grew some Cardinal Climber plants from seed and have them in large pots on my porch. They were marvelously successful and took over the porch. It is beginning to get colder where I am and I am wondering if I can cut back the plants and bring them indoors for the winter.

I've searched around and see that these are annuals – but I don't really know what that means. I'm not a gardener – I just like to buy a few seed packs every Spring and see what comes up.


4 Answers 4


If the plants are annuals, then that means they (usually) die in the winter; but not always. Cutting them back and bringing them indoors, or at least somewhere where they will be protected from frost, is a good idea and may mean that they will shoot again next year.

Keep them watered over winter, but water them sparingly, and only when the compost is feeling dry. In the spring do not put them outside again until the danger of frost has passed, and then feed and water them well to get the plants going again.


I know this post is old, but I brought mine inside last winter and it did wonderful this spring and summer. I am now on my second winter bringing this plant inside and it is doing really well.

  • Hi Brittany, perhaps you could edit your answer and tell us if you cut them back, and how. Dec 17, 2023 at 2:58

These are ANNUALS. They die completely by the end of the season but might produce seed that you haven't removed and will reseed in the spring. No you can not bring them in for the winter. Annuals live but one season. Their entire gig in life is to make seed. Get more seed for the spring...absolutely healthy to grow different stuff, try different plants. Kudos!

Also, plants in pots have their roots exposed to the cold. If you want to grow and overwinter perennials in pots, you need to protect the roots. Burlap, christmas tree lights that aren't LED...only potting soil, no rock at the bottom. Take your pots in for the winter so that if they've absorbed water that it doesn't freeze and break your pots. Clean out all soil and replace next spring.

  • Some annuals are half-hardy, or simply temperamental (like this treehugger), and will happily live for several years, especially if the climate is mild or if the plants are growing in a sheltered location. This is especially true of a number of wildflowers, not to mention biennials (which typically require two or more years to complete their growth cycle).
    – user19777
    Feb 8, 2018 at 3:15

You could try and be the first one to invent this. So far, they are annual summer vines. The short days, the cold temperatures, they don't like it. They are used to being in seed condition for part of the year. I am trying them this year again, in pots for the first time. In the milpa,they grow like crazy and are covered with flowers. They have special names for how beautiful they are. It is a very emotional plant. Cardinal Climber. It is an ipomoea of some kind. They are easy to grow from seed, but because we almost got killed, we prefer to buy starts from our neighbors.

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