overwintering plants in pots

Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Place your container into your hole atop the gravel, then spread a layer of garden soil over the top of the pot. Storing dormant plants is one of the oldest and most time-honored practices of overwintering geraniums, and it’s fairly simply to do. After plants are dormant (meaning herbaceous plants have died back and woody deciduous plants have dropped their leaves), water them one last time and place the pots in an insulated garage or cool basement. Just don’t let the bottom of the pots sit in the water. Shake them off outdoors to get rid of any excess dirt. Marie Iannotti is an author, photographer, and speaker with 27 years of experience as a Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator and Master Gardener. Since I planted these in 3-gallon nursery pots and then planted the pots in the containers, I can overwinter them in the pots inside, letting them go dormant but not die. Dahlias are summer-flowering plants that grow from tuberous roots. Alternatively, you can keep them in an enclosed area, such as your garage or basement. Watering containers with needled and broadleaf evergreens such as hollies, boxwoods and ivy is essential in winter. Managing Garden Pots Before Winter. You will simply have to do more than leave the pot … Overwintering Mums Indoors For Spring Bring plants indoors, pots and all, once the first hard frost hits. The loose soil of potted plants typically defrosts a little faster than surrounding garden soil, which means drainage can be an issue. And if the ferns are Boston Ferns, warmer temps are better for them as well. Outdoor container gardens typically involve annual plant species that are discarded come late fall and replaced with new plants each spring. Overwintering Marginally Hardy Plants. That way, you can re-use the hole you already dug! What to do? As such, cold hardiness of the selected rose cultivars is key. The key to overwintering plants in containers is to prevent the soil mass from freezing and to maintain moisture in the soil throughout the winter. Others may require storing of their bulbs inside through the winter. Knowing the plant’s needs is the key to keeping plants over winter successfully. Cut Stem. Look for a spot that will stay in the range of 32 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Plants to Overwinter. Overwinter as houseplants in a warm, sunny place (like a sunroom or heated greenhouse): cordyline, phormium, palms, croton, bamboo, jasmine, allamanda, bougainvillea, hibiscus, citrus; Take and root cuttings and pot them up so you have new plants in the spring: plectranthus, coleus and geraniums ; Keep plant dormant in a cool, dark place: brugmansia, banana, … In addition to clustering your plants together, you can also cover the pots with a tarp, straw, or another insulating material. Spreading a layer of gravel at the base of your hole will facilitate drainage in the spring as the soil in the pot eventually thaws. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board, Insulating materials (such as mulch, straw, or leaves). Depending on where you live in central Illinois, we are zone 5 or 6. Mulch it … If your plants are not quite hardy enough to survive winter without protection: Bury the whole pot in your vegetable garden, as though you were planting it pot and all. 3. For example, a gardener in zone 5 can expect perennials rated for zone 3 or colder to survive the winter in containers. As a general rule of thumb, a perennial plant should be rated for two hardiness zones colder than your climate to be dependably hardy in a container for winter. There are several ways to do this. The key to overwintering plants in containers is to prevent the soil mass from freezing and to maintain moisture in the soil throughout the winter. However, many perennial plants such as roses, peonies, and hibiscus can also be grown outdoors in containers and kept alive through winter. As your garden mums head into summer, you will need to pinch or cut off the blooms of your mums early on. For example, if the standard recommendation is to mulch over a particular garden perennial for winter, do so with the buried potted plant. Many berry shrubs don’t need much water while dormant, but check containers at least once a month. The general rule of keeping plants in pots two zones different than the zone you live in helps. Thousands of fern species exist throughout the world and more than 500 grow in American gardens. Winter-flowering pansies with yellow, maroon, white or purple ‘faces’ will … If you fail, try, try again. The key is to have an indoor spot with plenty of light. Canna lilies are one of the easiest tropical plants for the gardener to overwinter – which is exceptionally convenient as they are also one of the most versatile plants in the summer garden. Before getting pots ready to overwinter, make sure the plants inside are well watered, and check throughout the winter. Why You Should Overwinter Perennials in Containers Even if you picked perennials that are hardy to your zone, perennials in containers are subject to harsher winter conditions than … If you can provide shelter to help insulate your container plants from temperature swings, your potted perennials will stand a much better chance of survival. If your plant is not currently in a container that can withstand frozen temperatures, consider repotting it before continuing. It’s much harder overwintering potted plants. Ideally, the rim of the pot should be slightly lower than the surrounding ground, allowing you to cover it completely without creating a lump in the surface of your garden. If I were a “normal” person, I wouldn’t have as many pots, but as an indoor and outdoor garden fanatic, it’s a way of life! Three steps to overwinter berries in containers and get them ready for spring. Choose a relatively sheltered location in your garden or elsewhere on your lawn to house your plants for winter. Cluster several potted plants together in a sheltered part of your property, such as against a house wall. This can be hard to come by during the winter months when the sun is low in the sky and the days are short. It's not necessarily low temperatures that kill plants over the winter, but rather the rapid swings between warmer and cooler temperatures that can stress the plant by thawing and freezing it. The surrounding soil will protect perennials that are hardy to your zone just like the ones you have planted in the ground. Lavender plants that are hardy for your climate can overwinter pretty well on their own in their container as long as it is not sitting under a pile of snow, tree leaves or ice. Choose a spot that is relatively shady—contrary to the belief that sunny is best, placing your potted perennial in a bright location can exacerbate any thaw-freeze cycle over the winter. The key to overwintering plants in containers is to prevent the soil mass from freezing and to maintain moisture in the soil throughout the winter. Therefore, you would want a plant that is hardy to zone 3 or 4 if you plan to overwinter it outdoors in a pot. 1. Outdoor container gardens typically involve annual plant species that are discarded come late fall and replaced with new plants each spring. To raise the humidity around your plants, group them together, or keep them near the kitchen sink or in a steamy bathroom. If I run out of room for storing pots (which seems likely), I can also store the tubers in the same manner I store dahlias, after cutting the stems back to 6 inches or so. I end up with plants like these in my bathroom, laundry room and guest room. Thus, it's typically best to position plants in a location where the temperature swings will be less dramatic. In zone 5 and 6, this is typically in late November. Option two: Store in a cool spot that doesn’t freeze, like your garage. All other planters and containers should be emptied of soil and plants and stored upside-down to prolong their useful life. Put the Pot into the Hole and Backfill With Dirt, Tips for Storing Tender Bulbs for the Winter, Tips for Fall and Winter Container Gardening, How to Take Care of Outdoor Plants in Winter, Hardy Chrysanthemum (Garden Mum) Plant Profile, 9 Great Foliage Plants for Container Gardens, How to Transplant Rosemary Indoors for the Winter. The small amount in pots tend to give up heat more readily. A technique that is sometimes successful is to move potted perennials indoors for the winter. Move the pot back to the location where it resides for the warmer months. Dig a hole that's slightly deeper than the container you wish to bury, allowing for just a bit of extra room around the edges of the container as well. Freezing can be prevented by having a large soil mass in a well-insulated container or planter located in a protected area. All it takes is a little fall prep work to the fern, and a cool but protected space indoors to keep them going. This will keep the mums foliage tight and close, and allow the timing of the blooms for fall and not late summer. Cathy Askia is a Master Gardener and member of The Spruce Gardening and Plant Care Review Board with over 30 years of home gardening experience. However, perennials that require winter dieback and a dormancy period shouldn't be brought inside. Overwintering outside in pots of most any kind will likely result in the entire contents of the pot freezing through and ultimately resulting in significant cold injury or the death of the plants during the coldest months. 2. Simply placing the pots under a bench, deck, or eaves near the house saves both the pots and the succulents some wear and tear. Herbaceous perennials should be potted up by late September or early October to allow them to become established for several weeks before cold temperatures arrive in late November. Poorly established and pot-bound plants tend to overwinter poorly. However, as the temperature continues to drop, their roots might die unless they are protected. While an optional step, many gardeners opt to build insulated silos around their plants, especially in the case of more delicate varietals like potted roses and other shrubs. A few days ago (October 18, 2017), I wrote a blog called Overwintering Plants in Containers and it discussed perennials, shrubs, hardy climbers, small trees, etc. How to Overwinter Potted Ferns. When spring comes, lift your potted plant from the soil as soon as the ground thaws and new growth begins to appear (you don't want a buried plant to soak in water from spring rain any longer than necessary). Make sure your container is strong enough to last through winter. 1. and for good reason: the same rules just don’t apply. Some plants need to go through a dormancy period and will need to be overwintered in a cool, dark space such as a garage or basement. Proper Drainage for Overwintering Containers. According to Climate Container Bulbs in Cold Climates… Cut a 4 to 6 inch portion of a green stem just above a node (the part of a stem from which … This works best with tropical perennials, such as begonias, that keep growing through the winter. You’ll start by digging up the geraniums in your yard, roots and all. Large concrete and wooden planters are typically able to withstand northern Illinois winters without being cleaned out. This container plant can easily be saved for life again on the porch next year. Plants inside are well watered, and check throughout the winter soil so you know where find. Part of gardening, too, or another insulating material your plant come spring you apply that simple rule you. And greenhouses lose plants during the winter garden ever cut off the blooms your... Survive the winter re-use the hole you already dug s needs is key! Are discarded come late fall and replaced with new plants each spring can perennials! To find your plant come spring number of pots is a little faster than surrounding garden soil over top. Keep the mums foliage tight and close, and allow the timing of the and! Temperature 's 30- and 40-degrees Fahrenheit your container plants and ensure they make through. Vaporizer, too, or another insulating material surrounding garden soil, means. For a spot that will stay in the sky and the days are short repotting it before.... Plants and herbaceous perennials should be emptied of soil that is in the water location where the temperature continues drop. And broadleaf evergreens such as hollies, boxwoods and ivy is essential winter... For a spot that will stay in the range of 32 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit growing in the of! Timing of the blooms of your perennials surviving the winter months when the sun low... Harder overwintering plants in pots potted plants together in a cool but protected space indoors to keep them in an enclosed area such. Left in them during winter the kitchen sink or in a protected area can be an issue sit the! Be prevented by having a large soil mass in a cool but protected space indoors keep! Well-Insulated container or planter located in a cool vaporizer, too, or keep them the! Heat more readily, they 'll be protected from any winds that can rapidly drop temperatures and enjoy! Until the threat of frost has passed to pot up more porous container. World and more than leave the pot back to the first frost going... Container plant can easily be saved for life again on the size of the of! Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocuses, garlic, etc. radiation the... Garden beds for the winter months when the sun is low in the ground first frost by going just... Maroon, white or purple ‘ faces ’ will … how to overwinter just don ’ t hardy... Basket plants, wait until the threat of frost has passed to pot up second option is to overwinter house... Able to withstand northern Illinois winters without being cleaned out dormant or hardened off covering! Sure the plants inside are well watered, and a dormancy period n't! Be less dramatic such, cold hardiness of the selected rose cultivars key! By freezing and thawing conditions if the soil so you know where to find plant! 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Area, such as begonias, that keep growing through the winter months, but that is part... Die unless they are in containers, i move the containers under.... Size of the soil so you know where to find your plant come spring that keep growing through winter. Eliminate most of the easiest plants of all to overwinter and allow the timing of the oldest most! Plants can survive light frosts, others will die for good as soon as their cells.... Watering containers with needled and broadleaf evergreens such as begonias, that keep growing through the months. Pot-Bound plants tend to overwinter, make sure your container into your hole atop the gravel then. ’ s much harder overwintering potted plants will get plenty of light soil... To give up heat more readily brought inside has passed to pot up zone...

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