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Saving Plants Through The Winter

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Can I store away a hanging Strawberry plant in my basement for the winter and have it bloom the next year?

Hardiness Zone: 6a

By Donna

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Archive: Saving Plants Through The Winter

I think we are moving in the spring. I want to take some of my plants with me to my new home. Does anybody know a good way to keep the plants over the winter and in what? I'm thinking this is the time to do this while I can still see what they are and decide if I want to take them. I'm in the Colorado mountains.

Thanks!
Laura


RE: Saving Plants Through The Winter

Laura, I am assuming that you have perennials that you want to take with you. The absolute best way of taking them with you I think:

  • Option 1

    Dig them out, place in a good sized pot, water well and try to get them established in the pot before winter. Is it possible to "borrow" a friend's garden temporarily? Then sink the pots into the ground in her garden for the winter. Otherwise, depending upon your zone and how cold it gets where you live you may end up freeze drying your perennials in the pots, because the frost will come in from the top and all the sides of the pots if you leave them out in the cold on top of the ground.

  • Option 2

    You could try placing all the pots in an unheated garage and throwing straw and blankets around them, just so they will be cold enough to go into dormancy but not -40C to freeze dry them.

  • Option 3

    If you were to have them in the house, a lot of perennials need to have a cold period in the winter in order to perform well the next year. Then place them in an unheated room and don't let them dry out, but remember they are supposed to be dormant so do not overwater or you will rot them. This is how I have kept my red hot poker plants (zone 5) overwinter, in an unheated room, in the window, just with enough water to keep them alive. We are a zone 2b/3 and it is just too cold for the red hot poker outside in my garden over winter.

  • Option 4

    How soon in the spring could you be moving? If the ground will be thawed but nothing is up yet, dig then, just mark now where each perennial is and what it is and dig quickly in the Spring. Make a list now where each perennial is and go for it then. Will the new owners know about the perennials? If the perennials are not up yet when you are selling, then you can get them out before it raises any issues with the new purchaser of your home.

  • Option 5

    Place in your selling contract that the perennials, this rose and that lily, will be dug by you ASAP in the Spring (you need them for sentimental reasons). Come back and get them out ASAP, because sometimes the new owner will take out the flower bed that you put so many hours into and would be "throwing out" the perennials anyways and putting in grass.

Let us know what you decide to do. Thank goodness when I moved 10 years ago we moved in May and I was able to dig out in the Spring, place in pots and take most of my perennials with me to our new home here on the acreage. Now with over 800 different kinds in my landscaping I really would have to pick and choose carefully which ones to take. (09/08/2005)

By valleyrimgirl

Archive: Saving Plants Through The Winter

Dear Ellen,

I just read a post that you responded to about Strawberry Plants in pots in the winter. I am hoping you can give a little clarification. You told the gentlemen that he could keep them in the garage, but he did not ask if he would need to water them during the winter.

Are the plants going to survive the winter without moisture? I will be doing the same type of thing, but don't know if I should provide regular watering or not. Thanks so much for your help.

Dina

Hardiness Zone: 6a

By Dinamarie from Slatington, PA


RE: Saving Plants Through The Winter

I'm not Ellen so I hope you don't mind me sticking my 2 cents in here, but you must water plants occasionally if you overwinter them in a garage. You must keep the roots from freezing by putting them in a cold spot that doesn't freeze. The ideal temperature would be between 32 and 45 degrees F.

By Anonymous

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