The Q&A Archives: Bringing perennials inside for the winter?

Question: Greetings. Growing some shade perennials (astilbe, ivy) in containers on my north-facing 10th floor terrace in new York city. Wondering if these will winter over if I plant them in 14" containers or if I can/should bring them in for the winter? If I bring the astilbe and ivy in, will they survive for next summer? Thanks.

Answer: A straight-sided 14" pot sounds adequate for your plants. One with a steeply rounded bottom may not hold enough soil to protect the roots through winter. After frost kills the tops back this fall, you can trim them back and cover the plants with a upside down flower pot. Added protection of a styrofoam or burlap wrap is helpful. Move the pot to a sheltered corner of your terrace where it won't be exposed to extreme sun or wind. In the spring, peek under the overturned pot frequently to check for growth, and remove the cover when shoots appear. Water and feed your plants as usual. Enjoy!

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