The Q&A Archives: Containers

Question: Have placed sveral diff plants into containers for the season (lilly of the valley, sedum, lillyturf grass and some englisk bluebells). When winter comes, I do not wich to plant in the ground and I want to protect the pots from cracking. Should I cover the container tops with plastic (bags) or should I place in my garage so that I can jusytb take the containers out next spring? Thanks.

Answer: You have two issues here. One is that it is difficult to overwinter plants in containers and two, your decorative pot needs to be protected from freeze damage. I think it would work best to bring the containers complete with the plants into a cool dark place such as an unheated garage or cool basement. It should be above freezing to prevent freeze damage to the container and damage to the plants' roots, but it should be cool to help the plants spend the winter indoors in a dormant state. (35 to 40 degrees is good, setting it on the floor is usually cooler than up on a shelf.) And it should be dark to help prevent them from trying to grow too soon. Water just enough to keep the soil from going bone dry. Bring it inside in late fall and take it back out in early spring so they can wake up with the season. Next year you might consider using a plastic liner pot inside your decorative containers. That way you can more easily leave the plants outside a bit longer or sink that plastic pot in the ground and still bring the fancy container inside. Good luck with your container!

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