Overwintering Perennials In A Green House - Knowledgebase Question

Manchester, IL
Question by seedtik
June 12, 2001
How do I force perennials into a dormant state and bring them back in the spring in a green house?

Answer from NGA
June 12, 2001


Forcing perennials is an artas well as a science, as the people who grow them to bloom for flower show exhibits such as the Chelsea Flower Show will tell you. The general idea is to reduce temperatures so that they go dormant, then raise the temperatures to bring them back into active growth. The soil needs to be kept slightly moist in the dormant phase, but not wet enough to cause fungal problems. The temperatures need to be warm to simulate spring, but care must be taken not to cause overly soft lush growth due to the reduced light levels of early spring. Different plants, of course, respond differently to the nuances of light and temperature. Nutrients as well as pests and diseases must also be monitored very carefully. Trial and error and good record keeping, as well as some cooperation from the weather, would all be needed for a successful attempt. Your county extension (243-7424)may have some additional crop-specific information geared toward commercial greenhouse growers, with an emphasis on producing plants of saleable size as economically as possible. I hope this answers your question.

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