Growing shrubs in plastic containers - how to winter? - Knowledgebase Question

Port Washington, Ne
Question by yfc84617
October 28, 2008
I am growing viburnum burwoodii and butterfly bushes in plastic containers. Can I leave the shrubs in the containers over the winter? How about perennial bulbs in plastic containers? Can I leave those out during the winter? I live in NY - the Mid-Atlantic gardening region.

Answer from NGA
October 28, 2008


Even though the plants themselves are hardy in your growing region, the concern is that the roots of containerized plants are more exposed to the elements and can suffer permanent damage if not protected. There are a couple of ways to deal with that. Either bury the containers in the ground near the foundation of your house to help protect the roots, or group your containers together in a protected corner of a patio or porch and insulate them with mulch to decrease heat loss from the sides of the containers. You can wrap the bases of the containers in plastic, burlap or blankets to reduce heat loss. Or, if you have a cold frame, greenhouse or even an unheated garage or potting shed, you can set the plants in there during the winter, and return them to their regular growing spots in the early spring. Best wishes with your plants!

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