storing plants over winter - Knowledgebase Question

denver, Co
Question by david151
February 4, 2010
I had a lilac in a #5 gal container and I didn't have time to plant it in the fall. Is it ok to store it in my garage for the winter? what do I need to do to keep it alive? i live in denver

Answer from NGA
February 4, 2010


Lilacs need a pronounced winter chill in order to bloom but a plant in a container is at risk over the winter months unless the container is insulated to keep the roots from freezing. I'm not sure a garage is the proper storage spot. It would be better to sink the pot into the ground in a protected place outdoors (such as near the foundation of a house) so that the roots are insulated from freezing but the lilac itself experiences the winter cold. If it is already in the garage and has been there since winter began, you'll want to keep it where it is. Dormant plants don't require a lot of water because they are not actively growing, but you don't want the roots to dry out, either. So, water periodically to keep the soil slightly damp but not actually moist. Plant it as soon as possible this spring. Best wishes with your lilac.

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