Ask a Question forum: Overwintering strategies for all things Zone 5B

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Name: Empress of India
Hatfield MA (Zone 5b)
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EmpressOfIndia
Sep 21, 2019 5:36 AM CST
Zone 5-ers (or colder): What are your key overwintering moves for either your favorites or the most delicate?

Here's what I've got-interested in what other people do with their favorites:

-Banana plants indoors (we were going to do the cut it and stick it in the garage method, but they aren't quite ceiling high yet so we're going to enjoy them indoors for one more winter)
-Alocasia 'Thai Giant' indoors - never done this before, never had the plant before, but the look is so nice I wanted to try
-grouped all the outdoor-summering houseplants along with those above in one bright room hoping they will share in their mutual humidity instead of our otherwise dry New England house.
-Dahlias into paper shopping bags after first frost
-gladiolas stay outside and sink or swim
-covering my remaining hydrangea and maybe the spot where the hydrangea disappeared, just in case


Things I'm worried about/considering:
-Mediterranean Heath rated for zone 6
-Lavender 'phenomenal'
-The euphorbias I'm in love with considering 'spend the winter in the garage' or 'spend the winter as a house plant' or 'cover with pine branches and hope for the best'. They are zone 7 rated. We have a lot of micro climates, too...considering hiding them in one of the locations where I've had higher survival rates. But of course they're in clay pots so that's yet another step.
-an upright juniper
-the witch hazel 'jelena' the deer annoying late ate last year
-my gorgeous new caryopteris
-considering overwintering these amazing New Guinea Impatiens. I've seen/heard of people doing it, and I can see why one would go to the trouble.

So what about you? What do you worry about and fret over? Thoughts on the above? Do you burlap things? Cover with those wooden tent thingies? Piles of leaves? Make a cup of hot chocolate and let life take its course?
For a time. I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

-Wendell Barry
[Last edited by EmpressOfIndia - Sep 21, 2019 5:37 AM (+)]
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Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
Sep 21, 2019 6:27 AM CST
Alocasia-
I have what I believe is a Portidora. I keep it in the pot, I leave one or two leaves per stem and it goes into the basement by a west facing and not very big window. I find it goes to sleep, I try to keep it just barely moist, leaves may slowly turn yellow, but when it came out this spring it sent out several flowers then a couple new huge leaves over summer. With your better light indoors I think it will be happy.

Grouping pots- sounds great

Gladiolus, agreed

Euphorbias in garage, nothing ventured nothing gained, right?

The rest, I do not have experience with.. I do try things in protected spots, or basement storage, again NVNG, as above. I don't wrap or build things.

I make the hot chocolate. There's always something else to replace the losses.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Southern Indiana (Zone 6a)
I'll quit while I'm ahead...
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CrazedHoosier
Sep 21, 2019 7:50 AM CST
EmpressOfIndia said:Zone 5-ers (or colder): What are your key overwintering moves for either your favorites or the most delicate?

Here's what I've got-interested in what other people do with their favorites:

-Banana plants indoors (we were going to do the cut it and stick it in the garage method, but they aren't quite ceiling high yet so we're going to enjoy them indoors for one more winter)
-Alocasia 'Thai Giant' indoors - never done this before, never had the plant before, but the look is so nice I wanted to try
-grouped all the outdoor-summering houseplants along with those above in one bright room hoping they will share in their mutual humidity instead of our otherwise dry New England house.
-Dahlias into paper shopping bags after first frost
-gladiolas stay outside and sink or swim
-covering my remaining hydrangea and maybe the spot where the hydrangea disappeared, just in case


Things I'm worried about/considering:
-Mediterranean Heath rated for zone 6
-Lavender 'phenomenal'
-The euphorbias I'm in love with considering 'spend the winter in the garage' or 'spend the winter as a house plant' or 'cover with pine branches and hope for the best'. They are zone 7 rated. We have a lot of micro climates, too...considering hiding them in one of the locations where I've had higher survival rates. But of course they're in clay pots so that's yet another step.
-an upright juniper
-the witch hazel 'jelena' the deer annoying late ate last year
-my gorgeous new caryopteris
-considering overwintering these amazing New Guinea Impatiens. I've seen/heard of people doing it, and I can see why one would go to the trouble.

So what about you? What do you worry about and fret over? Thoughts on the above? Do you burlap things? Cover with those wooden tent thingies? Piles of leaves? Make a cup of hot chocolate and let life take its course?


I believe your Thai Giant is actually a colocasia. They typically want a lot more light than most alocasia. I would definitely get it to go dormant before overwintering. I've found that Phenomenal Lavender is indeed pretty phenomenal. Lavender hates our climate and our wet winters, so almost all of them have to be treated like annuals here. Phenomenal is the only lavender I've bought, that actually comes back. It was also evergreen for us in 6a.
Maybe we should get a second opinion...
Arlington Hts, IL (Zone 5b)
Dahlias Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Lauram847
Sep 21, 2019 7:56 PM CST
As to storing your dahlias, our members in the Central States Dahlia Club store our tubers in a number of ways. Some of us wrap the tubers in Saran Wrap while others store in cedar shavings (like the hamster bedding material) in insulated styrofoam boxes. It's important to keep the tubers from freezing, drying out, or getting moldy. After a killing frost, cut down the vegetative growth, dig and clean your tubers. Should you wish to divide them to make storing easier, make sure that each piece of tuber retains a portion of the neck that has an eye on it. That is where next year's plant will sprout again. The American Dahlia Society has a great website that has loads of information on growing Dahlias, their storage, and division, etc...
https://www.dahlia.org/docsinf...

It's hard to beat these beautiful flowers for their size, forms and colors. Enjoy!

AC Ben blooming in my garden...
Thumb of 2019-09-22/Lauram847/d646c1

[Last edited by Lauram847 - Sep 21, 2019 7:58 PM (+)]
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Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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crawgarden
Sep 21, 2019 9:29 PM CST
Overwintered the Thai Giant successfully, mine was in a cool dark basement, occasionally give it some water. Neighbor across the street kept it in the basement, where it would get sun in the morning, he kept a light on it 24 hours a day, when it came out in the spring it took off like gangbusters.

Lavender 'phenomenal' has done great for me over the the last 3 winters, have it on a Southern facing part of my yard, with great drainage, keep them in almost 60-75% pea gravel, thought last year after our tough winter it would be toast, but did great again, I also have a lavender hidcote that survives our winters.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

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