Daylilies forum: Potted daylilies and winter?

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Nov 3, 2013 9:22 PM CST
I'm in Forney, just east of Dallas. I have several daylillies in pots of various sizes and depth of dirt. I've kept them watered-well during the summer, but with winter coming, I'm not sure how to protect them. There are too many to put in the garage. If I cover the pots with leaves and surround the pots with dirt and leaves, do you think that will be enough to protect them? They are in the sun in the backyard grouped in rows. They are sitting on the ground that is covered with a grass barrier. Should I put something under them, too?
Name: Jan
Hustisford, WI
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Daylilies Dog Lover Irises Region: United States of America
Region: Wisconsin
Nov 3, 2013 9:44 PM CST
Welcome! WD!

This topic has been discussed - but I don't think it has been talked about for southern gardens I would suggest you start a new thread, you will get some great advice from the friends here. I do know there are some folks here that only garden in pots.

And heck, I am STILL planting some of mine, and I am in zone 5b! Again welcome ~Jan
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
Region: United States of America Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Daylilies Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Nov 4, 2013 5:27 AM CST
I split this question out if the other thread so you should get some replies to it now. Living in Ohio, I have never tried to overwinter any plants outside in pots in winter, so I have no advice.

Do you know what zone you are in? That might help others in replying...

Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
Seller of Garden Stuff Region: United States of America Pollen collector Dragonflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Florida
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Nov 4, 2013 6:01 AM CST
Welcome! Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!

I looked at your extended forecast and from what data accuweather had (nothing past Dec and no averages) you will get in the mid 30s. What is your winters normally like?

I assume we are about the same climate (I could be wrong); I would think that you could just leave them where they are and they should be fine with nothing done to them. All of our sale plants are in pots and stay right where they are all winter with no added protection, however, we do cut back on watering of course when it's really cold. If you are really worried about them you could surround the pots with leaves or pine straw or something of that nature but I wouldn't cover the pots completely with anything since your plants will continue to grow (at a much slower rate) throughout the winter; I assuming (again Whistling ) that you do not have dormant daylilies and they do not go completely underground. IMHO covering them completely with leaves would invite rot problems since it will trap any moisture under the leaves and keep the fans/crown too moist. I could be wrong and we do have some members from that area ( I believe) that may know more about your climate than I do Shrug!

It's not the cold that gets them here it's when we have a freeze and the fans (the young new growth mainly) gets mushy and then sometimes the mush gets rotty and it can go into the crown and rot the whole plant. We are very vigilant here when we have a freeze since we sell plants and don't want to lose any. If we didn't have a continuous growing season we wouldn't have to worry so much but we have hot, cold, warm, freeze, hot, freeze, cold, warm weather all winter so the plants try and grow when it gets warm and then the new growth is too tender to protect itself against a freeze and gets mushy.
Name: Dot or Dorothy Parker
Fort Worth TX (Zone 8a)
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Nov 4, 2013 8:29 AM CST
I'm in Fort Worth and all my daylilies are grown in pots. I leave mine out year round with no protection even in one gallon pots. Most of mine are in 20" pots. I never have a problem with them. What few that I do have in one gallon pots, if I have small ones like prolifs, I put them next to a south facing wall for the winter. I will water them some on warmer days during the winter. The only time I lost some was in the winter of 2010 when we had a wet cold winter and it got colder than usual. I lost a few then mostly ones that had been recently divided too late in the season.

Name: Maryl
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
Cat Lover Roses Daylilies Container Gardener Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents
Region: Oklahoma Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Nov 5, 2013 3:42 PM CST
Ditto on what Dot says only in my area, one zone cooler (7a), the one gallon pots (8 inch) are safer when placed in the most protected/warmest site you have (as in next to the house on the west/south side where the building will radiate heat back at night). By protected I mean from any northern wind you might have......Also I might warn you about the plants getting too much water during the winter. Too much water can lead to root rot. The roots are dormant, or nearly so, and a ton of water on them does them no good. I place alot of my pots underneath the eaves of the house where winter wet doesn't accumulate as much. Of course then I may have to water by hand at times as they are going dormant, but nothing is easy in life. Unlike Dot I have lost a few over the years; mostly due to too much moisture. Low temperatures (we got down to minus 7 one year, and single digits are not unheard of) being a secondary factor.........Maryl

Nov 16, 2013 6:16 PM CST
Many thanks to each of you for the advice. I put them close together and put mulch around the outside of the group. I didn't know about the water. I think I'm in zone 8, but we do get some low temps and the last couple of years snow. Last week, temperatures were in the high 20's, low 30's; dog's water froze a thin sheet of ice, but today, it was windy but warm with a forecast for the low 80's tomorrow. Again, thanks. I'm trying to save some plants and have limited knowledge, so all advice is welcomed. Confused
Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
Daylilies Container Gardener Dog Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Garden Ideas: Level 2
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Nov 17, 2013 9:45 AM CST
I'm pretty much doing the same as all the above, though I also put 12x12 inch garden stones under my 1-gallon pots (to radiate heat back up during the night), and they are all huddled together next to a raised deck that vents some of the crawl-space heat from under the house. They do get some wind from the north, but it is filtered a bit by a solid fence and some shrubbery. After a winter with 6 weeks of 28 degree weather, nearly all survived and thrived the next summer. The mention of water and struggling crowns is helpful, too - I think that is why my potted DLs were more likely to go through Spring Sickness than ones in the garden, but I only lost one to full-out crown rot, and it was a cultivar that had been struggling ever since it arrived.

Your plan to huddle them and surround them with mulch sounds very good, and as long as you don't usually go much below the high 20's, I will bet they will do well. Would love to hear an update next spring to see how they fare! Group hug
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Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
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Nov 17, 2013 3:02 PM CST
We are practically neighbors! The only thing I ever do for my potted daylilies is throw an old sheet or something over and around them if we are expecting one of those Valentine's Day ice storms. They all do fine. Smiling
It’s okay to not know all the answers.

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