Monday, January 9, 2012

What do I do with these potted plants in the winter?

I live in Virginia Beach, Zone 7b-8a, and would like for these plants to survive, but don't have a lot of indoor space for them besides a garage:

tropical hibiscus

perennial luna hibiscus

tea roses







They are all thriving and some still blooming today, like the petunia, mimulus and salvia.

I also have lantana and impatiens still in bloom in the ground and was wondering what to do with them so that they may come back next year.

What do I do with these potted plants in the winter?
In your zone, if the garage stays about 32 degrees F, should be safety enough for most of these plants. I wouldn't bother saving salvia, petunia or basil - they're better as single year annual plants.

Herbaceous cooking sage is hardy in southern PA, so I think it can just winter over in the garage. You can probably leave the parsley outdoors until it's really cold, but if you have a window in the garage it may just thrive in the cool garage. The hibiscus plants and tea roses might appreciate a wrapping of burlap or an old quilt and a winter vacation in the garage. A couple weeks before moving them into the garage, start to decrease their water and let them begin to go dormant. That way, they'll take the winter to rest and not be expecting to grow while they're in the garage for a few months Check the sleeping beauties weekly and give just a trickle of moisture to keep the roots alive during winter. In spring, you may need to cut back some or all of the tops of the plants, then gradually increase water and move them to more light. They will respond by starting spring growth - at which time you may find they want new larger pots and more soil.

I bring all 50 or so of my biggest and best plants indoors every fall, plus 16 gold fish. The fish plus our 7 foot bird of paradise plants, tropical palm treels, Hawaiian plumeria, tree hibiscus and asparagus ferns all stay in the living areas of our wood-heat-solar house. The seed begonias, geraniums, spikey palm tree and tender bulbs all go into our unheated basement with just a couple tiny windows and they think they're having a southern winter. They usually all make it okay ... We build a bathtub size pond from builders foam and rubber roofing in our foyer for the fish, and they actually appreciate all that TLC - they "smack" their lips for food if they don't think we've fed them enough!
Reply:I'm sure there is a nursery in your area. They sometimes hold your palnts for the winter. Besides that I don't know much about those specific palnts.I'm sure you can find a way though. Sorry.
Reply:Basil %26amp; Parsley, Petunias %26amp; Salvia can be re-seeded as new plants next year. Sage should survive the winter. Tea roses may need to be brought indoors if they are in pots ,as may hibiscus.

Check with your nursery to see what regional expectations they advise. I live in California where we have almost a year-round growing season.
Reply:Tucson Az here, I've been landscaping here 30 yrs, even thought its so much colder there than here cold is cold if you were to make the plants warm some way like maybe some Christmas tree lights on them with a sheets over them may help keep then warm
Reply:I don't know if this will help you or not, but we group our pots together after cutting the plants down to the soil line.

We cover the bunch with white fabric roll cover material that we buy at the nursery in a package. It protects plants down to 25 degrees and lets the sun and rain in.

It comes in a 50' or a 100' length and is 4 or 5 feet wide. We wrap this around and around and over the pots several times.

One year we grouped the pots together and put house insulation around and over them. We then put a piece of plastic over the whole thing to keep the rain from spoiling the insulation. The only problem with this is having to water about once per month. You have to lift the top part off the pots.

Another thing that we do, is set a table in front of any south facing windows. We put the pots on these tables and have green growing plants all winter long. If you do this, do not over water.

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