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10 messages
14/09/2012 at 13:51

I have a large number of plants in containers in the garden and intend to bring them in to the garage for the Winter. But I can't find any advice on whether (and if so, how often) I should water them. Can anyone tell me how I should look after the following:

hostas

hydrangea

agapanthus

acer

yucca

azalia

phormium

geranium maderense

 

Help much appreciated!

14/09/2012 at 14:08
Not sure I would take them into the garage for winter. Is there good light? How cold does it get where you are? I'm deliberating what to do with my perennials in pots this year. Usually they go Imto the greenhouse but I think I'm going to leave them in sheltered part of the garden and cover with fleece or polythene. Prob fleece. You will need to make sure they don't dry out too much. The plants you lost are pretty hardy, except for geranium maderiense. Yucca and Phormiums will hate getting wet during winter. Is the azalea an indoor variety? Funnily enough I prob lose as many plants drying out too much as I do,for other reasons. I tend to forget to water in wimter
14/09/2012 at 14:28

I would not put hardy plants into the garage either. Last year I was advised to bubble wrap the pots of my hardy plants to protect the root balls freezing and this worked well for me.

14/09/2012 at 14:37

Unless they forecast another really cold & wet winter I wouldn't need bring these plants inside.  As already said, move to a sheltered area.  If possible lift the pots off the ground using something like pot feet to ensure that they can drain freely.

14/09/2012 at 14:59

Absolutely agree - plants need light and good circulation of air, even in the winter.  Otherwise they will get all sorts of moulds and rot away.  These are all relatively hardly plants - move them to a bright but sheltered spot , and lift the pots and put them on bricks or something so they're not on the ground and can drain well, then wrap the pots with bubble wrap to stop the root balls freezing. They probably won't need watering unless we get a prolonged dry spell.  The worst thing for  most plants is cold and wet, they can usually cope with cold and dry-ish, within reason.

I wouldn't water the agapanthus at all over the winter - mine will have its pot bubble-wrapped and it will be in a sheltered corner of the terrace.

14/09/2012 at 16:51

It depends on how cold you expect to get.  We have severe winters with regular dips to -20C and well below on occasion so I move all my pots into the barn or the greenhouse.. I wait till their foliage has died down, clear it away and then just trundle them all in when dormant.  No watering. 

I've never lost a hosta but last winter, which wasn't the worst by a long chalk, I lost all my agapanthus and an acer because, after an early warm spell, we had heavy frosts just after they'd started growing again and been watered and fed.  This year several hostas were turfed out into the garden and the pots planted up with annuals and pelargonius which will die anyway and go to the great compost heap - thus reducing the need for pot stashing.

14/09/2012 at 17:03
Agree with all of the above - plants in containers are more prone to winter damage than those of the same species planted in the ground, but as the majority of yours are hardy, I'd do as Kate and DFA suggest, maybe bubble wrap the pots if it looks as though it's going to be grim and raise them off the ground a touch.
14/09/2012 at 18:27

I bubble wrapped around each pot in my plastic green houses last year, rather than the greenhouse itself. They would have survived and  all did very well, until the slugs got them and destroyed the lot! I was heart broken. The large pots I cannot move I actually put hay in the last 2 years. They got very soggy, but seems to have helped the plants and climbers survive. We do ge tvery  cold and very wet here.

14/09/2012 at 18:46
It's the uncertainty of winter, isn't it? In sw Cornwall most winters are mild. Can leave pelargoniums out they will survive but just a night or two of freezing weather and they are gone. Offten leave tender perennials like salvia patens in the ground and aeoniiums are left in their,pots unprotected......cuttings always taken in case tho because they root and grow so quickly. It's interesting to note the different situations the forum members experience and to read,their comments. I guess down here we are a little spoiled.
16/09/2012 at 14:27

Thank you everyone who offered advice. It has been most helpful. I'm goint to wrap pots in fleece as suggested and leave in a sheltered spot outside. (except the geranium maderense. It is still only a small plant and didn't flower this year, so I might give it extra protection in the garage). As we live in Dorset, our Winter should be mikder than lots of other places......

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