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I ordered 36 or so of the plug plant perenials that were in GW magazine a few months back.  When they arrived I potted up each plug into a small pot.  I now have all these pots sitting outside on my patio table and am not sure what I should do with them now over the winter period.  I am not really sure where I want to place these in my garden and I do not have any form of cold frame or greenhouse to overwinter.  Can I just plant them all into a larger planter and then move them come springtime or will they be fine as they are at the moment in their little pots.  I have noticed some of the leaves starting to yellow so not sure if I should be feeding them also.  Thanks for any replies.

Alina W

If you leave the plants in small pots outside then they are liable to get their roots frozen, which may kill them.

Can you not construct some form of cold frame or shelter?


Do not feed-and I would not be inclined to pot them either

Without a greenhouse or cold frame -which would be ideal-you are limited as to what to do next

You say they are on a table-can you make some sort of makeshift cover to go over them to protect from the worse of the weather-the trouble is although they are hardy if the pots freeze then that will damage the roots

The other altenative is a cool room indoors-is that a possibility?


The leaves yellowing is just the plant losing it's leaves which at this time of year is absolutely normal and definitely don't feed them now.  Your idea of overwintering them in a large container is a good one. I would try to get them as near to the house as possible and perhaps cover them in fleece to protect from harsh winter conditions. Because of similar circumstances to yours, I promised myself never to order plug plants ever again too close to Autumn as some never survived the Winter, I only now order very early in Spring.

I have a simmilar dilemma. I have grown on in 9cm pots in my greenhouse and wonder if it too late to pot out in the garden. I have penstemons, lavender and at some delphiniums grown from seed. They are all about 6 to 8" tall.


Roy Sutton wrote (see)

I have a simmilar dilemma. I have grown on in 9cm pots in my greenhouse and wonder if it too late to pot out in the garden. I have penstemons, lavender and at some delphiniums grown from seed. They are all about 6 to 8" tall.

As one who watched Beechgrove last night it was not recommended to plant out lavender now as they don't like the cold wet conditions that winter brings before they are established

Delphiniums will die back any way

So all in all-I would leave them in the greenhouse till next year-better safe that sorry


Agree with sotongeoff, leave them in the greenhouse. I lost a small lavender plant by leaving it out during winter.

72 primula plugs arrived this morning. I am going to take a chance and put them straight into the border after 24 hours in our unheated, though double glazed, conservatory and another 24 hours in the unheated greenhouse. The self seeded primulas already in the flowerbeds seem to do OK. I may regret it and I don't think I would take the chance with summer flowering perennials. I'll let you know whether it was a bad move.

I understand what you are saying about the roots freezing in the small pots.  In that case would six small plants not be better in one large tub until spring time.  Definitely don't have space in kitchen which is north facing but is very small and not much room to move.  Cannot construct any sort of coldframe so am out of luck there I guess.  If I planted them into larger pots I could move these to the front of the house which is south facing and so hopefully could sit under the eves of the roof and perhaps get some heat from the house.


Ok-then if you plant them in the big pot-plant them pots and all-they will not put on much growth now -that way they are protected and next spring you can hoick the pots out -no root disturbance and put the plants in their permanent positions.

How does that sound?

Green Magpie

I had those tiny plugs from T&M (lavender, geum, penstemon, delphinium, digitalis, echinacea) and decided to let them take their chance in the garden. They've been out for a month or so now (two months forthe digitalis as they grew so fast) and look quite happy. I don't know whether they will survive the winter, but I'm sure some will. I will try to remember to report back here in the Spring.

Thanks I did think of just sinking them in the bigger pots but still within their own pots and then come spring time can plant out as normal.  Will probably give that ago and hopefully it will work.  Also have lots of lavender too that I potted up two to a pot in the hope that they would just combine as one plant, don't know whether to sink those also.  The plants are the ones mentioned above, I have just left it too late to try and do anything with, they probably should have been put out a month or so ago but with the weather being as it is, haven't had the inclination to get out in the garden and so there is loads that needs tidied first before I pot any new plants in.  Hopefully next year is a better year weather wise!

It's never a good idea to pot on plants this time of the year. It encourages soft growth which you don't want. Putting little plants into one big pot doesn't make it warmer for,them either. They do need protection of some kind. Can you get cheap plastic cold frame or length,of cloche? You can use this again so it will be cost effective. Protected plants are likely to survive winter ESP if fleece can also be used during very cold weather.

I wonder Christopher sometimes if you read what has already been said before wading in-bubblegum has already said there is no cold frame or greenhouse or that something cannot be constructed

I read the advice given above and that sounds good to me -the plants aren't being potted on just put in a bigger pot still in their pots with the protection of the house

I am sure you mean well but sometimes...................

now is the perfect time to plant out perenals. i have also plantd roses this weak and tulips.the soil is still warm her in devon although it has been a tad damp this weak. next weak i am planning to plan some tulips and i will also be putting in some primulas for the spring. i do think it is a god idea to kep some plant in the greenhose as they can get a bit wet down here. i am also going to put some walflowers out as well this weekend so i should have a god display next spring.


I'd look into getting a very cheap cloche, coldframe or pvc greenhouse if you possibly can.  Last year (about this time of year) I bought a 3 tier pvc greehouse and a very, very cheap coldframe (the frame was about £30, the greenhouse about £16).  To say how cheap they were, I am really pleased with the coldframe, and think it will last a good few years.  I used them in spring to protect some plug plants, and all survived the late frosts we had up here in Yorkshire.

In very cold weather, I put some polystyrene sheets under the trays with the pots in, and put the whole lot in a sheltered corner of the patio.  This had the added bonus that on milder days I could open the top and let some natural rainwater in, and didn't have to harden them off as I would have had to do if they'd been in a heated greenhouse.

Coldframe came from Amazon, PVC greenhouse from ebay, and another 2 places to look for inexpensive garden stuff is Poundstretcher and Wilkinsons, I'm sure you'll have at least one of these near you.  Sometimes Aldi or Lidl have walk-in greenhouses (£30 last year), but it's the wrong time of year to look.  Can you tell I'm used to gardening on a very tight budget??

Lazy gardener. My most 'umble of apologies. Bubblegum, you do need to think of some sort of protection though. I guess we are all guilty of misreading some posts. I understood the idea of planting, still within their own pots, in a bigger pot but it's not what I would do. Sorry though....I tend to write as I speak and act which is a bit impulsively. It seems to me if bubblegum has room for the pots as they are now there may be room to accommodate a form of protection.
I confess I hadn't read mummy muddy paws post thoroughly before I posted my own. Impulsive again! Her idea is somewhat similar to how I was the polystyrene sheets is good space-saving idea as is the 3 tier greenhouse.
plant pot mad

lot of us have the same plant's by the sound of it.think it's best leave them in the greenhouse, etc till next year.if they are not well rootted your going to lose safe for me.

Thanks all, I do have a three tier pvc greenhouse that is at my dads that I would away in August but I think to put this back up may result in it getting damaged over the winter as we tend to get strong winds and there was one time back in March of one year when a three tier greenhouse got lifted up with all my seeds in it and blown across the garden.  I did have a look online last night at the coldframes and see that like mummy muddypaws you can get one for about £30, so I may invest in one of those and that would solve my problem till springtime.  Just all comes down to space to put it, as I have pots and containers everywhere, but I am sure I could squeeze one in, even if it were at side of house.