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I have a pergola, If I put all my pot plants in the middle and the put fleece or bubble wrap all around the outside of the down posts would it suffice in keeping the plants frost free, also I imagine I would need to cover the top at night. Which would be preferable, bubble wrap or fleece.

nutcutlet

It won't keep them frost free.  It will be like a cold GH with less light.

What plants do you want to protect?

There are a miniature cherry tree, hebe's,  clematis and a potted climbing rose. most ofmy other plants I have just wrapped bubble wrap around the pots but it was just an idea if might give more protection, I have lost hebe's in the past both in the ground and in pots.

nutcutlet

You'll probably be OK finty, they're not tender. But make sure it's not too dark in there.

Outside, right up against the house gives a lot of protection as an alternative, wrapping the pots to protect the roots but leaving the top open.

Roy Hill

I'm with nutcutlet on the 'right up against the house'. Just check the pots for moisture (occassionally). The eaves and walls of a house can be quite a 'rain shadow'. Unless your house has extremely efficient insulation there will always be some heat leakage. A south facing wall (if not shaded by anything) will capture whatever winter warmth there is from the low sun.

Problems I've encountered when overwintering 'hardy' plants in containers hasn't necessarily been with sub-zero temperatures. Low single figures plus rain can lead to prolonged waterlogging of the compost in containers (dependant on compost, container type and any drainage 'enhancements). The roots start to rot, and that is a very good way of killing off any plant

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Up until this year I have just wrapped individual pots and most have been successful  apart from Hebes I just wondered if it would give sufficiant protection without doing all seperate. we have had such severe winters here lasting for days and almost the whole garden is a frost pocket I could put half by the house and the other surround with fleece and see what happens. If we have a warm winter so much the better apart from the bugs etc.

nutcutlet

I did an experiment one year with half plants against the house and half in the cold GH. Those outside the house did better

Roy Hill

Hebes as a genus of plant are perhaps not that long lived. "The genus is named after the Greek goddess of youth". A lot of them don't like prolonged sub-zero temperatures. That is a trait that many (broadleaf) evergreens exhibit - watch for the wilting leaves when it gets frosty. The ground freezes, the roots can't draw moisture and the result is almost like drought. I can think of some hebe species that won't curl up there toes in sub-zero, but there are others who could be susceptible. In my experience H. rakaiensis is almost indestructible (unless hard pruned). Larger leaved hebes can be a little more susceptible to cold winters.

Atilla
nutcutlet wrote (see)

I did an experiment one year with half plants against the house and half in the cold GH. Those outside the house did better

I second that.

A cold GH can be colder than outside, and for longer, in winter. I find the biggest killer in GH's is moulds causing dieback/death, esp with seedlings.

Dovefromabove

My stuff in pots is overwintered 'up against the house wall' on the terrace, pots up on feet or bricks making sure that drainage holes are clear and bubble wrap around the pots.  

Every thing of note survived last winter which was about as cold and as wet as it could get around here - but  a couple of ornamental pots crumbled a bit.  

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