Susan W
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Posts: 1859
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:46 pm
Location: Memphis, TN

Cold, plants, questions

Here's the deal, more or less. Plants in ground, large pots are on their own. Now, the small pots are in question. There may be about 30, mostly pint & quart size, some a bit larger, perennial starts. These didn't move last season for whatever reason, some being need more time/growth. I was thinking to bring in some at a time towards end of January to warm up, get growth and a head start to try-to-sell come March-April. Well, ol' Mother Nature has other plans, as she does. It is going down COLD (for us) to teens and perhaps single digits. Not knowing if the smaller pots would tolerate that, am bringing in.

Looking around for space, put about 20 in the half basement. There is some window light, temp stays 50's/60's. I have kept tropicals, lemon grass, sago palm there staying green all winter. I am thinking the pots brought in will warm up and show some growth. Then I can try to stuff around the house on window sills etc.

I know some plants do best with a rest and freeze, and these have had about a month. Enough? Too early to bring back to leafing out? This is an eclectic assortment including comfrey, bee balm (bergamont), butterfly weed, coneflower and a few others.

Of course if I see a week/10 day run of temps above freezing, could get my exercise bringing these back out!
Have fun!
Susan

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rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Cold, plants, questions

I don't really know, but I think they usually suggest six weeks for things that need cold dormancy. All the plants you mentioned are cold hardy for me here in zone 6B, so should be OK for you, even in small pots.
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Susan W
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Posts: 1859
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:46 pm
Location: Memphis, TN

Re: Cold, plants, questions

Conventional thoughts and 'the books' usually say 6 weeks dormancy. But Ol' Mother Nature doesn't always read the books! We just had 2 warmish winters not going below 20. That century old record broken this week! The hardiest of the perennials show some green all winter, and bits of new growth at the base when staying above 20 or so. Temps Mon-Tues down to 10 ish, high not much more. Brrr!!

I figure to bring in most of the last few (qt size) pots tomorrow, along with the sago palm. The palm can live in the basement until spring. Some of the perennial pots will go back out the end of the week, especially larger pots and varieties with multiples.
Have fun!
Susan

Susan W
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Posts: 1859
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:46 pm
Location: Memphis, TN

Re: Cold, plants, questions

I had most everything in for the real freeze, then slowly moving back out. I have tried to group the perennial pots by level of cold. The ones showing new growth out to 30 or so. Then the next grouping around 25. Some out for the duration. I did work on a shelf area that is room temp, medium light for 6- 8 pots to encourage them back to new growth.
Have fun!
Susan

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