wsommariva
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Small potted evergreens - ok to plant outside now?

Hi everyone. We bought two live evergreens - about 18 inches tall in pots. Can we plant them outside now? Current temps are between 20 and 40 F.

bullthistle
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The temp does't matter as much as frozen soil because when it is you will be able to backfill the soil without air pockets. If you can dig in it like summer then yes plant them, if not wait until spring. Remember a handful of bonemeal and then tamp down the backfill with the end of your shovel.

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applestar
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What kind of evergreens?

wsommariva
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Don't know what kind. From Home Depot - a Christmas tree type tree.

I'll plant them now thanks.

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applestar
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Well, depending on what they are, especially at that size, some/many of those Christmas decoration types are not winter hardy around here.

If you want to keep it alive, you may be better off keeping it in a BRIGHT but cool location. This is the tricky part. Typical recommendations are unused room with vents closed/heat turned off, sun porch, etc. I've also tried windowless unheated garage with fluorescent light on timer. You need to water less if kept really cold (just above freezing/40's). if it IS a winter hardy variety, it CAN be wintered outdoors if you follow the Bonsai wintering technique, but that usualy involves initial gradual lowering temp (as in natural autumn weather) and some protective arrangement.

-- I have to admit that I have to be DEDICATED to successfully overwinter these marginal conifers. Very difficult in MY experience, but Others may disagree.

You may want to post some photos and see if anyone can ID -- You can try the Plant ID forum but you may have better luck with the Bonsai folks.

wsommariva
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Hmm, I would like to save these. I'll keep them insides this winter. We keep thermostat on 66. Next spring they must go outside and I'll hope for the best.

Thanks

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applestar
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66 is probably too warm. ID'ing at least what kind if not the species would be best approach if you really want them. You may not need to keep them indoors -- like I said, it's tricky.

At the very least... Do some detective work in your home with a thermometer to find a coolest location. On the floor next to sliding glass door or patio doors is often good IF there is no vent or the vent can be blocked to re-directed. First floor is typically 2-3 degrees cooler than upper floors and basement is often even cooler, and floor or table *just below* a windowsill is colder because of cold air coming off the window. The room *farthest* from the thermostat/air handler tends to be cooler.

You may need to set up supplemental light. I use aluminum shaded clamp on utility light from the automotive section or at hardware stores (or sold as chicken lamps at feed stores) fitted with 26W daylight CFL bulb.

You may need to provide extra humidity for the plant -- misting daily morning and night or humidity tray or humidifier....

wsommariva
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I'll post a picture.

wsommariva
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I'll put them in the basement with a 60w light on a timer. How many hours a day for the light would be appropriate? Thank you

wsommariva
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Alberta Spruce - One gallon

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rainbowgardener
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I can't tell you how to keep it alive, but I can tell you what I did that didn't work... :shock:

I got one like that at this time of year, potted it up into a large container and left it outside all winter, where it promptly died. They should be cold hardy for my zone, but probably it was greenhouse grown and not adapted to the cold and just being stuck outside in winter was too much for it. Drainage in the large container may not have been good enough either.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

wsommariva
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I'll plant in Spring, thank you

wsommariva
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Followup report.

They both survived the winter in my basement with a light on a timer. Planted outside and they are doing very well. And so far, not eaten by deer!!

Thanks for the help.

wsommariva
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Watered weekly

WildcatNurseryman
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Keep an eye out for spider mites as they are mite magnets. That is the only thing I've seen kill one, but it kills plenty here in KY. I don't plant them because of the mite problems. Moisture and cooler temps of your area will likely help.

wsommariva
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Thank you. Will any spray kill them?

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