eel3
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Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:39 am

How to Prepare Prairie Flowers for Winter?

This is the first winter for me with flowers!

Item 1: This summer in Manitoba (north of North Dakota) I picked some wild prairie flowers and brought them to my home in Toronto and put them in some water on the balcony. I was surprised to see roots had sprouted a month later! I transplanted the flowers to some soil and they did really, really well, growing like crazy over the next few months. Now it's pretty well overgrown it's 6inch x 6inch pot.

Item 2: In September I planted some prairie flower seeds which have since sprouted and are about an half and inch to an inch above the soil. 5inch x 5inch pot.

When it started to get cold about a month ago, both of these have halted growing. Now, how should I keep them for the winter? I called a local gardening store and they said I should leave them out on the balcony so they can go through their dormant period, but put them each in large pots, something like 16x16 inch made of material that won't crack in the cold, and to keep watering them until it all "freezes up", then I don't need to anymore unless it thaws.

Is this good advice? Why do I need such a big pot for these size plants? And what did they mean by "it all freezes up"....how do I tell when it is frozen and no longer needs water. And will they be damaged by frost (especially the newer one from the seeds?) Out on my balcony in downtown Toronto they won't have any snow to cover them like they would on the winter prairies...

Some advice for a first-time gardener please. Thanks!

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Kisal
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They might have meant for you to place the small pot in the larger one, then fill in the empty space with some insulating material. More soil would work, as would straw, pine needles, or any other similar material. Even crumpled or shredded newspaper would work. That would help protect the root system from being killed by freezing temperatures, so new stems can sprout in the spring. Just my guess, though. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

eel3
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Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:39 am

Cool, thanks alot.

Any other thoughts?

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