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Red Hot Pokers - Planting Out

I recently bought a number of plug plants (red hot pokers and dwarf lupins) from a very well known plant supplier.  When received the plants were in a pretty poor state so I potted them on to stabIlise them. Ultimately I lost about half the plants but should I keep the remaining plants in pots, over winter in the greenhouse and plant them out in Spring or should I plant them before the autumn and lat them settle in over winter? Any thoughts would be welcome.????

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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,243

    I'd let  them get settled in the pots and keep them somewhere fairly sheltered from the heat through summer, and  the extremes of weather over winter (in your greenhouse if you want, but don't over cosset them) and in spring, when they're coming away well into growth, pot them on again and wait till they're looking sturdy and healthy and filling the pots before planting out. If they're filling a six or seven inch pot by late spring/early summer, that's a good size of plant. If they're filling the little pots you have them in within the next few weeks, you could pot them into a six inch pot at that point, and then wait till late spring/early summer to plant out. Your own conditions and climate, and the size and health of the plants at present will dictate which is the best choice. 

    It gives them a better chance of thriving if they're a decent size. Small plants in small pots find it hard to withstand rough weather and attack from slugs and snails etc - especially the lupins. It'll pay you to let them get a bit bigger and stronger  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 2,964

    If they were mine I would overwinter in pots like you suggest , grow them 'on' until early summer and then plant out in their permanent positions . If the plants are small and you plant out now they might succumb to slugs/snails/mice etc .

    Don't forget to keep moist even during the winter months , feed when growth starts and they should do well .

  • Many thanks Fairygirl and Paul B3 - it's over wintering them and planting out in the spring for me then.  Good steer on not over protecting them - I'd probably give them too much comfort?.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,243

    I think that's understandable Paul-  given the poor condition you got them in. They're both hardy plants, but as we've both said - it's when they're small that they can be vulnerable. Letting them get to a decent size, and nice and sturdy, will make them more likely to survive the big wide world. image

    Once you have them planted in beds/borders, just keep an eye out in future when the new growth emerges in spring - especially with the lupins. They tend to be very attractive to molluscs and then greenfly!  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


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