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Overwintering perennials

Hi everyone, newbie gardener here (with a newbie question).

Hubby bought us a set of plug plants a few months ago. I planted them up in 3-4" pots and they've been growing well. Trouble is, I'm not sure what to do with the over winter.

From what I've read, you're supposed to grow them in spring and plant them out. I queried this with the place we got them from and they suggested bringing the pots inside over winter (possible but not ideal!).

Options are:

- Keep them in small pots in small, basic 'greenhouse' (one of those plastic ones, not a proper glass one)

- Plant them out (I think we have a cloche to cover them if that would help)

- Bring them inside the house when it starts getting frosty at night (last resort)

Plants are: Gaura, Domicum, Echinacea, Coreopsis, Scabiosa, Lavandula

Thanks in advance image


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,636

    Don't know domicum.

    The others are hardy to different degrees of frost and depending on how well drained is the soil.  Gaura will survive -5C in well drained soil but won't like to be wet.  Lavandula comes in many varieties with different levels of hardiness but also needs well-drained soil.  Echnacea are hardy but new growth tends to be munched by slugs and snails in spring.   I have found coreopsis not to be reliably hardy but, again, that's likely to be a drainage problem.

    However, in small 3 and 4 inch pots these plants will all likely freeze to death.  If you can't get them planted out where they are to grow, I suggest you plant them in bigger containers such as a large pot, trough or window box which will offer the roots some extra insulation.   Put it in a sunny spot and then plant them out permanently in spring.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thanks, Obelixx, we've got some troughs so that sounds like a good option. I'm not sure how well draining our soil is, but we have had issues with slugs and the beds aren't in the sunniest spot in the garden. In the troughs, I can put them up against the kitchen wall and wrap some bubble wrap around so they should be snug. 

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,636

    Bubble wrap the trough but not the plants.  Fleece if needs be so they can breathe.

    All those plants like full sun so think about that when you do plant them out.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,121

    Domicum I take it refers to Dorinicum ; if mine I would plant into larger pots and keep damp in a cold greenhouse until the Spring .

    At least there you can keep a check on them ; any frost shouldn't be an issue .

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,942

    Most of those will withstand quite a bit of frost so I'd follow Obelixx's suggestion. Put the small pots together into a bigger pot or similar, and tuck them somewhere against a house wall. You can add a bit of fleece or polystyrene round them during prolonged periods of frost. The plastic greenhouses will protect against wet and wind, but don't offer much insulation. 

    I leave small pots of perennials out all year, tucked against the house wall, or in among evergreen shrubs in the borders. They withstand pretty much everything my climate here chucks at them. We've already had several frosts in the last few weeks, and even the tiny ones I've grown from seed this year are fine that way. image

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

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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