Perennial seedlings over winter

isy315isy315 Posts: 3
I made use of a deal on perennial plug plants in the autumn. I potted them up, they shot up and were really happy. Since the weather turned, I've been keeping them on trays in my south-facing summer house which I heat on cold nights with a paraffin burner so it doesn't drop below about 5 C.

Some of them are looking just as healthy but have stopped growing, but some of them look like they are dying. Do perennial seedlings die back in winter and it's normal, or am I doing something wrong? I may have over-watered a couple of them, they are in a gritty compost/soil mix and they can drain freely, but I forgot how little they dry in the cold.


  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 25,824
    Most die back, some don't. Hardy perennials will benefit from the protection of the greenhouse but not the heat.
  • Guernsey Donkey2Guernsey Donkey2 Posts: 5,482
    I am barely watering my seedlings now that the days are shorter, cooler and with less sunshine too.  Touch the compost/soil mix, it should barely be damp, err on the dry side. By early Spring they will continue to grow so then you can start up your watering regime again. Nutcutlet is right that the heating is not necessary providing it doesn't freeze in your summer house. I would ventilate the summer house for an hour or two each day - just open a window a couple of inches to give them some fresh air.
  • WellyWomanWellyWoman Posts: 1
    I have a related question - I have seed trays of Aubretia, Geum and Lupins that I sowed in the Autumn.  The plants have grown to a size where I would normally have pricked them out but I'm not sure if I should do that now it's so late in the year.  Should I just leave them and prick out in the Spring or risk it now?  They are kept in an unheated polytunnel.
  • Guernsey Donkey2Guernsey Donkey2 Posts: 5,482
    I have the same dilemma WellyWoman -I also have seedlings that would/should be potted on from their seed trays now as they are large enough to carefully handle, although they have now stopped growing due to lack of daylight and warmth..  However I have decided to wait until the first hint of new growth which will come in the early spring, when I know that the days will be getting longer (more daylight) and warmer too. Mine are kept in an unheated greenhouse, which never gets frosty, and I do open a door or window on sunny days - they need ventilation so they don't become mouldy.
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