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Wintering Container Plants

Is it safe to leave young shrubs and perennials in containers outside over the winter when the frosts come?
The shrubs/perennials are hardy but does that mean they are safe if they are stored in containers?
I was thinking of storing them in a unheated wooden shed or unheated garage. Taking them out on days when the weather is decent and ensuring they are kept watered every so often.

Hypericum hidcot
Geraniums rozanne
Viburnum tinus
Skimmia japonica
Spiraea nipponica

Thanks in advance,


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 22,740
    Viburnum tinus is evergreen so needs to be outside in the sun but in a sheltered spot where strong winds and heavy frost won't damage the foliage. 

    Geranium rozanne is a hardy perennial which will die back naturally and regrow next spring.   You can leave the dead growth on until the new shoots show as they'll protect the crown from frosts.

    Some fuchsias are hardy down to -10 but others, especially the trailing forms are tender so it depends which you have.  It's always wise to take cuttings as insurance.

    All the rest should be fine if you can keep them in a sunny sheltered spot for the winter.  If the pots are small they will be more likely to freeze solid on cold nights - not good for their roots - so group them together in a container or wrap some bubble wrap around them.

    Is there any reason to keep them in pots?  Autumn is the best time to plant them out in the ground so they get established by spring.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Fuschia is Mrs Popple.
    I am trying to grow shrubs before planting them into a front of house border.

    Thanks for your advice and comments.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 22,740
    She's hardy down to -10C but a young plant will be more tender till it gets to a mature size.   
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,347
    The hardy fuchsias are fine, although I didn't think that one was, but all the others will be perfectly ok outside, unless they're only in 3 inch pots or similar, or if you're in a much colder area than I am.  
    Even then, they'd only need minimal protection. I have cuttings and small plants outside, and they won't have any further protection unless we get a proper winter here this year. If so, it'll only be a case of putting them in among other plants in the border, or a basic cover on the seat of the bench they're under.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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