Forum home The potting shed

What risks are you going to take with your plants this coming winter?

After many years of faffing about storing dahlia tubers for winter, I am going to be bold and leave them in the ground. Que sera sera. 



  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 9,983
    I have loads of dahlias that I grow from seed (Bishops Children) most of them make it through the winter here in Essex, but I sow a few seeds every year to fill in any gaps.
    I left my potted cannas out all winter last year and they were fine too.
    Only things I lost were salvias which was due to a very wet spring and a massive slug invasion
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • I'm going to take Rose bungee jumping. :)
    Sunny Dundee
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    edited October 2021
    I am toying with the idea of hard pruning shrubby salvias in Nov rather than after the frosts, so that they get flowering sooner. It's a risk as if there is a v cold winter in London I could lose the plants, which are not super hardy. This year, although the winter was not very cold in term of low temps, the frosts went on until the end of May, and my Royal Bumbles didn't start flowering until July. If I don't prune these at all, and it's a mild spring, they can flower from April to December. But in cold and snowy winters, I have lost Hot Lips before.  I have a shrubby salvia hedge (3-4ft) and to keep it compact its small space, it needs to be hard pruned to stop it getting woody.

    I have also recently planted out a Nachtvlinder and two Blue Note. It might too late in the year for them to establish before temps dip. I will use fleece on them if things get v cold.

    On a pavement plot, I'm going to do a very late direct sowing of cornflowers, snadragons and poppies and keep fingers crossed. London night temps are still 10-15oC so hopefully they can get some kind of start this autumn, for bigger plants next year.

    I have three new penstemon in pots which are not totally hardy, as I understand. So I will be keeping a close eye on those too and fleece if needed.
  • Here in Luxembourg it can go to -10 although the last few winters were mild (ish). So the Dahlias will really be put to the test. They are in a southfacing spot and I might cover them a bit. Good advice about Salvias Fire. I was going to store them but I wonder if I can leave them too by pruning now; after all they are in a southfacing raised wall.  
    On said wall I left snapdragons all winters and although they looked very dead in spring they flowered and spread this year without a care in the world. Ditto with poppies. 
    Temps last night here were already in single figures, saturday will be 1 in the night.

    I have pruned and transplanted pelargonium this morning ... hopefully it will be ok.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    edited October 2021
    Bushy salvias like gravelly ground - poor soil that drains fast. If they are not sitting in wet, heavy, claggy soil through the winter, it will help; Through I have lost some planted in v sandy soil, before now. Some bushy types are a little more hardy than others.  I have taken a lot of cuttings of all the types I have, just in case. Every single cutting has taken first time, which is pleasing. I'll carefully tend them in the kitchen over the winter.

    Pruning bushy salvias in the autumn is not generally advised. It is certainly a risk.
  • B3B3 Posts: 24,491
    I'm leaving the dahlias in pots this year. I was getting a bit fed up with them anyway . If they rot, I can find some more interesting ones.I
    I'm going to chuck the marguerites because even if they survive, they look woody and tatty the next year. Better to get fresh.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    This is not exactly a risk, so much as a punt: this spring I planted out loads of tulips deep into two regular beds of rich soil. GW featured some gardens where people had planted out all their regular tulips into fields randomly and had a wonderful display over the years.

    I figured that most of the tulips probably wouldn't return in my pots, or would come up blind, so it was worth trying. I imagine some of the bulbs might have rotted already, as we've had such a damp year in the south-east. But it will be exciting to see if any flower. I love the idea of tulip meadows. (Pics not mine).

  • LynLyn Posts: 21,401
    I’m tucking my agapanthus pots up close to the house,  not much room in the GH, some I have put out in the borders. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • PerkiPerki Posts: 2,330
    No risks this year I lost to many plants last winter Canna - Echiums - dahlias - ginger and they were in the GH , I'll be bring some in the house this time some are already in. I lift salvias as well Amistad can make it through a winter but the slugs take the shoots in spring so up they comes as well . One dahlia lives in the garden ( I don't like it )  which refuses to die certain it popped its clogs this winter nope , the slugs don't even attack it either . 
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,214
    Mostly the same as usual. No greenhouse or porch or conservatory so everything gets left out. Some of the potted agapanthus and salvia get moved closer to the house walls. I'm planning to be a bit more organised about the petunia Red Velour and stick one of the baskets in the cold frame when they've finished doing their thing instead of in any old random spot on the ground which is what happened last year.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
Sign In or Register to comment.