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Overwintering plants

hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

I have been reading with interest the thread about 'free' plant offers and someone mentioned overwintering the perennial plants in the greenhouse. I have a) a greenhouse and b) just got a load of perennial 'plugs' which I have potted up and will be outside during our Scottish summer. I will then take them into the greenhouse but I have never overwintered plants in the g/h before. How much water do I need to give them etc? Any tips?

'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller


  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    Not very much - most plants will more or less stop growing in the winter, and almost stop transpiring too.  So as long as the compost isn't completely dry they should be OK.

    I'm assuming your g/h is unheated or just frost-free here.  If it's warm in there during the winte you have a hothouse and that (I assume) is a whole different kettle of fish.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,361

    I would assess what you've got at the end of the growing season. Most of the plants I have grown from seed this year are about plug sized now. I hope that most of them will be in the ground before winter. Just a few small slow ones may need further nurturing.

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    My garden is a cottage style garden so plants have to be as big as possible to survive being closely planted. That's why I thought overwintering them would give them an even better chance before they are put in to fight their corners!

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,361

    I'm a great believer in getting them out there asap. I can see what you mean about fighting their corner thoughimage

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,358

    I think it's a judgement call Hogweed. With long cold, wet winters and heavy soil up here, I'd keep anything a bit on the small side under cover and plant out in the spring when it's stronger . If they're going into a well prepared, well draining sheltered spot you could plant out anything of a reasonable size. I always like to have my plants of a decent size before I plant them out. image

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

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • I managed to overwinter a rather large chilli plant that I had last year, it had a profusion of small varying in colour chilis on it and I'd read that they are perennial so I thought I'd give it a go. I placed it in my unheated conservatory before the frosts set in and am pleased to report that it is back in both leaf and bud now and seemingly doing well outside. Anyone else overwintered chili plants before? image

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    That sounds like a great idea - bet you'd get really a early crop then.

  • I'm hoping so! Just wishing the sun will show it's face again soon image

  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,949

    Happy Flower. My chilli plants are some what slow this year and I really struggled with germination so I'm hoping to over winter a few for next year. I might be able to sneak a few into the house (we don't have the heating on high) but I was worried it would be too cold in the unheated greenhouse - do you think you'd have had any problems if it hadn't have been such a mild winter?

    (Scary to think we're already talking about over wintering - its not been warm enough yet for a lot of us to get plants OUT of the greenhouse for summer!!)

  • Hi Clarington, I'm not sure but I wouldn't have thought so as the conservatory although cold is attached to the house so I guess some ambient heat from the house would keep it above freezing- think the coldest I've seen it in there is around 8 degrees C. I guess if you are planning on overwintering some this year you could place a couple in the CGH and a couple indoors and compare results in the spring?

    I pulled all the old leaves off and any unpicked chillis and left it looking twig-like all winter.

    I had very good germination success this year - certainly compared to last year. My chilli plants seem to do well for me if I germinate the seed in a heated propagator then transfer into pots and place in my bay window which is East facing where they seem to grow very strong.

    I know... I have some tomatoes and courgettes which are itching to go outside but are still being molly coddled inside- I know they need to go out soon!

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