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Do plants need sunlight over winter?

CraighBCraighB Posts: 605

Hi, I have lots of seedlings potted up that will need to get through winter. The smallest ones I will keep in a plastic greenhouse next to a brick wall for extra warmth and some will be kept close to the house. To protect them from rain I am going to make a sort of tent with sheet of blue tarpaulin. Obviously this will mean the plants are in quite a lot of shade so I wondered if this is ok? Or do they still need plenty of sunlight over the Winter?

It will be things like Delphiniums, Nepeta, Penstemon etc.



  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,091

    Yes, they need all the light they can get.

  • CraighBCraighB Posts: 605

    Even the ones which have foliege that dies off? And should I cut them back to the base like you would most perennials in the winter?

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,091

    If there's nothing there it won't matter

     most people leave the cutting back of penstemons til spring. I've already shortened mine to stop them thrashing about in the winter gales 

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 28,335

    Do you mean cutting back your young plants CraighB? Little 'uns just need to be left for now.

    Annuals which are sown at this time of year would get pinched out now and again to prevent them getting leggy, but perennials don't need any care. The foliage will die back, as nut indicates,  and the plants will be dormant soon. image

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

  • CraighBCraighB Posts: 605

    Well the seedlings will go in the plastic greenhouse protected from rain and that is clear plastic so it will still receive some light. However I have some potted delphiniums which are quite big as they have had all summer to grow and its mainly these that I am going to keep under tarp.

    But I wasn't sure if they needed light but I suppose if they are dormant and lose their foliege they won't need light?

    The annuals I will pinch out like you said but the Perennial seedlings like the Nepeta should I cut them back or should I just leave the foliege in place? They are only very small?

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 14,266

    You can get clear sheeting for putting over plants from Garden Centres. I wouldn't use blue tarpaulin. The plants you mention, except, perhaps, Penstemon, are quite hardy and should be OK with just the shelter of the wall. They won't mind some rain. I have a cheap polycarbonate cold frame by the kitchen wall for overwintering plants. You could even make one.

    I would leave foliage as winter protection, trim it in the spring.

    Last edited: 29 September 2016 09:49:24

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,091

    I agree with B-L and now I needn't type all that image

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 14,266


    Dordogne and Norfolk
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