Winterizing container gardens

Discussion in 'Annuals, Biennials, Perennials, Ferns and Bulbs' started by Ann Marie, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. Ann Marie

    Ann Marie Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Surrey, BC. Canada
    I started a container garden with a few pots of flowers this summer. I have them on the edge of a covered patio facing north. I planted various plants (part sun/part shade) which I believe are all perenial. These plants include:a Deer fern, Yellow Monkey flowers, a Sisrinchium, Dwarf Hyrid Bellflowers, a Bertram Anderson, Blue star creepers, and Jeepers Creepers.
    What should I do with these plants to protect them from a "Surrey Winter"?
     
  2. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,275
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Maryland USA zone 7
  3. Debra Dunaway

    Debra Dunaway Active Member

    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Interior BC, CANADA
    Hi Ann Marie. I agree water well.. A hydrated plant is better able to withstand extremes in temperature. Also cluster the pots together. The only thing separating those roots from the chilling winds is a peice of plastic. We line up bales of hay and carve out a hole for the pots and place them in there. Makes for an attractive fall display as well as adding a degree of protection. Good Luck!
     
  4. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,058
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Ann Marie, you don't say whether you are dealing with an apartment balcony or a house patio... there is a little bit of difference, some of which might become clear in this thread: http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=17435

    Most of the above advice in this thread is good, but not necessary in the lower mainland. Here, winter wet is the biggest threat to overwintering plants, in pots or otherwise, and you don't need to worry about keeping them wet because from about this time of year on in, the air is so damp that the soil will not dry out even under cover. It depends, however, on which plants you have, and so careful plant identification is important. The way you've listed the names suggests you've misread some of the tags. "Bertram Anderson" for example is probably Sedum Bertram Anderson, and "Jeepers Creepers" is a brand name under which many plants are sold, not the botanical name of the plant.

    Your plants should, in the first place, be sited where they are best suited to thrive, and you've got a mixture there of sun and shade plants in what I gather is a shady location, if it's north-facing and covered. For the winter this will be fine, but in spring you should put the Sedum and the Sisyrinchium, for example, in sunny locations (where they will need more water in summer!!).

    But nothwithstanding all that, for this winter you need to make sure that the containers have good drainage; that water drains out of them, and away from them. I think that all the plants you've named are hardy enough to make it through the winter in containers without any further protection.
     
  5. oscar

    oscar Active Member

    Messages:
    493
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Surrey, England
    I have to agree with karinL, keeping plants on the dry side is safer in winter than being too wet (although at this time of year it wouldn't hurt to give them a sort of last good watering) pretty much what newt said :D
    The Bertram anderson could also be a Pulmonaria ;)
     
  6. Debra Dunaway

    Debra Dunaway Active Member

    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Interior BC, CANADA
    Karin, good point about being from the Lower Mainland. (I hate the quote thing), it usually tells me a snot-o-gram is to follow lol. We live in quite an arid climate here in the interior so yes I guess it does make a difference in how much to water. Thanks for clarifying. Deb:)
     
  7. Debra Dunaway

    Debra Dunaway Active Member

    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Interior BC, CANADA
    PS: I always find your posts very informative! Thanks!
     
  8. Ann Marie

    Ann Marie Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Surrey, BC. Canada
    Thank you for the insightful advice everyone! I am so glad I joined a forum. FYI: I am in a ground level basement suite that has a covered 10x10 patio. From what I have learned from you all, I think what I will do is give the plants a good watering and pull them close to the house to protect them. I will also cover the beds with mulch.
    Sorry about the names of the plants....I am a newby! I think the two plants that I listed that you are trying to figure out could also be called:
    1. Blue Star Creeper--AKA Laurentia Fluviatallis
    2 Bertram Anderson--AKA Pulmonana Longifolia.

    Thanks again everyone and I look forward to future conversations!
     
  9. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,058
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Ah, so Oscar made the better call on the Pulmonaria and indeed that is a suitable plant for a shady patio. Still not sure what the Jeepers Creepers plant is, but it is likely hardy here in zone 8 in any case. The other one I'm not sure about is the monkey flower, which I think would be a Mimulus. Check the plant tag, it should give you a zone range where the plant is hardy (lower numbers are colder zones). Reference books on perennials would also give you this information (I really like the Expert series by DG Hessayon; you'd want The Flower Expert I think. They're available at many garden centres and probably in bookstores and libraries). Container plants being more exposed than plants in the ground, your plants need to be hardy to zone 7 for container survival here, and you don't even need to keep them close to the house, and in any case a little rain (whatever might get onto them near the patio edge) isn't going to hurt. Mulch can hold moisture near the plant crown, leading to rot, so make sure you allow for air.

    PS: thanks, Deb, esp for the new terminology (snot-o-gram...)
     
  10. Ann Marie

    Ann Marie Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Surrey, BC. Canada
    Okay, I just went outside to get the plant tags and I discovered the tags have the lamens terms names and the scientific names:
    Jeepers Creepers is AKA Leptinella Sualida
    and you were right on the name of the monkey flowers.
    Thanks again!
     

Share This Page