Wednesday , November 22 2017
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Many tender plants which are widely used in summer containers and bedding schemes can be successfully overwintered and used as the basis for displays next year. There are several ways to overwinter tender perennials, each method is used for a different type of species you are going to overwinter.

In the border
Some plants are almost hardy and can be overwintered outside in the garden in most areas if you will offer them enough protection. After their foliage has died back, cover the ground with a deep mulch of dry leaves or chipped bark to provide insulation for the underground roots. If you have an exposed garden then net the pile or surround it with pieces of wood to keep it in place. On lighter soils you can even bury plants in shallow trenches to provide the insulation cover. Dig a trench about 30 cm deep, line it with straw then lay the plants on this. Cover the plants with more straw and put back the soil. Dig them up in spring, pot them up and keep them in warmth and good light to help them start into growth again. If the winters are not too harsh, many of the plants should survive.

Overwinter Tender Plants

In a coldframe
The protection offered by a coldframe will allow you to overwinter a larger range of plants. Insulate the sides and top of the coldframe with layers of bubble plastic or blocks of polystyrene. To overwinter plants in the coldframe you can plant them or pack them in boxes. Check them periodically and remove any dying foliage to prevent any disease. During mild spells in late winter and early spring you can water them if necessary.

In the shed
If you don’t have a coldframe you can overwinter any plants that would be overwintered in a cold frame in your garage or in a frost-free shed. Trim the plants back and pack them in wooden boxes or trays filled with a mixture of equal parts potting compost and sharp sand. To prevent roots from drying out line the box with perforated plastic sheeting beforehand. Check them from time to time to make sure the compost doesn’t dry out completely.

In the greenhouse
If you are one of the lucky people that have enough place in your garden for a greenhouse, then you will be able to overwinter any kind of tender perennials here. If your greenhouse is unheated you can overwinter in better conditions all the plants that were suited for the above conditions and even some more. Place the plants in an insulated box after trimming them back. If your greenhouse is heated then the range of plants that you can overwinter here is much larger.

In the house
Indoors you can overwinter the most valuable and unusual tender perennials, the ones that you care most and want to keep them from year to year. Pot them up into containers that are large enough to accommodate their rootballs. Keep them in a place with enough light but away from direct sun, in a cool room that is free of frost. The ideal place would be a conservatory, a porch or even an unheated bedroom. This is the best way to overwinter any precious plants or prized specimens.

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