saving annuals over the winter in micHigan

twittlJuly 5, 2014

I love the containers I put together this year. I did them all with sweet potato vine, fuschia and purple wave petunias. Not only do I love them, I also hate to see them go to waste and have to re- buy them next spring. All of these flowers are annuals in micHigan. I have an idea and wondered if it will work. Could I just put all the containers as is in the garage which is not heated, andbring them out in the spring? I'm just wondering if that would protect them from the bitter Michigan winters and trick them into thinking we live in a different zone.

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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

It depends on what they are. I've done it with Black and Blue salvia that was in a pot, and be darned it did sprout the following spring. I know a lot of people take cuttings from sweet potato vine, that might be easier than saving the whole plants. Not sure about the others.

I've been over-wintering my annual geraniums for many years; its easy to do, you can do a board search for the how-tos. The nice thing about over-wintering the annuals is they get HUGE over the years, I've never actually seen singular geraniums for sale that are as large as some of the ones I have. There are occasional losses, though, but hey why not try? You've got nothing to lose.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 2:27PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i dont get the H in micHigan???

where are you in MI???

though an attached garage might be z7 or 8 during a sunny winter day ....

it does not remain such at night ...

i doubt any of them will make it ...

now.. next year... if you were to plant perennials in your pots.. you might be onto something ...

i think of fuscia and SPV as nearly tropical ... and MI in winter isnt even close ...

and in 35 years in MI gardens.. i have never had a petunia winter over .... and in fact.. they are so spent by Oct... i probably wouldnt want to look at them ...

all that said.. give it a go ... whats to lose ...

ken in adrian mi

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 2:44PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Sweet potatoes are perennials and can be overwintered as tubers.

Fuchsias are not only perennial, they are also shrubs and can easily be overwintered dormant as long as you have a frost free but cool storage place. Allow them to experience one almost freezing day. The leaves will fall and then they can by kept dryish all through the winter. Trim them in the spring and water to bring them back to life.

These plants are not annuals. They are perennials in their natural range but they cannot take cold weather. There is no point trying to overwinter true annuals as their life cycle is meant to be over in one year.

If you leave the plants in their containers you would need to replenish a proportion of the growing medium in the spring and keep feeding regularly.

Here is a link that might be useful: Overwintering fuchsias.

This post was edited by floral_uk on Mon, Jul 7, 14 at 16:22

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 1:47PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Understanding the real botanical nature of the plants we're interested in overwintering helps know if it's worth it or not.

None of the plants mentioned by twittl or mxk3 are annuals. Even if they are used AS an annual by most people, that doesn't change their true nature. Perennials are easier to overwinter, if you so desire.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 4:06PM
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Try the petunias. There is a forum on winter sowing that can help. I didn't winter sow my petunias. I just put the seed pods in the container as they developed. Crushed the stems and tossed them in at the end of the season. They have rebloomed for the 3rd year. Even after that brutal winter in 2013.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 9:01PM
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mzdee, did you keep those pots in the garage over the winter or take them inside your house?


    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 9:52PM
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