Winterizing new plants?

grow-anythingNovember 2, 2009

I rooted several hundred azaleas this spring that are doing well. I also have some other hollies and evergreens that are all looking good too. I now have them in an umheated greenhouse and am watering them weekly. Can I move them outside so they will get natural rain water through the winter, or do they need to stay in the greenhouse? I am in zone 7 and don't know what I should do with them through the winter.

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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

They need very little water in the winter. If they are exposed to sun and wind when they roots are frozen they will dehydrate fairly easily. For that reason most commercial nurseries keep their young plants in hoop houses that are not heated and are prepared to water a couple times during the winter if things warm up.

They should have been moved out during the summer so they would be hardening off. I doubt that at this late date you will be very successful at hardening them off. A closed green house gets rather warm on sunny days and together with the frequent watering will keep the plants in an active growth state. If there is no small young growth, I would chance moving them out and hope for the best. If there is small young growth you may loose it if you move them out now.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2009 at 4:46PM
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Thanks, I think they do have a little new growth on them, but not much. I have a fan blowing on them for air movement and it looked like they were very healthy at this time. This is a 10 X 18 hoop house I built just for rooting etc. I have a mist system in it that used for watering. I moved all the rooted plants to the floor and will just leave them there for the winter. I have had the door and end vent windows open for the past several days with the fan on them constantly. I was hoping that would help with the hardening off issue. I do have a smaller heated GH, but didn't plan to put them in it.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2009 at 8:27AM
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