A. physocarpa survives a Minnesota winter?

Tony G(5a)April 29, 2013

I left 6 A physocarpa in the ground over winter, expecting to pull them and discard this spring, here in Minnesota.

I brought in a 7th last fall, but it died mid winter...

To my surprise ALL 6 of the outdoor plants are firmly in the ground and they all have color toward the base.

I recently cut each back to about a foot. Has anyone ever had these come back in a colder climate? When do they typically come back?

We are finally having our FIRST warm weather of the year...will be interesting to see if these plants are true winter warriors.

Not ONE of our common milkweed plants are up yet...definitely behind schedule this spring. hope you all are faring better! Tony

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mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)


Great to hear your Oscar has survived your winter weather. I am encouraged to keep waiting. I, too, left a grouping of A physocarpa in the ground, just to see if it would come back. I left the stalks until this spring, then trimmed them back to about 4-5 inches. The stubs of the stalks still feel like the roots are alive, but I've yet to see any growth from the base. I'm hoping mine will come back, too, as a seasons growth of root mass should produce stronger plants the second season, rather than starting from scratch with my seedllng transplants. I have a lot of baby Oscar plants ready to go into the beds, in fact, I need to try and do some transplanting today.

Several types of my perennial milkweeds are up; the common is really growing fast, thank goodness. If I'm fortunate to be gifted Monarch eggs this spring, it will feed the babies. It was slow to show, too, but once those little buds break the soil surface, they grow so fast.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 11:36AM
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Tony G(5a)

Hi Mary,

the one that died inside (ironically) looked very different. It had no color and when I snapped it "dust" came out of it.

When I cut back the others they looked "fibrous" inside and there were tiny bits of white sap. Very encouraging.

We're going through a cool, wet spell over the next few days but this precip should do wonders for the garden when it gets warm again.

My physocarpa seedlings are HUGE. I am planting them next week. Using a fan on them really helped them to grow tall and straight...a nice improvement over last season.

Keep the group posted on your physocarpa and I will do the same. Tony

PS...I found my first common yesterday. I think we have about 60 plants on the side of the house. Great for the early season.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 1:53PM
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mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)

Hi Tony,

I planted out my first grouping of A physocarpa seedlings this morning. They were seedlings I started last September and were the largest. I pinched the top out of the tallest seedling, just to gage how much difference it makes in the growth and bushiness.

My A variegata is already showing flower buds. They bloom way too early. I'd planned to pinch them back but there is only one full set of leaves below the tiny leaves surrounding the little flower buds. I'm afraid to pinch it for fear I'll damage the stalk and not get another flush of growth. I'm such a chicken! These MW are so delicate in some ways, yet tough to survive in their native habitat. Every year I hope for a seed pod and every year I'm disappointed. Still grateful to have them alive so shouldn't complain too loudly regarding the lack of seed pods. I transplanted some stick verbena (that already has a few little blooms opening) near them, hoping to draw in some little pollinators.

We are expecting yet another cool front here too. Damp and possibility of thunderstorms through the weekend. Maybe this will be the last of the cool weather, although I have to admit, the plants don't seem to be suffering from the cool weather. Certainly a good time to get some transplanting done.

Looking forward to hearing how your little Oscar seedlings do.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 2:28PM
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