Urgent Questions for Winter Preperation

andres_zone3November 8, 2011

Hi all, we've had a longer growing season in Edmonton and no snow til now. I have a few questions on preparing some plants for winter.

1. In September I planted a PJM Rhodo. I have mulched it and watered it until recently. Should I water it more in the next few days when its forecasted to be 10c????

2. Ive never had a PJM Rhodo and its loaded with buds, what can I do to ensure they survive winter??? Should I put a burlap bag over them??? Just shovel snow??? Any suggestions welcomed.

3. Finally, I have already planted alot of spring bulbs. But is it too late to plant some more like hycinths, daffodils ect???

Thanks again and I hope everyone has a short mild winter. Everyone on the prairies deserves it!!!

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ostrich(3a AB)

Wow! Are you sure that PJM Rhodies will survive our Alberta winter? I had a PJM Rhodo in zone 5 before and even that was at times tough for it, until I moved it to a protected location...

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 1:20AM
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PJM is rather hardy and will generally do well if properly sited in zone 3, though on occasion can sustain damage depending on the severity of our winters. There's several specimens at the Devonian Botanical Gardens near Devon. These are situated on a gentle north facing slope where plants are out of the winter sun, this is important, as desiccation and sunscald can otherwise be a problem. Other than what snow does fall on them, I don't think the DBG's provides any winter protection for the few rhododendrons they have.

Frost has been penetrating the ground, so not sure how much water uptake can now take place, unless your PJM is situated up against your home or is heavily mulched.


    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 1:14PM
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What frost had penetrated the ground has now come out with the mild temperatures of recent. Today, I had watered a few more cedars I had previously neglected to do so. I think winter is now just around the corner.

Andres, next year, I will plant a few PJM's on the north facing side of my deck, I think they'll do very good there, at least I hope!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 2:28PM
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Terry I will post pics of my success or failure this spring. Yes Friday and thurs were warm and I watered my rhodies and cedar.

Im hoping to see pics of your garden this coming spring. Im especially interested on the status of the butterflybushes, wisteria, trumpet vine ect.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 1:58AM
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As for butterfly bushes, I've only kept 'Pink Delight', it recovered nicely this past summer after not doing so well in 2010. Hopefully, the wisteria will produce many blooms next spring. If all goes well, by next autumn it should be about 25 ft long in two directions. The trumpet vine just wasn't hardy enough to thrive, I should have kept it potted, it was very nice!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 6:24PM
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PJM is generally very hardy! I know I'm speaking for zone 5b but full winter sun and exposed to wind has not damaged it despite regular drops to -27 and one night at -29. It's over 5' tall now too. I attribute success to spring fertilizer, summer irrigation (Rhodos almost always look like S^#% here b/c it's too dry), and a thick layer of 1 year old leaves over the roots every fall.

In Edmonton, watering when you can will certainly help, as will some shelter from winter sun and wind. I doubt you can get enough insulation around them to compensate for a week below -25 or lower.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 2:25PM
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