OG Planted in Containers

triciae(Zone 7 Coastal SE CT)August 24, 2005

I'd like to plant two Miscanthus 'Morning Light'in very large containers for each side of my garage.

Is this a viable possibility in Z6(b)? I could pull the containers into an unheated garage the end of December after we're getting regular hard freezes if that would be of benefit. I've been reading a book on OG's that says they take to container plantings well but doesn't say much about overwintering.

Obviously, the soil will freeze solid. Since the grass is dormant, will it be a problem? Thanks for the help.

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I show 'Morning Light' hardy to zone 5. Considerations will be that your containers may well crack in the coldest spells because of the expansion of the moisture. Consider large pulp pots as an option (though this grass looks wonderful in a black ceramic pot). Better yet, plant in the ground in full sun!

Beautiful grass.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2005 at 1:04AM
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I tried Morning Light in a 15 inch square redwood planting box I built. I found it was hard to get the watering right; the plant did not look happy. So I gave up and planted it in the ground, where it is thriving.
This is not to say you would not be successful. The only grass I have been able to utilize successfully in a container is "fiber-optic" grass.
Is there no possibility of planting in the ground by your garage? Miscanthus takes cold pretty well. And schlepping containers in and out of your garage doesn't sound too fun.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2005 at 3:51PM
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triciae(Zone 7 Coastal SE CT)

I want the containers as accents. Also, there's no ground around the garage area to plant in. Moving them won't be that much of a problem. I'll use those plant feet thingies and just slide the dolly under them...only 6-8' of moving distance required. My concern was whether they would overwinter in the pots? Because the look is appropriate to our home, I'll probably use 1/2 whiskey barrels. I don't mind changing them out every couple years if they outgrow the pots. I've just never done much w/overwintering stuff in the pot. I usually use containers just for annuals.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 7:47AM
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blackie57(z5 NY Broome Co)

Tricia, I don't believe you will have any problems overwintering them. My only concern might be that they will outgrow the pots quickly. Miscanthus is a very strong and resiliant grass. as far as size goes, here's a picture of what one of mine looks like in terms of size:

This is a 6 year old plant and the foliage reaches almost ot the roofline of my 7 foot tall porch. the plant is a good 3+ feet in diameter. Make sure the pot has good drainage and use lousy soil to plant in. Just plain old dirt. Too much ammendments will make them flop ! Just a heads up.


    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 9:30AM
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Try planting the grasses with some very fine gravel mixed into the soil. Straight potting soil is not the best -- I'd mix in a fair quantity of good fluffy dirt and fine gravel to allow for more air to the roots, better water penetration and more space for freeze thaw action in the winter. In my containers I also "mulch" or top dress with fine gravel (quarter minus). Good luck, those planters will be beasts to move but may well provide you with some nice accents.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 11:18AM
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triciae(Zone 7 Coastal SE CT)

Thanks Blackie & pezhead,

I would have used planting mix. Now, I'll make up my own growing medium w/gravel and not my best dirt from the bottom of the compost pile! Ahhh experience...what we get when we didn't get what we expected, huh? I'll plan on having to re-do the containers every other year to accommodate growth.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 5:00PM
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