House sold in 6 days? What to do with my plants?

bradleyo_gwFebruary 17, 2012

Well it looks like I have a solid offer which I am willing to take after only 6 days on the market (I priced it to sell but now I'm thinking I priced it too low), I just need to find a house in Pittsburgh this weekend. The closing date on the offer appears to be March 27.

I'm planning on taking my protective devices with me but what do you all think about completely removing protection on a trachy. How about taking cuttings of cacti and digging up a few favorite plants such as my hardy agapanthus, hardy crinum, Summer Snow gardenia, multiple cacti, and yuccas when the ground is potentially still frozen solid, or at least freezing regularly? If the new owner is interested, I'm planning on giving them the dormant garden tour to let them know what to do, but I think they'll be both pleasantly surprised, and dismayed at the work that goes into keeping a landscape like this in one of the coldest 6a's in America!

My trachy should be alive, I burned it pretty good because I didn't have the thermocube in the right spot and the C-9's cooked a good portion of it. It got to over 100F for who knows how long, and by the time I figured it out, it was a little late. Since then, the temp inside the enclosure has ranged between 25F and 52F.

trachy on the left in better days

and fig

fig in better days

Do you think they have a chance when permanently uncovering in mid March?

I'll try to take a few pics this weekend of the damage to my Summer Snow gardenia, it's pretty burnt, but still lots of green left. I'm thinking it's a goner here long term, but may have a chance in Pittsburgh.

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Im not sure what kind of weather you get by mid march, but if you dont go below 15F, then they should be fine. My frostproof gardenias werent even protected this winter and we got down to 12F. They dont have any damage.
I hope the new owners of the house like plants as much as you do! Definitely show them all the summer pics of the yard. Maybe they will get into tropical plants also (lots of people like the look, only a few are willing to do the hard work!).
The cacti cuttings are a good idea. Maybe you can even sell a few, but in my experience they are very easy to root and will have established root systems in no time! Digging plants this time of the year might be a problem, especially for plants that are stressed out, but maybe if you do it on a warm day you can pull it off. Worst case senario is that they die and you buy some new ones at your new place! Im sure that your new house will be part of the tropics in no time!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 12:16AM
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Digging plants is what I was worried about. As far as the gardenia, it has been essentially unprotected all winter. No time to sell anything. I need to get cuttings and divisions, and was hoping to dig some of the aforementioned plants.I would only transplant them in pots.

As far as removing protection is concerned, should I start gradually doing now, in 2 weeks, take it all off at the last possible moment, etc...

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 6:09AM
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I think it depends on your temps-I uncovered my Sabals and a few Trachys for the time being.

As long as mean temps are over freezing or the lows not below 20ish
(maybe 15F as Alex said if totally dry)it should be o.k.

Not much time for rot to get going anyway as these will be growing in another month.

Click for weather forecast

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 10:28AM
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The 2 week forecast looks great, as for March, temps generally get into the 40-50's, but we still have some freezes. I'm hoping the trachy will be fine if I completely uncover it by the end of March, temps should be staying above 20 for lows by then. I'm more worried about a late snowstorm. but then again, once I'm gone, it's their problem.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 6:21PM
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Usually as we get into March the cold duration is shorter less severe and the sun is helping out.
Even if damage occurred,recovery would probably be quick this time of year so,not much time for rot to settle in.

Click for weather forecast

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 11:19AM
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I would think your Trachy would be fine. The only issue may be is if the foliage is already dead, that it might start to begin turning brown or that freeze-dried look. I do plan on leaving my palms protected until at least the first of March, however, just to be completely safe. On a good note, the weather man said that March and April will also be warmer and drier than average for us here.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 6:57PM
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Hi Bradleyo and to everyone! I found this forum last year when I lived in Ohio. I haven't had much time to log on here until now.
I read this and thought I should comment on my experience with digging up tropicals from my yard in the middle of winter. Last year exactly around this time I sold my home in Columbus, Ohio to move to Kansas City, Missouri. I had to be out by march. I was really concerned about my trachy and others I had outside, in the ground, with winter protection over them with c7 lights for warmth. I waited for a day above freezing to dig and transport them into my warmer garage to pot for the move. I couldn't imagine leaving my tropicals behind to hope the next owner would take care of them. I dug everything up palms, lemon tree, cactai I had collected from the rockies and southwest, and other plants. Everything did fine with the move. I fertilized them in March, set them out in their pots and they did great. I'm still renting while house hunting so everything is still in pots here but doing great under grow lights. I say take all the plants you really can, pot them and give them a little extra care.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 5:00PM
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