Forecast 40 F tonight, 50's rest of week, what to protect?

Edie(5 NY (Finger Lakes))September 10, 2012

Hi all. I'm trying to figure out what needs to come in and what can stay out, so I don't do the full "dance of a thousand plants" tonight. Whatever comes in tonight will be dragged out again tomorrow to enjoy the sun until the next chilly night.

I have lots of tenders in containers. Lantana, mandevilla, cannas, a baby ensete, triphylla fuchsias, pentas, jasmine, colocasias, fancy pelargoniums, begonias, plumbago, lotus vine, Brazilian sages, heliotrope, callas, chocolate cosmos and more. I'm afraid to count.

What can handle 40 F for one night? What needs protection below 45 F?

Daytime temps are predicted to be 77-86 all week. I'd welcome any advice. The only plant I know for certain has to come in is the basil.

Thanks in advance, Edie

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Well for starters, I have tooonss of bengal tiger canna, and a banana tree (musa bajoo) in both containers, I have left them out all year as well as a tropical hibiscus. We have temps dipping in the 50's at night and probably cooler as it has rained, and all of them lived without a scratch, I presume the begonias will be fine, canna is pushing it but remember the plant wants to live so give it some hope. as for the rest im not really familiar with, the calocasia though, is one of my favorites. I will have to get bulbs in the spring! Good luck !!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 5:49PM
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Edie(5 NY (Finger Lakes))

We hit 39 for the low. I brought in several pots. Everything left outside looks fine.

I was fairly certain everything would *live* if I left it out, but I also wanted it to *look good.* Can anyone point me to an article or a thread on here that covers what temps make what turn black, drop leaves, etc.? I did some searching but only found the temps plants can survive when dormant, and had to look up each plant individually.

We should still have another 2-3 weeks before we get cold nights on a regular basis. I'd like to enjoy my tropicals a bit longer before I have to put them to bed.

Delrey, I'm jealous. Cannas left in the ground over winter usually die here. They definitely survive frost. I leave them out until frost wrecks the leaves, then dig and bring in the roots. Oh, and temps in the 50's at night are normal for summer here.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 7:55PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

It really is something you just have to learn plant-by-plant. The trick when bring plants inside is to do it before they are inspired into dormancy, if one wants to keep them lively all winter. A few cold night can inspire some to bloom. You just never know until you research each plant and whether it is possible to keep it lush over winter, or if it should go dormant (assuming you have a suitable location to keep it in that state.)

The Fuchsia and Begonia, I would bring in soon if I were you. Jasmine is kind of a generic term since there are so many. Sorry I don't know more about the particular plants you have. Sounds like a nice collection. Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 3:58PM
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Oh no I have my canna in a container :), I bring in the tubers after the first frost... you can never be too sure with weather right?

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 5:44PM
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Edie(5 NY (Finger Lakes))

Purple, thanks, I could use the luck. :-) I may have taken on more than I can handle this year. Growing crazy amounts of out-of-zone plants. And I live in a small apartment.

The jasmine I have is "Fiona Sunrise," aka "Frojas," which is J. officinale. Fiona's sturdier than she looks. This is one of the few container plants I have which I know can handle chilly temps. It's hardy to zone 7 or 8, depending on the source. I started with a sprig in a 2" pot last summer. The wee thing spent winter in my unheated attached garage which got down to the mid-30s. (That's where my dormant plants sleep.) Now I have her in a 10" pot with small bamboo canes. I'm still not clear on whether I should let it get hit by frost as a container plant. Some sources say to protect it because the roots don't have much soil to insulate them in a pot. Some say to let it get frosts until the leaves drop. Last year I brought it in before frost and the leaves dropped on their own in midwinter.

Delrey, I must have misunderstood. I thought you were saying you left the canna outdoors, in a container, all year long, and it was fine. Hence the envy.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 12:59PM
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