general Q on dormancy/winterizing
I have posted a number of times in different forums, and I've also scoured my bookstore, and have yet to find a source of information that can explain the whole concept of dormancy, how to care for container plants kept out in the winter, what to expect come Spring, etc.
Today for e.g. I went to a website online to order some shrubs. I saw a few nice ones that mentioned how the particular shrubs change color with each season, which is naturally a very appealing thing. The implication was that the shrubs turn a new, interesting color in the Winter, i.e., that the plant is still "alive" and has leaves.
Yet when I called their customer service line to ask a question about the shrubs, the person said that they keep the shrubs in coolers, to keep them dormant, and that that aids the plant for when it is shipped to you and subsequently repotted. In other words, they keep the plant dormant so as to not "shock" it when you put it outside for the winter. He said come Spring, the plant will then "come back".
So by his saiyng the plant was already in "dormancy", that implies that each winter, the plant sort of "dies", right? Can a plant be dormant, or take on the appearance of being "dead", and yet still have colored leaves remainign on the plant?
Does anyone know of a good source or book so I can understand the whole process of dormancy, and how to care for a plant in the winter? Like what about watering a plant in the winter? If the plant is covered with snow, and the dirt is frozen, how can it take in any water? So long as my container plants are OK for my zone (which they ARE), and so long as they are in big enough pots with sufficient potting soil around the roots, with the pots covered in burlap/bubble wrap, can't they all continue to "live", or willl they all necessarily "die" in the winter, and then automatically come back in Spring?
Thank you for reading!