storing potted plants in garage

mirasoles84November 9, 2010

Hi all..I've read posts re storing pots of plants in garage but are they talking about a heated garage? We have no heat in ours.These would be perennials such as Angel Trumpet,Texas Star Hibiscus among other hardy ones.Thanx for any info!

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tx_ag_95(7/8 Lewisville)

It depends upon how cold the garage gets and how much light the plants would receive. The garage can act as a make-shift greenhouse, by keeping the plants warmer than they would be outside. If the plants don't get a lot of light in the garage, you'd have to move them outside whenever the weather is warm enough. If the garage gets too cold, it's typically large enough to have room for a space heater to keep the general temperature above freezing.

If you just have hardy perennials, an unheated garage should be more than enough. Assuming your potted plants would survive light freezes in the ground, I'd leave them on the driveway until the temperature's forecasted to be below freezing for longer than a couple of hours or below 30 degrees. They'll be happier outside with sunlight and they'll be easier for you to water without worry about water damage. It'll be more work, schlepping everything in and out, but it would be worth it.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 12:54AM
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rick_mcdaniel(Lewisville, TX)

I do that, and mine isn't heated, but I do have R-30 insulation, in it.

If you can use an electric heater, to keep the chill off, that is also helpful.

I do use a large grow light, to provide UV for them, in the garage. This year I barely got all of them in there, (not to mention smaller ones in the house, so I am not buying any more. Water a little more sparingly, and do use water trays under the pots.

Last year we got to 11 degs, outside, and everything survived, in the garage.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 11:56AM
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nana_7b(8a)

Last year I had my tropical guava and calamondin in the unheated garage with no issues. We did hit the teens a couple of times last year. Didn't provide any light either. Both plants did better in the garage than they did inside the house in the previous year(very few dropped leaves)

Couple of things to mention here.
1. The vehical engine blocks probably provide a little residual heat
2. The freezer in the garage also provides a little heat
3. My garage door faces west so on sunny days that also helps
4. I put the plants next to a wall which is shared by the heated part of the house.

So, my guess is that all these in combination helped.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 12:44PM
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mirasoles84

Thanks to all of u! The garage does get really cold in winter but they are in back part,where they get SE am sun thru 2 windows. And a door that opens west,which will be alot of help for the occasional watering.I had to place these bigger pots in there being that I had no help.
I store the more fragile pots indoors..ughh..including the plumerias & bouganvilleas..drastic measures.. so little space :(
The rest are ( 3-4 or 5 smaller pots in ea bag) are stored inside big trash bags & tied up,placed on porch facing So.I open them up on sunny days & to water as needed, This is the best thing for these as the translucent bags are like mini greenhouses!
That's what I tell myself every yr.. "no more plants!"

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 1:18PM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

Brugmansia (Angel Trumpet) should be allowed to go dormant if you are storing it in an unheated garage in zone 7. There is a Brugmansia forum here on gardenweb where you can find the info.

You might try searching for the other plants on different forums as well since each might have individual needs.

Here's a link with tips for the Brugmansia

Here is a link that might be useful: Overwintering brugs

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 4:48PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

My brug friends who store in basement or garage strip all the leaves off their brugs before storage, and water very sparingly during the winter letting them go semi-dormant. I have space for mine where they get sunlight, so I do not have to do this extra work.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 8:27AM
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mirasoles84

Thanks! I did not strip the leaves off but will when it starts getting cooler.The weather is sunny, warm & so nice right now but I am too tired to drag them out again :(
I cleaned up some outside & went & dumped loads of leaves in those pots.I feel I need to put something in between the concrete floor & pots,maybe even newspapers.The Esperanza is blooming right now!So I took it out since it is med sz & was not heavy.
Probably some of u wonder why i haven't planted these hardy perennials in the ground.I just can't make up my mind about their permanent place.I like all my plants out back b/c it is the area I can have privacy & garden as I wish plus eyeing them several times a day. Makes a heart happy!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 4:09PM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

Good work there, you sound as cheerful as your username. The weather has been so nice since that one cold spell last week.

Some of your plants like Esperanza and Brugmansia are best wintered over and not planted out in your zone. If we have a mild winter they would be fine, but if we get another like last year most of them would not return in the spring. To be safe you will always want to at least winter over some cuttings or small versions of semi-hardy plants in your garage.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 5:34PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

I have had brugmansias in the ground for six years here in North Texas and all have returned but three....not from too much cold, but from too much water. I cut them almost to the ground, and mulch heavily and they resprout every Spring........so much easier than dragging them in and out.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 6:09PM
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mirasoles84

to Rock Oak Deer ,,,guess u know what mirasoles means? yep, sunflowers and I don't let sunflowers get out of hand but I do love the maximillion sunflower.It's great to have something so bright blooming in fall!
I didn't name myself that tho for the sfl; it was a mispell LOL.I luv the name Marisole, having nothing to do with sfl's.
Here in central WT,we do have snowy & sometimes icy winters.The Esperanza was planted in front ( N.) but was too slow so I took it out and potted it up and it is so healthy now!I think it wasn't getting enough sun.
The way i protect some inground perrenials such as the Sea Lavender, Plumbago,Gerber Daisy,etc is by placing 3 or 5 gal buckets over them and they come up every spring.Others just mulch with leaves.
And finally.. yep.. somedays can be cheerful ,really think this terrific weather is helping alot! I can sit out on the swing and get sun w/o the heat!I dread scorching summers but I luv flowers & plants!
to Carrie 751..so z7/8 is farther north? I might have my zone wrong.I feel like I'm far enough north too as cold as we get.
Gosh.. all this should go on my journal! Us women we can really yak yak so much! LOL

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 10:28PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

I am just south of Denton...............

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 11:20PM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

Sounds like you have this subject "covered" (he,he) especially if your esperanza comes back. Sometimes it's hard to tell if someone needs extra info or not.

I'm in San Antonio and the Esperanzas that do best are in direct sun all day long. They definitely get plenty of sun here.

Here's a link to the zipzone map so you can put in your zipcode and pinpoint your zone.

--Shirley

Here is a link that might be useful: Zipzone

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 10:10AM
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melvalena

When I first started dragging pots inside the garage I'd huddle them all together and set each one on folded up newspaper then wrap a roll of insulation around the whole group. On really chilly nights I'd throw an elect blanket over them and tuck them in for the night just before I went to bed.

I don't do that much for them anymore. They get drug in and placed on some cardboard and allowed to go dormant. If I have the time I'll pull all the leaves off the brugs and plunmies, if not I'll sweep them all up at some point in December.

Water them only a few times, on nice days and drag them all back inside.

This year I got all but one brug in the ground. I'm trying to limit how many potted plants I have to drag inside anymore.

Plants that don't go dormant get brought into the house and treated like houseplants.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 2:37PM
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mirasoles84

so I'm in z7b..Abilene. TY Rock Oak Deer.yes, everything is "covered" now ..heehee
I was mainly concerned about storage in the garage.I want to be able to store as much as possible in there, eventually.
Gosh.. to think the plummies can go in there! my dh will be relieved..leafless tall sticks in the house.lol
I've lost alot of stuff ,easy stuff seems like, just b/c i would not plant in ground! like the wisteria, oleander, & my beautiful bleeding heart!I can't keep Boston ferns or mandevilles from yr to yr(even if brought indoors).I still have alot to learn here.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 7:10PM
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merrybookwyrm

If your garage has no windows, how much light would you use to keep plants in one piece over winter? 4 shop lights? 8 shop lights?

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 10:40AM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

I leave my Boston Fern out all winter. When it starts to get cold I move it up next to the house along with some other plants like English Ivy and Spider Plants. The whole group gets covered during light freezes. Last year we got down into the mid teens several times and on those nights I tucked a light bulb under the cover. Everything made it through just fine and I didn't have to deal with a mess in the house or garage. We don't get as much cold as Abilene, but this method might work for you. The Boston Fern can take some pretty cold weather without much damage.

You can winter them over inside and I have done that when we lived in colder climates, but you have to keep them misted and well watered. They make a huge mess too.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 1:42PM
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melvalena

merrybookwyrm, my old garage had no windows. I kept them sorta under one shop light that first year. Second year hubby put in grow lights. After that I didn't even bother with lights. Nearly all the plants go to sleep anyway. Once spring comes and they move outside they wake back up and are fine.

If you have something you want to keep green and growing, just pull it outside on nice warm sunny days and put it back to bed at night or when the temps drop back down.
which is a lot of work and isn't worth it. They never look as good as you want them too. Its easier to just let them go dormant.

My garage now has windows but they face north. There isn't enough light to make any difference and the temps just aren't high enough to encourage growth. I'd suggest you just let them rest. :)

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 6:49PM
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mirasoles84

It is so great to hear the ferns survive outside! I will try it.I do not like to spend $10-12 on one every yr.!But I love them.I was even bringing in the spider plants and some do not survive.How can indoor heat be so different from summer heat?! they do get alot of sunlight indoors.
And it's good for us gardeners when plants do 'go to sleep'...so we can rest as well :)
Rock oak deer...may I ask how u came about your user name? I sense maybe an area somewhere where u live? very interesting!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 9:51PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

I have spider plants planted inground under my brugs, and they come back every year........actually, they seemed to grow larger this year after last years HARD winter.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 10:19AM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

You guessed it, as this picture taken from the deck last fall confirms. It's all there--Rocks, Oaks, and Deer.

It's also a play on a popular game (hint: Deer=Scissors).

I posted about my gardening issues last summer so have included the link here.

Here is a link that might be useful: Yard work

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 10:12AM
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mirasoles84

That is beautiful country! I will check out your link later today...im swamped w/chores this am.I can imagine how relaxing & peaceful it must be there! have a great day!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 11:28AM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

Thanks, we do enjoy the view from the house, but we do not live in the country. If you walk up the creek just a block to the right of where that deer is you can see a high rise hotel, Walmart, Costco and a zillion fast food restaurants lining one of the busiest expressway interchanges in the city.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 6:17PM
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mirasoles84

Gosh! who would've thought!
yep.. leave it to Walmart to follow one around ! heehee..but I couldn't live w/o it.And we couldn't believe an additional Supercenter would survive here.
We used to go to SA alot during our younger years.:) still luv it, need to go back sometime.
BTW, that deer was a beauty too!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 9:06PM
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awgallia_gmail_com

Good posts on subject. We have about 20 misc potted plants from agaves to hibiscus and begonia that I need to shelter for the winter here in south Louisiana. Would like to put them in my 20'x20' frame workshop (concrete floor, no insulation). Are (8) 4' overhead fluorescent (CFL) lights okay? Should a heater be necessary? Appreciate any comments. Thanks.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 4:56PM
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merrybookwyrm

This is my first year to put things into the garage, so can't speak to the fluorescents. They -sound- possible, depending on how high above the plants they are. It seems the indoor lights gardeners keep their flourescents pretty close to the plants if they want the plants to do well. For just keeping things alive for a couple of months you might not need as high intensity lighting on your plants. I have fewer than 20 plants so am wagging the fool things inside and out on ugly and pretty days. Maybe a wagon with a platform, so you could pull just one thing in and out if the fluorescents should give less light than the plants need?

As to the heater, you may well need one at least some of the time. What are the minimum heat requirements for your plants, above freezing or above 40F? What are the temperatures like where you are in winter? The no insulation thing may get you. Our garage has the house on two sides, and insulation on a third side and the ceiling. So far, haven't needed auxiliary heat. The coldest it's gotten outside has been in the mid 20s (maybe). Haven't a thermometer, but the garage has stayed above freezing.

How much does insulation cost in your area? If your zone 9 gets down to 20F only a few times per year, maybe a heater would be cost efficient at night. If it gets cold a lot, insulation might be better. Maybe even bubble wrap! I've put two layers of bubble wrap, spaced apart, into some south facing windows here this year in the house itself. It's been amazing how much this has cut down on heat loss from those windows. It lets in the sunlight and I've not had to close the curtains!

We do have double pane windows, but they are so old they've lost much of their insulating qualities.

Interesting about the differences in growing conditions.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 10:25AM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

There's a forum here for growing under lights and that might be your best bet for detailed info. I've attached the link for you.

I treat my Begonias and Hibiscus as houseplants in the winter and bring them inside before the temps are in the 40's. They are in a sunny window so no need for lights.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing under lights

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 11:00AM
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mirasoles84

UPDATE...the plants in garage WILL NOT GO INTO DORMANCY!! We've had warm warm temps on & off ..80's last 2days.They just don't know what to do.Hope we don't struggle with a drought come spring & summer, again.
As for me , I just want to grab that water hose, but with Christmas day approaching, have to stick to more important things.
Have a wonderful Christmas to all Texas Gardeners & beyond! Mj

    Bookmark   December 21, 2010 at 4:09PM
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melvalena

Depends on the plants. Some of mine have gone to sleep. Others are just napping off and on.
I've pulled some out while the weather is nice, and watered and suned them.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 8:58AM
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hummersteve

Ok I had an inwall heater put in because I have a water softener in the garage and in the past I have had my heat set at around 37 or 38 but some plants did not make it thru. But this year Im keeping it at 46 or 47 and sometimes it may go warmer and some of the plants seem to be active but I do not have any windows or light source out there so Im surprised they are doing this well. I have had them in there since early nov. In the first shot are cuphea micropetala and david verity. In the second is salvia wendys wish.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 12:47AM
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honeybunny2(Z9TX)

Just put the Plumeria, Desert Roses, brugmansia and Iochroma in the garage this past weekend. I plan to open the garage doors on sunny days. I gave them each a cup of water, I think that is all they will need until Feb. I plan to bring them outside in March. If I see the sides of the pots start to dry up, I will give them another cup of water. I sure hope this works. I have tried before, but lost my plants since I put them on the garage floor without a mat. I am planning on bringing in the ginger, bananas, hibiscus, and rubber trees next time. For some reason the bouganvilla never freeze, so I do not even cover them. I have mulched all the other tropicals that have died back. So far the garage, and one store room are full of potted plants. I am running out of room, I think I will do what Albert did, and buy one of those portable buildings for my plants next year. Thank goodness for dolly my new best friend. She made it easy to move those 10gallon pots. Barbra

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 10:43AM
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mirasoles84

just an update ...saw this bumped up so thought I'd let u know that I lost some perenials I stored in there last winter(for the first time trying this.) I did not place a mat beneath the pots to protect from the freezing concrete :( I did dump tons of leaves over them.The Texas Star hibiscus and a few cannas were ok.,the Esperanza ,the Angel Trumpet & others I lost :( Good thing I did not store every single plant in there.And did not try it again this winter.I really should plant perenials in the ground.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2011 at 12:09AM
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lmhc85

Hi everyone, bare with me, still learning how to use these forums. Might even be in the wrong conversation. I really have enjoyed reading all your comments. Last winter I stored my potted plants in every corner of my house. Last April I got tons of plants for my birthday from loved ones that knew I was sad about leaving my garden when I moved to San Antonio. Now, I have too many now (that's not a complaint) and that's not an option anymore. Oh yeah, I have no garage. What to do? Easy affordable ideas or creative recyle ideas would be great too. I like to recycle when I can :)

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 1:19PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Lmhc85, welcome to the forums and to San Antonio! I haven't gone back over all the posts above, but will make a comment or two in case they haven't been mentioned.

One is that potted plants in a garage or any overwintering spot do need a tad of water during the winter. In my little fiber glassed overwintering house where the plants are crammed for the winter I water them lightly about every three weeks using an extended water wand.

Some tropicals will need some light and you can put them toward the front where an opened garage door on warm days will provide enough to keep them alive. Others will go completely dormant and you will just have to keep the roots from freezing.

I don't have enough room in the overwintering house (which is heated somewhat by a very small electric heater and a light) for everything so I pull other potted plants up by the wall on the covered patio and front porch and cover them with old thift store blankets/comforters when a freeze is predicted. Another thing you can do is pull them close the warmest outside wall you have and make some sort of lean-to tent out of clear plastic to hang from the eaves. On cold nights hang a trouble light in there to keep the temps from going too low.

You'll probably be getting more hints from other forum members.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 4:43PM
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mirasoles84

OMG! where o where does the time go?! I was lurking on here, as i do alot and saw my last post re what all plants i had lost was almost a year ago! Just wanted to mention that this yr i have NOT stored anything in the house..yet.We have been super busy with out of state relatives visiting and a funeral and Thanksgiving that same week.So even tho we've had 32d temps a couple of time s,my 2 tall hawiian plants (plumerias)are still standing in the same area w/o freezing but no leaves! 2 are on porch w/their foliage still on 'em. The rest of the plants are on the back porch along w/3 indoor plants!Gotta say this is really weird weather! hi 70's all week here in WTx.That's when i really love Texas!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 3:40PM
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mirasoles84

OMG! where o where does the time go?! I was lurking on here, as i do alot and saw my last post re what all plants i had lost was almost a year ago! Just wanted to mention that this yr i have NOT stored anything in the house..yet.We have been super busy with out of state relatives visiting and a funeral and Thanksgiving that same week.So even tho we've had 32d temps a couple of time s,my 2 tall hawiian plants (plumerias)are still standing in the same area w/o freezing but no leaves! 2 are on porch w/their foliage still on 'em. The rest of the plants are on the back porch along w/3 indoor plants!Gotta say this is really weird weather! hi 70's all week here in WTx.That's when i really love Texas!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 3:42PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Yikes this weather has all my summer bugs coming back to life. and no planted pots have gotten close to my wood shop. I have great blooms forming on my aloes . I want them outdoors as long as possible. The ones in question are hardy till mid 20's and upper twenties. I am just keeping my eyes on things. I see a possible 36 next week for one day. All my small cactus are still out their but they can be moved inside in a hurry. It is just some of the back breaking new wide dish gardens. I have them grouped in common temperature groupings. But I am thinking of taking out some huernias out if a large grouping for safe keeping. My winter lettuce is bolting.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 3:58PM
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mirasoles84

How nice to have longlasting blooms but not the bugs ! Still swatting mosquitos outside today, yea watching the temps too.Someday it will be drizzly & really cold!
On another note...wish GW had a like button & a comment one as well, like some1 else.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 12:00AM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I am just happy one can now eddit ones post after the fact .... that is new.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 12:05AM
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mirasoles84

but i couldn't delete my duplicated post! ????

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 9:51PM
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