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Princess Lily Wintering in PA

Posted by soccermomiam PA (My Page) on
Sun, May 23, 10 at 10:30

I purchased quite a few Princess Lily's this year, and placed in the ground and in pots. I was hoping that I could dig them up and dry them to replant next year and following years. I don't know where I read that, but now it seems that i can't do that? Was planning that thinking ahead would save me a bundle in coming years.

Any help on how to keep these over the winter would be greatly appreciated, as I do really love these!!! I do not have access to a greenhouse for storage, and even putting them in the garage would most likely prove to cold around here. ( live up on lake Erie)


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RE: Princess Lily Wintering in PA

Um, with a little creative mulching, you shouldn't have any trouble overwintering Alstro's in PA. I've got numerous colors of them, probably at least a dozen, and have never lost one to winter cold in probably 10 years.

I have lost a few to voles over the years, which just LOVE them (but then, there isn't a whole lot, I've found out, that stupid little voles DON'T like to eat and destroy, or at least chew up for nesting materials). With the voles, generally they don't kill the entire thing even if they do get in there, usually at least a few pieces will come back, enough to reestablish the plant.

What I do with mine is wait until the fall freezes zap the tops, then cut them off, throw a piece of styrofoam about 18 inches on each size over the top of each clump, then pile leaves (oak is best, they stay fluffy) over that to a depth of about 8 to 12 inches. I used to work at a florist shop, and we always had an abundance of packaging foam from the boxes glassware was shipped in, but you could also buy foamboard at a home improvement warehouse and cut to size, or perhaps ask at a local store and see if they have any of their discarded packing foam they would give you. Or, maybe even travel around on trash day and snag some from the garbage.

Also, they will grow pretty fast, and you can divide them about every 2 or 3 years to make more.

When the weather warms enough that you aren't likely to have any more really hard freezes (around the time tulips and magnolias bloom), remove the mulch and foam. By then, you'll see white shoots popping up just a tiny bit under the foam.

Finally, I see you're in the Erie PA area -- all of that snow cover is a mulched perennial's best friend in the winter --- really helps insulate from the cold.

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