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Am I asking for trouble????

Posted by romanticdreamer z8 Seattle (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 10, 12 at 14:04

In an effort to get more growth earlier next year from my Elephant Ears, Caladium, Calla Lilies and Canna (all grown in pots), I'm wondering if the following idea would work....I'm thinking of covering my picnic table with clear plastic and tipping the pots on their sides, then anchoring the plastic so it won't blow off. Given our relatively mild winter here in Seattle, I'm hopin this would give them a head start in the spring rather than having to take time to put down roots again. Any thoughts? An alternative would be to place them in a deep, wide window well and covering that with plastic, slanting it so rain wouldn't collect on top of the plastic.

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RE: Am I asking for trouble????

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 10, 12 at 17:09

I wouldn't count on that to keep them from freezing. For options maybe try Googling "overwintering" with name of each plant after, one by one.

RE: Am I asking for trouble????

I don't think the picnic table is a good idea. There won't be enough air circulating and you will get mould. I overwinter plants in a smallish greenhouse, but I have a fan going 24/7 and the air stays sweet. If it is going to be below freezing I can put the electric heater on. I think air movement is crucial to keeping plants from rotting off, especially in cold weather. But, I still lose some.

RE: Am I asking for trouble????

Since these are all tuberous summer bulbs that produce growth in response to warm soils, you are already ahead of the game by growing them in containers! Container soils warm up far faster than inground soils.

I would not risk the bulbs by keeping them outside - even in a "mild" winter, that's pushing the envelop a bit. Store them in a cool basement, garage or shed. As soon as the evening temperatures start warming up in spring and below freezing nights rare (mid to late March?), bring them back outside and locate where they will receive plenty of sun and any reflected heat.

I did this with both dahlias and cannas for years and the containered plants always started producing new growth very early and were weeks ahead of any inground planted equivalents.

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