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  FLOWER DOCTOR

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Find out how to take the best care of the Flowers and Plants that you may bring home from our store. Some helpful hints from our flower doctor are listed below.

Container Type Is Important For Winter Success

If you're over-wintering potted plants outdoors, you should consider the container's frost tolerance along with its hardiness rating. Some clay pots are frost-resistant, having been fired to extremely high temperatures, and are labeled as such. Concrete, plastic, and the newer resin pots will withstand the rigors of winter in most areas of the country, and are good, safe choices. Just check the label on the pot you select, or ask for advice at your local garden center.


Containerized Trees And Shrubs In Winter


If a tree and its container are movable, consider an unheated garage as a safe winter haven. Once a tree or shrub has gone dormant, light isn't a factor, but moisture is. Plants housed in garages will need supplemental watering over the course of the winter, especially when temperatures rise.

Outside, extra protection will need to be provided. If at all possible, move the container to an area protected from drying winter winds. Up against your house on the north or east side are excellent spots. The larger the pot, the more soil that surrounds the roots, increasing insulation.

What About Deciduous Potted Trees?

Deciduous trees and shrubs (those that lose their leaves in winter) suffer less in winter than evergreens do because of moisture loss through their leaves and needles. Erecting a windbreak, or loosely wrapping the tree with burlap, can provide protection from desiccating winds. Leave an opening at the top and bottom of the plant for air circulation, and never EVER use plastic sheeting.

Protect The Roots Of Potted Plants During Winter


Extra insulation for a potted tree's root system is necessary to keep it from freezing in the winter. Roots are the most cold-sensitive part of a plant. The "pot within a pot" method can be used to provide extra protection. Place your container inside a pot that is at least three to four times larger, and fill the space between with bubble wrap, leaves, layers of burlap, or mulch. Normal garden mulches can be used over the top of the root-ball as long as water can penetrate the mulch. The pot's contact with the ground also helps to somewhat moderate its temperature.

An alternative to the "pot within a pot" method is to construct a loose cylinder of chicken wire around the pot and fill it with chopped leaves, bubble wrap, or layers of burlap. Remember, if the winter is dry you may need to water your container plants. Do so on a warm, non-freezing day.


 

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