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Old 10-01-2018, 09:07 AM
 
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My rhubarb and honeysuckle plants are in plastic pots outside. Instead of dragging the pots indoors, is there a way to insulate them outdoors to survive freezing temps?
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Old 10-01-2018, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Boydton, VA
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Depends on how cold it gets and for how long....After cutting the plants back, you could try planting the plants, pot and all in a sunny/protected area, mulch with lots of leaves, and hope for the best.

Regards
Gemstone1
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Old 10-01-2018, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Townandcountrygal View Post
My rhubarb and honeysuckle plants are in plastic pots outside. Instead of dragging the pots indoors, is there a way to insulate them outdoors to survive freezing temps?
How cold does it get where you are? And do you get mostly rain in the winter or mostly snow?

The suggestion to plunge the pots into the earth and cover with leaves will work in a lot of places, as long as your winter precip is mostly snow. But if you get mostly rain, a winter mulch of leaves could lead to rotting.

But yes, if you can protect the pots well enough from cold temps and too much moisture, you should be able to overwinter those plants outside.
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Old 10-01-2018, 11:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacqueg View Post
How cold does it get where you are? And do you get mostly rain in the winter or mostly snow?

The suggestion to plunge the pots into the earth and cover with leaves will work in a lot of places, as long as your winter precip is mostly snow. But if you get mostly rain, a winter mulch of leaves could lead to rotting.

But yes, if you can protect the pots well enough from cold temps and too much moisture, you should be able to overwinter those plants outside.
I'm at 7,000 ft. in NM. Winter temps very from below freezing to above. Normally get a few inches of snow which melts during the day. I do NOT want to plant the potted plants in the ground because it's hard clay and it's too hard to dig. What is the best way to protect the pots if they stay on the outside deck?
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Old 10-01-2018, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
16,239 posts, read 7,109,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Townandcountrygal View Post
I'm at 7,000 ft. in NM. Winter temps very from below freezing to above. Normally get a few inches of snow which melts during the day. I do NOT want to plant the potted plants in the ground because it's hard clay and it's too hard to dig. What is the best way to protect the pots if they stay on the outside deck?
The important thing is protecting the root ball. I’ve never lived in your kind of climate, but what I’d try is building a box lined with at least an inch of insulation board, including a lid, and using fiberglass insulation to fill in the spaces between the pots. You will have to check this periodically, to make sure that no mice have taken up residence, and to check that the root ball is faintly damp. Also, it would help to put the box in a cool shady place, to keep your plants from sprouting too early. Which they may do anyway.

It’s a balance between keeping the root ball warm enough to prevent root death *and* cool enough to prevent too-early top growth. Should be an interesting experiment!
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Old 10-01-2018, 12:38 PM
 
Location: S.W. British Columbia
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What are the exact sizes (depth and width) of the pots? How many are there? Are they all round, or are some of them square?


.
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Old 10-01-2018, 05:52 PM
 
838 posts, read 328,651 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Townandcountrygal View Post
I'm at 7,000 ft. in NM. Winter temps very from below freezing to above. Normally get a few inches of snow which melts during the day. I do NOT want to plant the potted plants in the ground because it's hard clay and it's too hard to dig. What is the best way to protect the pots if they stay on the outside deck?
I am in the same position as you are. We have clay, hard as cement, so planting them into the ground, is out- of- the- question. I am in zone 7, lots of snow, and cold as far as 5 degrees, but mostly from 40 to 25 degrees.

Let me tell you what I am planning on doing. I have my containers sitting on hard- plastic- benches that I purchased at Wayfair, I am going to place folded burlap at the bottom, only, and around the area on the deck to protect the containers from the wind. The sun will be on them, it comes out often. Then, I bought several blankets and bubble wrap. I am going to wrap the containers each separately, with the bubble wrap around the perimeter of each of my 25 containers, but leave the top of the plant, without it, so that they can breath, and receive some rain water. Then lastly, I will place one blanket over them, and a second one. The blankets have the ability to let the plants breath, and will not stop the rain water, from coming in. I will tuck everything around, so that the blankets will not fly away, and use strong cotton cord to sustain them in place. My 25 plants are Phlox, zone 3 to 8, but only in the ground, in a container, that is a different story.

I do not have any place around the perimeter of the house, where I can do this, but I have been told that the Southern part of the house is the best.

Then I am going to relax for the winter, while praying...... that they survive. Last year, I had five of them uncovered in containers, on top of the ground, sideways, unwrapped, and lost two. All the materials I purchased online at Walmart.online.com, and had them delivered free- of -charge, to my home, but must purchase $35 and up.

I have about 15 plants of Phlox in the ground.......they are about 20 years' old......they come every year faithfully......love them......

I will try this method, unless I hear of something else better, but I have reason to believe, this will work....wish me luck.....
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Old 10-01-2018, 06:03 PM
 
1,363 posts, read 655,288 times
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I make a cage with chicken wire. The cage is just big enough to hold all the pots I want to overwinter. Then I fill it about a foot deep with leaves, set the pots on top of the leaves, and then add more leaves to insulate around the pots, with just a little bit of leaves on top of the pots to protect from freezing but so they still get some rain. I wouldn't do this on a deck though, just on the ground.

It doesn't get terribly cold here for very long, maybe down to 20F a few times each winter, otherwise pretty mild.
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Old 10-01-2018, 06:34 PM
 
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Something else you may want to try at the higher elevations is what native Americans did but with slight variation to keep them in the existing pots.

Rock Terrace cultivating since you have lots of sunshine. The basic premise is to utilize the rocks ability to absorb the sun's heat along with its slow thermal dissipation even though the air temp may be cold and also capture the snow melt for the plants in the planting area for natural watering. I believe it was used more for root crops but it would be an interesting option.

Create an area about 4 x12 feet and strategically dig a a few holes about double the size of your existing potted plants. Then fill with leaves or another form of biomass, place the potted plants in then lay another thin layer of biomass, then a permeable layer of fabric (burlap etc) then cover the area all around it with about 4-6 inches of riverbed stone.
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Old 10-04-2018, 10:44 AM
 
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[quote=sasie123;53246910]I am in the same position as you are. We have clay, hard as cement, so planting them into the ground, is out- of- the- question. I am in zone 7, lots of snow, and cold as far as 5 degrees, but mostly from 40 to 25 degrees.

Let me tell you what I am planning on doing. I have my containers sitting on hard- plastic- benches that I purchased at Wayfair, I am going to place folded burlap at the bottom, only, and around the area on the deck to protect the containers from the wind. (text deleted.....)
OTE]

Thanks for sharing! Your plan sounds more like what I'd like to try as we have "cement-hard" clay ground here, too. I'm going to do what you are saying, possibly with a couple revisions. I wasn't sure before about insulation type and bubble wrap sounds like a good idea as it is similar to what I do in early spring. A neighbor here suggested the "wall of water" plastic tubing around the plants starting in May/June to provide warmth from the sun but also protection--it worked well for the tomato plants. Let's compare notes here next year.
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