Sunday, April 15, 2012

Over Wintering Hostas in Pots

Hostas, a member of the Lily family, are a shade loving perennial.  Ideally, they like morning sun and mid-day shade.  There are many varieties with a large assortment of leaf color.  I've got them planted in several locations throughout the yard.
Two years ago, in the summer of 2010, I started an experiment.  I planted two 15" deck pots each with a one gallon hosta, some white petunias, and trailing blue lobelia.  These pots looked great all summer on a deck that received morning sun.  In the fall, knowing that most plants left in pots to overwinter above ground usually freeze, I decided to leave the hostas where they were to see if they would make it.  In the spring of 2011, as I expected, they did not come up.
I filled the pots with new hostas in May 2011 and started again.  Last fall, after removing the summer annuals from the pots, I stored the planters in the garage for the winter, one on top of the other. I didn't water them, just left them in the cold and dark to hibernate.  The pot on the right was the bottom one.  I don't know if it was a little more protected having a pot sitting on the soil, but the plant is more than twice the size of the other.   Quite honestly, I'm happy they both survived.  This winter, they'll go back into the garage, and we'll try it again.  This time I'll put a cover on the top pot and see if that makes a difference in it's initial growth rate.  Happily, in a few more weeks after our last chance of frost,  I'll be able to add the colorful annuals to these lonely hostas.

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