Keeping perennials in pots over the winter is a sure way to kill them. There are many factors that cause perennials to winter kill.
1. Plants in the ground stay moist, but plants left in pots will dry out from the thawing and freezing in the fall and spring.
2. Even Zone Hardy plants will die. Imagine some of the artic temperatures we get. Perennials are for ground planting, where soil temperatures are consistent.
3. People often ask how I keep my perennials alive during the winter. First of all I have thousands of perennials in pots that i tuck closely together. Prior to winter setting in. All the perennials are covered with 2-3 feet of leaves. On top of that i lay breatheable fabric on top to allow air to flow. At the base of the pots i throw around alot of rodent poison. If the rains do not come in the fall, i spend several days watering my plants, right before a hard freeze. Plants need moisture through the winter. I seldom sell a plant that has not wintered 1 time. If they survive for me for one complete year their survival rate in another northern garden is almost guaranteed for many years to come.
4. Perennials can be planted in pots for the summer, but when they are done blooming and or before September 15 they need to be planted so they can establish a good root system.
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