Did you plant any Dahlias, Cannas, or Elephant Ears this spring that you absolutely adore? Are you thinking about overwintering them? Here’s our quick guide on overwintering annual bulbs. After digging up the bulbs, place them into a baggie with shredded newspaper or wood shavings (something that will hold moisture). Moisten the medium but do not drench it; drenching can cause root rot. Put them in an indoor cool, dark place (basement or closet) and throughout the winter watch the moisture of the medium making sure it doesn’t dry out. Then next spring plant your bulbs as you did the year before!
Purple Fountain Grass
We have so many customers asking about this, so here is your speedy solution to overwintering the ever-so-famous Purple Fountain Grass. After removing the grass from the soil, cut it back to 6”. Shake the dirt off and wrap the root ball in newspaper. Place the plant in a container making sure the newspaper is damp. Place in a cool dark place and watch the moisture of the newspaper through the winter making sure it doesn’t completely dry out. Next spring after the danger of frost, harden off of the grass and plant outside!
Annuals as Houseplants
Do you have that beautiful begonia, geranium, or bougainvillea that you cannot imagine throwing out? Well if you have enough light, you are in luck! If you have a southern or western exposure window you should be able to overwinter well. If you do not have that type of sun exposure, you can simply use a grow light. Just check the plant’s soil for water moisture as you would with any houseplant. Watch for overwatering which is an easy thing to do during the winter!
Annuals in Dormancy
If you cut the geranium plant half back and bring it into a cool dark area (basement, closet), the geranium will fall into dormancy and “sleep” during the winter. All you need to do is make sure it stays moist (soil should feel like a wrung out sponge). Come spring after the danger of frost, harden the plants off. Give them sun and water and they should spring back to life!