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Overwintering Shrubs and Perennials

perennials in winter

Growing perennials and shrubs of New Mexico in containers and pots is really easy and convenient. A lot of people want to use the plants again for the next year but can find it hard to take care of them during the winters. In such situations, it is important to learn the proper technique to overwinter the shrubs and perennials.

Best Plants for Overwintering

In case you don’t know, or need a refresher, we explain what overwintering is here. Some perennials and shrubs of New Mexico can survive the winters well. The easiest method to choose the correct plant is to choose one that is two zones hardier than the climate zone you live in. For example, if you live in zone 5 than it is important to choose zone 3 hardy plants.

Choose the Right Container

A lot of time the perennials and shrubs of New Mexico don’t survive the winter because the container wasn’t right. The container needs to be durable and not crack due to the constant freezing and thawing of water.  Avoid clay, glazed and porcelain pots since they can break during the winters. A better option to go for is composite, metal, wood, and plastic pots.

Consider These Care Methods

You will need to keep the following things in mind:

  • Do not fertilize the shrubs while they are dormant
  • Water them when the soil is dry in the fall, but do not actively grow them by fertilizing
  • Don’t let the soil get completely dry
  • Don’t water regularly and monitor the moisture of the soil
  • Make sure the pot drains properly. Keep it tilted to let the soil out.

Overwintering Marginally Hardy Plants

If you have perennials and shrubs of New Mexico is exactly hardy to the climate zone or even just one more zone hardier than there are a few things you can do to protect the plant. You will have to put the plants in an unheated but protected place like the garage.

The shelter will reduce the chances of the pot freezing too much. This will also reduce the continuous freezing and thawing actions of the pot. You will need to ensure the soil doesn’t dry out completely and wait as long as you can before placing the plant indoors.

Another method to protect your plant is to dig a hole in a secluded spot of the garden. Make sure the hole is big enough to fit the pot with the plant in it. Make sure the top of the pot reaches the ground level or is even slightly above it. Sure it with soil and this will help to insulate the shrubs of New Mexico. You can return it to its normal location and grow it normally in the spring season.

It is also better to actually place the plant into the ground during the winters since it can prevent a lot of issues. When fall comes you can bury the plant into the soil to protect it. Other gardeners also recommend using the trench method. This includes digging a trench around the plant, tipping it into the trench and then covering it up with mulch or soil.