They’re Back

This post, “They’re Back” was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


When winter comes, there are certain plants I just hate to lose.  I will move them to a protected spot, mulch them heavily, or cover them completely until the cold spell is over. 


The hibiscus is one of those plants that I have been able to save for several years now.  I only have the doubles – red, peach, yellow, and pink.  When a freeze is predicted, I will move them all together and cover them with plastic.  If the freeze is going to be for many hours, I will put a light under the plastic for warmth.  This process has enabled me to keep the same hibiscus plants for at least 12 to 15 years.  When they first start to bloom in the spring, they usually only put out single flowers, but it isn’t long before the fertilizer kicks in and they are back to doubles.  Today, I noticed the first bloom since January.


Last year I planted several blue daze plants around the patio, and they did extremely well.  When the cold weather came, I mulched them heavily.  If a freeze was predicted, I covered them with newspaper and sheets.  They survived with just a little damage, which I trimmed off a few weeks ago.  Last week I hit them with some water soluble fertilizer, and today, I noticed the first flowers since December.


Finally, the bougainvillea.  That plant is in a very large container.  Since I am small, I can’t move this heavy thing easily.  With all its thorny branches, to save this one from freezing temperatures, I just gently place the pot on its side and cover it with sheets and plastic.  It started blooming about a week or so ago, and this is the best it has looked since I got it.


One of the reasons I like to try and overwinter tender perennials is that the plants have a large root system, and so they bounce back bigger and faster.  If I would buy new plants, even in a quart or gallon size, they would not bloom as fast and be as big as the overwintered ones.  And, of course, I save money.  Which allows me to spend money on other new plants.  See, there is a method to my madness.


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